Oh the Flatlands


There is no easy six hundred
You’ll hear Tomsk say repeatedly
You blithely ignore the wisdom of those words
And sign up naive, somewhat enthusiastically

This naivety can last all day
As you tick of the funny spots
The Mountain Rescue Team, Peal Hill
And other witty bon-mots.

You’ll prowl the endless fields of brassicas
Grinning with the joys
Of a tailwind on the way out
That flatters 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 crew
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
But all hotels are taken by others
Whom now we detest and loathe
Daylight sisters and brothers.

Finally you find a five 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 slaps at you double hard
And halves the onward pace

And then more of that
And then some more again
The wind becomes a constant needle
That inflicts an endless pain

And now the landscape that you flew
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 longer and longer
Time elongates, and snaps
And the end stays hither and yonder.

For the roads may never ascend, and the downhills never come
But the Flatlands can be endless and bite you in the bum


But 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, it’s easier than the Bryan Chapman.

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