It was another 6.30am wake up call this morning as we had a lot of ground – 93 miles and a fair amount of hills (4800ft to be precise) – to cover today. Our destination was Inverness, officially north, even by Scottish standards.
Feeling sad we didn’t get to visit the salmon ladder (to help them up the river) we left feeling a little Killiecrankie.
Our way was mainly up and the going was slow as we stayed on a cycle path running near the A9. It gave us time to see the first of two of the day’s red squirrels.
Worried we wouldn’t get to Inverness before nightfall, the A9 with its smooth road surface was extremely tempting. It was vetoed by Liz who scared us with the number of cycling fatalities.
We climbed to the summit of Drumochter at 1516 feet and shortly afterwards stopped for this sign:
At 30 miles we met Kev and Carl 2 at Dalwhinnie for our first stop. We stocked up with food as Kev then drove back to Edinburgh to swap back to Carl. We also put on some more layers. My strategy was one long fingered glove for warmth and one short fingered for dexterity. I don’t know why more cyclists don’t go for it.
We actually got to cycle on some road after that which helped boost the average speed.
At 40 miles Liz thought she had a puncture. It was just a small bump in the road. Chris and I think she had only just noticed the surface on her carbon bike.
As we made our way to our late lunch stop at Aviemore we passed Ruthven Barracks:
We ate our lunch (toasties and some of our Milka supply) quickly so we could press on. But there was plenty of time to discuss this important question: Would you rather be called Feshiebridge or Midge Face?:
It was then about 15 miles to Tomatin. We made good time and just about kept clear of the mist. Passing through Carrbridge the consensus was the historic bridge was ‘good’.
The last 18 miles were tough going. Our legs felt like the jelly babies in our snack bags and the mist had lowered. We agreed cycling stops being enjoyable after 60 miles.
We hit the outskirts of Inverness at rush hour and crawled the final few miles.
This is how I was greeted at reception:
Receptionist: ‘Where have you come from today?’
Receptionist: ‘Oh, that’s not too far.’
Jackie: ‘Trust me, it is on a bike.’
We are now just waiting for Kev and Carl to arrive.