Day 3 – 06/05/2003 (Tuesday) Lincoln to York
This should have been an easy flat day. It was flat, for the most part, but it wasn’t easy. Most non-cyclists think that it is hills that make cycling hard work, they are correct, but only to a certain extent. The thing that makes cycling really hard work is wind coming from the wrong direction. Today I had wind from the north-west. I was riding roughly north-west. This resulted in a very hard day in the saddle. Psychologically wind is harder to deal with than hills. When you are riding a hill you know that sooner or later you will get to the top and at least for a while you can have a rest as you free-wheel down the other side. When you are riding into a head wind you get no relief. You know that the wind will be in your face all day. You have to work harder and you go slower. It feels unfair. All that extra effort and you go nowhere rather slowly
The depression sets in slowly. It is even worse if it is raining, so fortunately it wasn’t.
The now closed Lincoln Youth Hostel served one of the better breakfasts that I have eaten in a Youth Hostel, they even gave me a big cafetière of fresh brewed coffee, unheard of. Suitably fortified by my porridge, followed by bacon and eggs, and of course the coffee, I set off … into the wind.
The fact that there are very few hedges left in Lincolnshire compounded my problem with the wind. There was absolutely nothing to give me a break from the wind. The countryside to the north of Lincoln was as flat as the countryside yesterday but it was somehow bleaker and less attractive. Possibly because it was a grayer day and I was more concentrated on pedalling. There was a nice break from both the 180° horizon and the wind when the road went through a small pine forest just south of Scunthorpe.
Additional problems, besides the wind, were finding somewhere to buy lunch and finding a mobile phone signal, both of which proved difficult in rural North Lincolnshire. I eventually found a decent phone signal so I managed to call Mrs Johnm55 in Toronto to make sure she was behaving herself. Lunch had to wait until Goole.
My route took me along the east bank of the Trent, from Eastferry to Gunness, which has the only bridge in a few miles of river. I imagine, given its name, that a ferry once ran from Eastferry to Owsten Ferry on the other bank. A lot of the time there wasn’t much to see of the river, because the road runs behind high flood defence dykes. It took me to Gunness and the King George V or Keadby Bridge. The bridge is fairly unique in the United Kingdom. I can’t think of another joint road/rail bridge that also used to lift to allow shipping up the river (apparently it hasn’t lifted since 1956). The river is navigable by reasonably sized sea-going vessels as far up as Gainsborough, which claims to be the most inland port in Britain.
The south bank of the Humber and the port of Goole was not the prettiest part of my journey north, but Goole did come up with a good café for a late lunch. Re-fortified I set off on the final leg to York
The ride from Goole to York was through fairly flat arable farming country, pleasant enough without being spectacular. Arriving in York I found the Youth Hostel fully booked however I managed to find a comfortable B&B quite easily. It was a bit more expensive than the Youth Hostel, but had the advantage of not having a party of Year 7 school-kids staying there.
The B&B didn’t do an evening meal so I had an hour or so wandering around York and York Minster in particular, before finding a pub for dinner.
I discovered on my wander round York that it is the most haunted city on Earth, either that or it has the most imaginative tour guides and the most credulous tourists. Give or take a ghost or two I liked York and in an ideal world would have had a bit more time to explore.