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Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Writer's pictureAnnette Culshaw

Lejog: Toughing it out....

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

30 September 2018

Today is best forgotten! It became simply a test of endurance with little pleasure attached to this gruelling 53 mile ride.

Heavy, exceptionally strong, cold headwinds and rain plagued us for most of the day. (The firm who sold us our our very expensive overshoes to keep our feet dry in the rain need to be taken to trading standards. They do not do what they claim to do!!) After an hour our feet were soaked through and absolutely frozen. We stayed cold and dejected all day.

Cycling into heavy headwinds is always unpleasant, but made much worse when it rains. For example, if you are cycling along at 10mph and the rain and wind are coming at you at 30mph, then the rain hits your face at 40mph. Let me tell you.. It hurts! The rain-drops feel like needles pricking your skin.

We were shadowing major roads on cycleways most of the day which is not in anyway exciting. The highlight was making it up to Slochd Summit.

The rain stopped just as we reached the summit!!

The sun came out for a short while as we crossed Kessock Bridge in Inverness. It was blowing a hooley but an exciting and interesting experience.

The Kessock Bridge crosses the Beauly Firth and the coastline here is spectacular - tomorrow we should cross the Dornoch Firth Brisge and both these bridges bring economic value to this remote part of the UK as they carry the main trunk route here - the A9.

What has particularly struck us since entering Scotland is the spectacular scenery, it is a beautiful country, possessing soft luxurious countryside in strong and rich green colour, reminiscent of Ireland, yet also, the rugged beauty of the Highlands and mountains. We are delighted to have seen it all with a distinct advantage over the normal tourist in that we have largely been cycling the back roads and the fantastic cycle tracks and seeing views most tourists never see. We feel privileged.

Day’s Mileage: 52.96m Total mileage to date: 889.27m

Day’s climbing: 2.306ft Total climbing to date 36,886ft

As a footnote, we are sat here in our hotel in Evanton, The Novar Arms, warming up, drying out and having a drink whilst we cannot believe the weather - the forecast was for a terrible afternoon of rain and high winds - it is sunny and the wind is hardly moving the leaves on the trees, somewhat frustrating. We hope the weather forecast for tomorrow is equally wrong!!!!

It seems incredible that we have just around 100 miles to go - somewhat different than the 900+ when we started! We still can't believe it - but we cannot get carried away as we have two difficult days to come!

Thank you everybody for your wonderful comments and support - it is so valued and helpful to us on days like today! We so appreciate it!!

with love

Annette & Bob

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