There is no easy six hundred
Tomsk will say frequently and often
You blithely ignore the wisdom of those words
And sign up, a naive cycling boffin.
This naivety can last all day
As you tick of the funny spots
The Mountain Rescue Team, Peak Hill
And other witty bon mots.
You’ll scythe the endless fields of brassicas
Grinning with the joys
Of a tailwind on the way out
That creates men from boys.
Even a pile of swedes
The highest thing around
Becomes a pleasant artistic piece
A turner-winning mound.
For the roads may never ascend, and the roads they never go down
But the Flatlands roads double the distance betwixt every town
But then comes the fall of night
And that savage spectral ghoul
The golden M that haunts
The historic port-town of Goole.
At least the staff are smiling
But what choice do they have
When the wet lycra posse
Outnumber the normal chavs?
‘Tough half the ride is done
And you still feel quite super
Further challenges lie in wait
Beyond choking down a burger.
You venture to the toilet
In order to dry out
To find the dyson already dominated
By some ancien lout.
For the roads may never ascend, and the corners they are scarce
But the Flatlands can be endless and the route sheet deadly terse
And then the challenge to find
That elusive friend called sleep
In sodden breezy bus shelters
Festooned with souvenirs of sheep.
You ride along the Lincoln ridge
All hotels are taken by others
Whom now we detest and loathe
These daylight sisters and brothers.
Finally you find a four foot bench
And settle down to rest
A fantasy of two hours sleep reduced
To a toss and turn at best.
And then the morning crawl comes
The body lethargic and slack
And the mood among survivors
A grim and deathly black.
Finally! Spoons! At eight sharp
We fall upon the door
We are so effing hungry
We’d eat it off the floor.
For the roads may never ascend, and the downhills never there
But the Flatlands can be endless and motivation can be threadbare
But with the morning comes the wind
The troll with the slapped red face
Who hits back at you double hard
And halves the onward pace
And then a helping more of that
And then another helping again
The wind becomes a constant needle
That inflicts an endless pain
The landscape that you once flew over
Is now reversed and sour
And it seems to take a day
To complete a ten mile hour
The swede’s revenge is cruelly sweet
They all seem to have grown a face
They jeer and laugh and cackle
And spray you with their mace.
Hour after hour this all carries on
Each stop gets further and longer
Time elongates then snaps
And the end is less hither more yonder.
For the roads may never ascend, and the downhills never come
But the Flatlands can be endless and bite you in the bum
Even then the last thirty miles
Have a nasty little trick
Of throwing in some steep short hills
Your arse laid bare to kick.
And the sudden appearance of scenery
Reminds you of the prior lack
This miracle of things to look at
After thirty hours of cak.
Suddenly it’s over
And none too soon for me
I loathe the Flatlands once again
Swearing forever to flee.
It takes just one day dear reader
To discard my resolute resolve
And sign up to the next one -
Another years revolve
For next year is the ride in france
That wee coast and return
So I cannot forgo this ride
Despite this poem to spurn.
For the roads may never ascend, and the downhills have been banned
The Flatlands can be endless but it’s easier than Bryan Chapman.