Today was an awesome ride and we’re now 800 miles in.
On day 4 Ian wore his Bianchi shorts (that match his bike) for the first time. Apparently he developed blisters in places they have no right being. I know this because it’s the subject of a daily morning update at the breakfast table, whether we like it or not (not). So today started with us getting up quite early, breakfast, bottom updates and making an earlier start than usual.
It was quite a tedious ride in many respects. 90% of it was on the A9, which is a major road which has traffic whizzing past at high speed. So it was just head down and go really. Nearly 30 miles of it was uphill but Rob set a cracking pace. Pete and Ian did try the cycleway next to the road for a while but it’s designed for mountain bikes so didn’t really work.
Unfortunately we saw a couple of dead deer by the road, and a lot of dead hawk/kite type birds too.
The Scottish scenery is quite spectacular. From large, imposing hills to beatuiful-smelling pine forests to wide rivers and streams. Of course the forests provide the ideal gentlemen’s ablution facility as and when required. Which for some strange reason has changed from “hardly” on the first few days to “not again” today.
Ian, or Lucky Ian as he shall now be known, had another puncture today. And then inner tube problems and pump problems. He also lost his pump on the A9 to confirm his nickname.
Speaking of which, my bike started making an unfamiliar noise from the bottom bracket. I just hope it lasts another 123 miles!
At various stops today we were attacked by gangs of small sparrows. I believe the locals up here refer to them as Midgies – they are bloody annoying.
So we rode north from Perth through Dalwhinney, Aviemore and Inverness.
The last leg of the ride took us past the Beauly Firth which was beautiful with the sun streaming across it.
Our host at the Caledonian Hotel rustled up a smashing meal for us and told us it was on the house for our charity. One of his regulars also gave us a tenner too. More lovely folk that we’ve met. And I also met my best mate Rick who’s working up here so a great end to a great day.
8 hrs 39 mins
8002 kcals used
About 5000ft of climbing
Final day tomorrow. 123 miles to go. I really hope the bike holds out – that’s my only concern at the moment. Unfortunately limited signal here so no pictures.