Day 6 – Lincoln-Mansfield-Doncaster
Now this was hard. Over 110kms with 80% of the journey on an incline. I set off at 7.30am because If you cycled it non stop at around 8.5mph, it should take around 9 hours. So if you are robocop or inspector gadget you should have been in Doncaster well before tesco express shuts. Unfortunately my legs aren’t made of robots.
I started out at Lincoln FC, The LNER stadium. Proper old school stadium with some nice graffiti decorating the outside walls. Which is decent. Covid has put these lower league clubs in financial ruin so if the local kids are willing to paint it for free then let them crack on.
Lincoln to mansfield was horrible. It was so ridiculously up from ground level I thought I was going to be dodging meteors about an hour in. It was like walking from lands end to John O’Groats. Uphill. With your ex. Whilst someone boots you up the arse the entire way.
But I ploughed on and made it to Field Mill in Mansfield around 2pm.
A nice old stadium with an impressive area outside for the fans to congregate before games. The attention to detail is so intricate for the needs of the fans, they even have a ‘gin and fizz’ stand, should you have won on a scratchcard on the way to the ground and you want to look a bit more special and upmarket than your mate who’s been nursing that warm can of fosters from aldi all the way through town on matchday.
They also have a bar at the side of the stadium. Like an actual fully functional sports bar and restaurant called ‘Sandys’. I’ve never seen a bar like it built into a stadium that is usually open 7 days a week. Mansfield must be posh. It does tapas and wine nights and before covid, was apparently due to host a Meatloaf duo tribute act called Meatloaves.
Then my phone beeped to say it was dying. The memory bank I had had completely blown so I had to buy a new memory bank which cost me an hour as I couldn’t find argos. The sat nav kept taking me to Sainsburys. 45 minutes later I was told that I was in the right place. Due to bloody covid, Argos have now situated some of their shops right at the back of sainsbury stores, right out of eyesight with no advertising. Like people who hide drugs up their bum through customs.
So it was 3pm. A good 4 hour ride to Doncaster. I text Dave my website manager (www.mindrush.org.uk) and ill relay the conversation verbatim
“35 miles to go, I can do this”
‘Yes lad! Smashing the miles!’
So I set off full of beans. Talking of beans, if you want to look fresh and beautiful don’t ride from Lincoln to Mansfield. I looked and felt like Sean Bean had given Mr Bean a kicking. And let’s just say the rest of the ride was sheer hell, Sherwood Forest was bloody hard. It got to the point where if that animated Disney fox had robbed me id have let him and just had a couple of drinks with friar tuck. In fact id probably have sold my bike and just lived with them in the woods instead. Uphill over terrain on cyclepaths full of rocks, glass, metal shards, bottle, goblins, ghosts, mother in laws and dragons. Yeah, you name it, I rode over it. Some of the ride I had to walk my bike over it. For about 4 miles. Then I blew both front and back tires. Which was about as fun as a lobotomy.
Its then you miss your home comforts. People have asked me what I miss whilst I’m on the road. Its a good question. I had a long think about it yesterday whilst cycling past a Chinese takeaway shop in Worksop. All I could smell was curry, spare ribs, special chow mein and sweet and sour chicken balls. I was eating the rest of the quavers id just found in my pocket from Grimsby at the time. It was like passing someone in the street with a gorgeous girlfriend whilst you’re going out with sloth from the goonies.
It got dark real quick and it reached 9.30pm. I had 10 miles to go. A little accident with my bike light meant I couldn’t ride the roads, or id end up like the suicide squirrel id seen about 2 miles back. So I had to redirect my route and get a 13 mile trip done instead, walking my bike some 4 miles. Hence I didn’t do my blog last night. I watched a documentary on baywatch and ate Maltesers in a travelodge bath instead. This will be the only Bridget Jones moment I promise I will have on this trip.
So I scheduled a day off today. I need to go get my bike serviced once a week and thats usually available around midday so cycling is a no go. As it was my day off i was delighted to find out it was 10 miles away from my hotel. Only 20 miles of cycling. Awesome
At this point I would like to give a big mention to KC Cabs in Doncaster. Couldnt recommend them highly enough. Superb driver and a beautiful fleet that includes a six seater with room for a bike
Also, whereas my thighs might now be akin to Arnold Schwarzenneger in the 80’s they feel like tesco value three stripe chicken thighs, not waitrose chicken thighs. So today was a regroup.
Getting my bike serviced is essential, they did a good job in Halfords, when I rode away it felt completely different. You could tell how much it was needed. I’m starting to get accustomed to what my bike responds to and how to respect it so it gives me more, as well as learning to practically live on a bike and cycling ettiquette. I’ve even started giving way to people with trollies in Asda.
So tomorrow I’m ready for what could be the toughest yet, Doncaster to Rochdale then up through Sheffield. Its hills all the way, this diagram is from the app I look at every day. If the line is on the floor, its ground level. If there’s a massive spike, yeah, thats huge mountain style spikes. I also use it as a heart rate monitor.
But thanks to Halfords I’m ready for the challenge. My bike is running much better now and I’m not fighting it at certain points. They turned my bike from Mo Mowlam into Mo Farah.
15 hours yesterday, takes it to 629.7 kms over the 6 days and an incredible £1,755 raised! So well done mindrushers, hope you have an awesome Sunday, thank you for keeping shouting out what we are doing, it means the absolute world what you are putting into this through your likes, messages, donations and shares.
Peace and love
We got this