Stage 11

"FOR SALE: Canyon bike - 1500 new KMs on the clock (Buyer collects from the sea, just off Lands End)"

Stage Stats

Distance 136.7 km
Time 6 hours 55 mins
Elevation 1838m
Pain Factor 10/10

The last leg, one more day, just one more, 130km to the end goal. I drag my aching body out of bed and scoff a big breakfast. I could have so easily gone back to bed to sleep it off but there was one last job in hand. I set off a bit earlier than usual, as his Lordship had over shot the stage yesterday and was planning to get a lift to his start point some 10km up the road. I immediately hurt myself just cycling out of the accomodation as its driveway was a 45 degree hill back up to the main road (which I had forgot about the day before.) What followed was 4 hours of what I can describe as pure hell on a bike. Cornwall is nothing but, breakneck downhills followed by insane evil climbs repeating over and over and over.  (Think one of those horrible workout programs you can dial into a gym bike - relentless). Then the rain started and what followed was 2 more hours of drizzling wet pure hell (I consoled myself that at least it was not windy). I think the only thing that kept me going was that my body was so done in by now, I was brain dead to the crazyness. 

All end to enders are warned about Cornwall and all the hype is true !!!. I dont know if going the other way would be better, its a question of do you want to be beaten into submission on the 1st day ? or do you want to get beaten up on your last ?, at least doing it this way I dont have to get on the bike tomorrow. I have been telling myself that a lot today, its become my mantra.  As I got to Penzance … the only thing that was left that could hurt me reared its head. The Wind started, a howling SW (in my face) slowing my speed to a leg busting grind. At Penzance there is supposed to be a wonderful traffic free ride along the bay. Although the Cornish had forgotten to tell me that half of it was under repair and blocked. I was reduced to negotiate the route by climbing down to the beach and up over a newly constructed sea wall… bike over my head like some marine in a Vietnam movie My hommage to Platoon was complete with my agility reduced by my cycling shoes and lack of any leg muscles. 

As I climbed the bike out the back of Penzance, I was given a sign by the cycling gods. This sign came in the form of a roundabout with a simple road sign, LANDS END…6 MILES
Once I saw that my legs got a much needed boost, I doubled my efforts and got the bike moving, (trees were now flying past - at about walking pace) But the JOGLE (which was now in its death throes was not lying down, The hills out the back of Penzance are another wall of pain, narrow and full of traffic. This is just not what you need when you are just trying to keep a bike moving and you have not a brain or energy left. I keep it all safe and the road eventually levels out, and I can see the horizon, which for a change has no impending hills. The last few kimlometers went on for what seemed ages with the wind (the rain had eventually given up). Pain gives way to elation as I pass the 'First and Last inn', and I can see the Lands End Visitors center. 
A cheeky sprint at the end to give the impression to the four tourists who were bewildered by a lyrca clad idiot rides up in this weather, that I had been doing some crazy speed all the way from JOG .. and the job was done. The if anyone wants a Canyon bike with some KMs on it, is now at the bottom of the cliff at Lands End. (Although I think the tide may have washed it out to sea - hopefully) If you want me, I am in the "First and Last Inn" and may be there for some time. 


Previous Stage : Stage 10

More Information: Serious Stuff