Ten Miles Per Hour

Thursday, 3rd October, Lockerbie to Kinross, 99 miles

07:36 Defeated by breakfast.  Could not manage the toast.  Not raining yet but could be a wet day.  Forecast is for 2 – 3 inches.  Still, only 99 miles.

07:40 Right, off in 10….

09:49 Is it raining there yet?  Has been here but stopped for present so just taking jacket off. 20 miles in.  Somewhere. (So we’re still averaging 10 mph.  At least you can say he is consistent. Do you like my maths?)

11:30 (Voice mail) I’m on a road somewhere in Scotland.  I’m 40 miles in so beaten my standard 10 mph, though up to 3 hours, I was still 10 mph.  Will call later.  Sounds like you have worse weather down there than I have up here.

The sun and a rainbow broke out

12:45 (Phone call – roughly half way)  50 miles in, so now back to my 10 mph.  Just stopped at someone’s house to ask for water.  Fourth house I asked – spotted smoke from the chimney so it was either on fire or someone was in. Don’t know where I am.  I’m north and slightly east of Lockerbie – no towns or shops (back to that old chestnut) – not going anywhere major hence no shops.  5 miles beyond Quothquan – last road sign I passed.  Not pushing hard.  2 bottles can last me 4 maybe 5 hours, so should get me through the afternoon – may need to top up again.  

First half hour light rain and couple of showers.  Got jacket out twice – that’s why my speed’s down.  In fact the sun came out and the temperature was 21.8 degrees C.  Really warm, going along in shorts and T shirt.  Wear my leg warmers for first half hour.  Can leave the rain-legs on – roll them up and button them around the waist – looks like I’ve got a beer belly though.  They act like a bit of a spinnaker and you can cycle along wind assisted.  You can feel the wind fill them up and pull you along.

The wind is really weird – goes from nothing to strong and in an entirely different direction, then in your face. (Oh, you’re talking about that sort of wind…)

Gentle rolling hills – nothing much above 3 – 4%.  In last 50 miles have gone 589 m ascent and 476 m descent, so I have gained altitude, but that’s nothing.  In Devon I work to 2,000 m climbing for every 100 m so this is half that.  I was almost hoping to hit hills – that’s why I gave up the LEL and now I’m thinking I could have carried on, it’s not as hilly as I thought. (I know, I’m beating myself up again.)

I’m thoroughly enjoying this, so much more than JOGLE. (Why?) It’s not so many miles per day, the roads are better and I’m seeing more of the countryside. I don’t feel under pressure to get the miles under my belt, there isn’t the urgency.  I’m not bothered if I get a bit behind or lose time.  Last time I was always trying to get ahead.  Remind me of that on Saturday.

And now having stopped and spoken to you, I’m now back to 10 mph!

13:27 55 miles Lang Whang countryside trust. I’ve come a long way but sure I’m not in China.

(By the way, having Googled it, Lang Whang is old Scots for “Long way” or “Long Bootlace” and generally refers to the A70. “Much of the road is over elevated, desolate moorland; it ascends several times on its course to heights over 1000 feet above sea level. Because the wind enjoys an easy and uninterrupted passage over its length, in winter the road is frequently closed by snow, even by modest snowfalls. The road passes elevated farmland and grouse moor and presents extensive views over central Scotland to the north.” (Extract from Wikipedia)  I wonder if this is the way Roy is going or if he is just crossing the A70.  Maybe these are the hills he was dreading on the LEL.)

15:02 75 miles Livingstone (Before anyone else says it “Dr Livingstone I presume…  So, it seems he didn’t go on the A70 then, just crossed it.)

15:58 Following pink line on sat nav is fine until it says’lost satellite reception’ in the middle of a twisting route in Edinburgh. Had to dig out the paper route! In view of the Forth Bridge.  Don’t know where the other three are.  (Oh ha! ha! ha!)  80 miles.

Just after 6: arrived at B&B 

21:10  (Phone Call) Arrived just outside 10 hours – slower than the 10 mph hallmark we’ve come to know and love.  Lot of time off the bike and very slow in last 20 miles.  Started raining after last text.  You forget to eat and drink when it rains so legs tired.  I’ve found the hills south of Edinburgh, they’re north of Edinburgh!

Had to put knee brace on but on the other knee.  Painful in joint, stabby pain.  Hopefully sleep will rest it, but worried about tomorrow with lumpy bits Grampians

Heartily sick of pot noodle but forcing myself to eat it.  Tonight egg and bacon sandwich, crisps and drink as meal deal from Co-op.  Also big bar of chocolate.

Didn’t enjoy it from Livingston, roads lethal.  Go from quiet to being dumped on lethal road.  Then found cycle path – slow but fine.  Would re-route it if I do it again.

Roy sounded very tired when I spoke to him after 9.  His knee is sore and fatigue is catching up with him – especially if you forget to eat and drink.  That’s a sure sign of being tired and becomes a downward spiral.  Hang on in there, Roy.  Only 2 days to go.  You can do this.

P.S. Roy has breached the £300 mark for MacMillans with 21 donations.  Thank you so very much to everyone who has donated and your kind messages.

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