Day 2 – 05/05/2003 (Monday) Hitchin to Lincoln
On the last third of the route, from Sleaford to Lincoln, I made the discovery, that contrary to popular belief Lincolnshire actually has hills. They are not the Alps, although I did see a sign advertising the head quarters of the local mountain rescue society in one of the villages. This Facebook page possibly belongs to them or their successors. However when the hills arrive in the last thirty miles of a long ride, one that is thirty miles further than you expected, they are hard enough. (The route profile does make them look a bit worse than they actually are).
I had expected the countryside to be a bit boring and unattractive. In spite of the unremitting flatness and the difficulty in distinguishing one stretch of road from the next, I found the scenery quite attractive.
I stopped for lunch in Spalding round about two pm. I found a café selling cheap carbohydrates and refueled. I have noticed that when I am touring, and especially doing longer distance, that my critical faculties as regards food drop off. As long as it fills the hole I am happy.
It was after I passed Sleaford that I entered the Lincolnshire Wolds and the road started to go up. After riding through flat-lands all day riding up the hills was initially a pleasant change. It is not that steep, but you are climbing constantly for thirty or so miles. I kept consoling myself with the thought that I would probably be able to free-wheel the last ten miles into Lincoln. Not quite. Yes I did free-wheel into Lincoln, but not in the gentle controlled way I had anticipated. All the height that I gained in two hours of climbing I dissipated in about three minutes as the road took the short route down a cliff face into Lincoln. You can see it if you look carefully at the elevation profile.
I stayed the night at the Lincoln Youth Hostel (which has sadly since been closed). I was too late for an evening meal at the Hostel, due to me taking about two and a half hours longer than anticipated because the route was thirty files longer than I thought it was. I wandered out into town had a look around and found myself a curry. Very nice it was too.