It turns out that a fish and chip supper, Irn Bru and banana cake made by our hotel host Lesley is the perfect preparation for a day’s cycling.
Lesley laughed at us over breakfast when we told her our route out of Moffat. ‘It’s a mountain’, she exclaimed, indicating with her hand that it was almost vertical. And support driver three Kev apologised as he said it did look miserable outside and we had ‘a hell of a climb’.
In fact, we enjoyed the three mile climb out of the town. The gradient was gradual enough for us to chat about the serious issues of the day like what dead animal would be the worst to cycle over. And it was only a bit drizzly. The landscape was beautiful, if slightly obscured by the mist.
We marked reaching the top with a Celebrations chocolate and then whizzed back down the other side of the pass.
It soon started to rain more seriously and swimming goggles would have been more use than our sunglasses. We did see the sign welcoming us to Lanarkshire though. Feeling the cold, we only stopped long enough at our morning stop in Abington to refuel and have a wee behind the locked public toilets.
I also tried to take a rainy selfie:
We had to be careful with a gusty side wind but reached our lunch stop at 35 miles in good time. We were at Carnwath (if you ever need cheering up ask Liz how to pronounce it).
Support driver three Kev described Carnwath as a one ‘orse town but it sounded suspiciously like one arse town to me. Either way there wasn’t much there…but there was this intriguing sign:
On our way again we turned out to be perfectly synchronised with our support driver. Turning round to check the coast was clear for Liz and Chris’s wee stop I was surprised to see Kev disappear into the undergrowth too.
We were finally able to remove our waterproofs entering into West Lothian. We were cycling quickly to get to the bike shop in West Calder where they kindly repaired Liz’s bike for free.
The afternoon was mainly characterised by side winds, wind turbines and Chris dropping his Celebrations in the road. He said he would hand them out when we deserved them. Liz got one after navigating through Livingston to avoid both mud and steps. I never got one but suspecting this may be the case had my own secret stash.
I was in fact on my best behaviour after Liz gave me The Look while in serious map reading mode.
Not long afterwards though she failed to recognise Chris when he cycled towards her.’Stopping. Cyclist!’ she called out.
We then lost Chris for a while when he cycled ahead over a bridge in Ladywell. He had in fact just cycled on ahead but we both thought it was more likely he had gone the wrong way. ‘Chris can’t read a map’, Liz said.
We reached this Edinburgh sign when we were still several miles out from the city.
Tonight’s accommodation is a Premier Inn where Liz and I agreed there was only one way to decide who got the double bed – rock, paper, scissors!