The final push would be another 45 mile day and the allure of a Fish and Chip dinner on the seafront gave me all the energy I needed to get going (along with another YHA fry up and a couple of pilfered sandwiches).
I read in my guide that 5 miles or so into today’s ride I would hit the only off road section of the entire Way of the Roses; a dirt path skirting some farmer’s fields.
The roads had been incredibly smooth up until this point so I wasn’t in the least bit concerned by a few bumpy miles – that was until the rack fell off of the back of my bike mere metres before the dirt road began.
Brilliant. A quick check on my phone informed me that I either had to go 5 miles back to York or continue for about the same to find a bike shop. Determined not to go back to York I used my cable lock to tie the rack onto the bike by looping it around the seat post several times.
This worked remarkably well for a couple of miles but eventually it gave way and I couldn’t seem to get it to hold again. I somehow managed to wedge the rack in place so that it wouldn’t fall back and rub against my wheel, but it wouldn’t take any weight at all so I hung one pannier bag on either side of my handlebars. This ad hoc solution seemed to work ok, other than the fact that the panniers completely covered my brake levers.
After a wobbly, sketchy ride I eventually left the dirt path and arrived into the town of Stamford Bridge. I couldn’t continue like this so I left the Way of the Roses and sought out a car garage.
I wheeled my bike into Stamford Bridge Garage and a kind woman set to work fixing the rack back onto my bike. She even found new nuts and bolts in her toolkit to replace ones that I have lost.
She refused to take any money from me and wished me well as I wheeled my bike out of the garage, my rack more secure than ever before.
At last I was back in the saddle and I could start covering some miles again.
The rest of the ride was completely different to anything previously as thin roads cut through the middle of huge fields. The sky was endless. Although it was a beautiful day, the wind was ferocious and I had to pedal very hard on flat roads to get anywhere.
Eventually the sky began to seem smaller and trees appeared again, soon followed by buildings. This was the home stretch and I could smell the approaching sea.
I cruised down to Bridlington sea front on autopilot, took my obligatory photo in front of the Way of the Roses sign and headed off in search of fish and chips – this was the real finish line.
Whether it was the 170 miles in my legs or some deep fried voodoo I do not know, but sitting on a bench occasionally shoeing away a seagull – this was genuinely was the best portion of fish and chips I have ever eaten.