A hearty breakfast at Hizzy’s (highly recommended – nothing too much trouble, even our washing!) saw us ready to leave Hawick. A couple of mornings ago Ian had joked that his now-fabled rear tyre was flat, and apparently my face was a picture. Unfortunately this morning, it was flat again. We pumped it up and it seemed to hold the pressure so we set off immediately up a large climb on the A7.
Our first stop was in Stow and lo and behold the tyre had lost pressure, so Ian had the wheel off and put yet another inner tube into it. Whilst he was fiddling with that, a nice old lady who had been chatting to us gave us a pound towards the charity. People really are nice.
Whilst Ian went to the toilet, Pete let his tyre down and then we stood waiting for him, cameras at the ready. Suffice to say he took it in good spirits whilst we rolled around laughing.
Our route took us through Edinburgh so we stopped for a photo on the Royal Mile. We absolutely did not get lost, and we absolutely did not need to ask for directions. We then went to go over the Forth Road Bridge. For such a blooming great bridge finding the route to it (for bikes) was nigh on impossible. The roads were car only and the cycle track was a half-overgrown path which took us to a road with concrete blocks and a “Road Closed” sign on it. We were forced to ask for directions and then when we got to the bridge the cycle path on our side was closed, so we went under the subway and set off across the bridge. It’s very high, very windy and it shakes in the middle. I was fine on it until I happened to look down and to my right and saw the sea several hundred feet below. At that point my vertigo kicked in and I picked up the pace to get off the bridge! Despite that, the views are stunning.
We then headed past Loch Leven and through Kinross. Pete needed some new cycling glasses so called at Loch Leven Cycles, who were extremely helpful, so many thanks to them.
The wind had been mostly behind us today, but had also been in our faces and a crosswind too at various times. As we swung west towards Perth we ran straight into it, which made life hard for a good few miles.
We’re staying at the SkyLodge at Perth Airport tonight. Dinner in the Aviator Club was excellent, with great service.
- 7hrs 36m
- 99.3 miles
- 5734 kcals
- 4662ft climbed
- 13.1mph average
Today felt pretty easy. I don’t know if it was a lack of effort on my part, or improving fitness, but my average heart-rate for the ride was 106bpm. I didn’t really enjoy today as much as earlier days. I think it’s because I’m tired – I tend to be up late completing this blog and I haven’t had an unbroken nights sleep yet. Hopefully tomorrow will be back on track – it’s a monster of a day with 132 miles over the Cairngorms through Newtonmore and Aviemore. Wish us luck…