A good friend of mine & seriously talented mountain biker decided today that she wanted to start a blog. Among I’m sure many other reasons, she said she was inspired by my blog. Ironically, shortly before all this Covid stuff she also inspired me, which is how we became friends. Her passion for riding and competing in mountain biking stoked an old love of mine for being off the beaten track.
I had only gone a few miles, not even as far as Penrith, but it was clear I needed this energy boost early on. I should have tried to sleep for longer in the camper, but when you know that time is ebbing away, and you've woken up, something in your brain tells you that if you are awake then you should be moving forwards.
What followed for the next few hours was quite a surreal riding experience although it's one though that I'll never forget. In this remote and distant corner of the UK, I felt more like a real adventurer than at any other time in my life.
he next stop was Hamilton but it was still 35 miles away. The road quality was still poor, and I was beginning to feel very tender. Despite an empty road, I opted for a while to ride on the cycle path that ran along side the road, not because of safety, but for comfort. Much of the segregated path was new and nicely surfaced. The road was doing me too much damage. My pace had slowed to less than 12 mph…hardly a world record pace. I was still struggling to stay awake, but I started to revive a little once dawn began to appear and the rain subsided a little.
Despite the weather, it still felt like an adventure. I would rather have stayed in bed, but the type 2 challenge of riding through the storm held some appeal at the time. After all, today was the day that I would reach Scotland, and our planned overnight stop was to be right on the banks of Loch Lomond, and I have been looking forward to waking up there since I planned the route.