Page 11 - DLNjan2016-1002
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This morning was a beautiful ride along the Greek Riviera and as I
pulled into Xanthi I spotted a rare ATM. With Euros in hand I breakfasted at
a beachside bar, very nice, almost feels like I am on holiday!

Then the winds struck again and I was down to an average of just 7mph as I
battled for hours into a block head wind. I had started riding at 02:00 this
morning with the aim of pushing through to the finish in Istanbul in 1 x 250mile
day. That was not going to happen now. After having had a bizarre
conversation with some taxi drivers, no shared language, they directed me
to a small hotel about 10km further down the road. I found it, jumped over
the roadside barriers with my bike and checked in. I was tired, so tired that
when they refused to let me take my bike into my room and instead offered
a shed as an alternative storage option I agreed even though the key to the
locked door was hung directly above the lock all night. Friends later asked if
I took the key with me after stashing my bike, of course that thought never
crossed my mind; it was a locked door as far as I was concerned and that
was good enough.

         Last night was so cold I slept in all of my clothes including my coat.
I couldn’t work out how to turn off the air con despite standing on a chair to
reach the controls. On waking I noticed the remote control was on the table
next to my bed, so tired! Just 100miles to go today, a short one. The wind
is still with us so it’s a battle to the Greek/Turkish border where I bump in
to Olly who unfortunately due to a bad knee injury has decided he can’t
continue he promises to buy me a beer in Istanbul and I head off up the
motorway alone. Cycling at the side of the motorway is not too bad the lane
is wide but the road goes on as far as the eye can see and it’s an undulating
road, the last thing I need right now. I always struggle with the last stage
of any race, be it the last 5 miles of a 100 mile sportive or the last few hours
of a multi-day event, I am not sure why that is perhaps because I am tired
or just maybe because I don’t want the experience to end? I soon came upon
major road works and spent the next few hours alternating between shouting
at the huge Lorries who unable to pass me sit behind me pressing their horns
and standing at the side of the road in tears because this day might just
have beaten me. At such low moments I was acutely aware that no-one was

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