The most brutal cycle I've ever experienced!

We cycled, very slowly, painfully and with extreme exhaustion, up the huge hill that marked the final ascent of the 48 miles. The head wind was now over 43 mph, with horizontal rain smashing into our face at every slow turn of the pedals. I was absolutely determined to make it all the way to the top of the hill without getting off, but as I reached the summit I began to weave into the road with the exertion. Quite a few cars had passed us initially, but as the weather worsened, the number of cars tailed off, drivers sensibly opting to stay at home instead of risking a drive in the conditions. The few that did pass were gracious, and could see that there was a race on, and that competitors were gamely battling on through the gales and rain. All except one car. I was now a few metres from the very top, my legs wobbling, arms shaking, teeth gritted, but I was spurred on by a couple of vans parked at the top, in which cheering supporters were shouting encouragement.


"BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!" The car behind me slammed on his horn, almost frightening me off my bike, and causing me to wobble even further. He only needed to wait another minute for me to reach the top before he showed his impatience, and I'm still not sure what he hoped to gain by his display of brutishness. The onlookers shook their heads as the driver sped past, and I collapsed in a heap at the top of the hill. As I took out my phone to take a video, the gusts of wind nearly blew the phone out of my hand. It was epic. It had by now taken us over 5 hours to cycle 45 miles, which would normally take in the region of 3. Just the descent to go...




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