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Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Writer's pictureAnnette Culshaw

Our first full day in the rain and mist..

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

September 26th 2018

We left Lockerbie at 9.00am this morning, in the rain. We are fully equipped with wet weather gear so it was no big deal. We set off with good spirits knowing that we would meet up with John and Shirley this evening.

We cycled, we climbed.... and climbed ....and climbed. The rain intensified and the wind built up as the rain worsened. It sounds grim, but it was not that bad until we reached about 1,000ft. The rain had all but stopped, albeit briefly, but we were in the low cloud layer and visibility was poor.

Lockerbie to Symngton .. A long climb...

The wind was another matter altogether. It was gusting at 34/37 mph, but between the hills the wind was really strong and had to be in the region of 50 mph, and we were buffeted like leaves, blown from one position to another all over the place. We hit a fairly steep descent, but so strong was the wind against us that we had to put the bikes into full power mode and then pedal like mad just to get down. We were both frightened!!

It is such a strange thing that although the day was tough and scary, in a masochistic sort of way we enjoyed the experience. It was a mini triumph over adversity and we felt happy and relieved that we had survived it with all our limbs still attached.

The roads we were on were isolated in the extreme. In the book we are following the author told us that there were no shops, pubs or cafes on the whole 50 mile stretch, so the owner of the inn we were staying at last night made us up some sandwiches to take with us. I cannot say it was a joy to stand out in the pouring rain by the side of the road at lunchtime to eat them but we needed the them!!

We eventually did discover access to a motorway service station and stopped to have a much needed coffee and catch our breath. Set off again only to find that my Garmin GPS had frozen up. It had also deleted all my ride data. Did I mention that this is my brand new Garmin??? It had been behaving badly all day telling me that I was going in the wrong direction and to make a U turn at every junction. I am wondering if I damaged it when I fell off my bike on the canal path. Fortunately, Bob's was still working so at least we could find our way forward.

I was getting tired by now. It is incredible how the battering from the wind saps your energy. Suddenly a familiar car passes by with arms waving out of the windows. It was our car with Shirley and John in it. The parked up and when they hugged us I cried! It was such a relief to see them. The tiredness disappeared in an instant.

Suddenly, much of the fear I have been feeling about the "what if" scenarios faded away. I truly did not realise how much anxiety I have been carrying until they arrived and it all disappeared. It was wonderful to see them. If we get into any trouble from now on they will be there to support and help.

We arrived at our hotel, Tinto House a faded glory sort of place and couldn't believe our eyes at what was hanging over the bannister..

Wonder if this one ever did lejog?

Went out for a lovely meal at an old mill , and celebrated with a G&T. (or two!) It was terrific to actually go out and be sociable with two such lovely friends.

Tomorrow they will take much of the weight from the shoulders of our bikes and I will be pannier free! Bob will be carrying some weight but a fraction of what he has carried so far.

I forgot to say.. Bob's wet weather gear was not waterproof as marketed and he was soaked to the skin!!!

Day’s Mileage: 43.00m Total mileage to date: 675.38m

Day’s climbing: 1,447ft Total climbing to date 27,788ft

Goodnight our friends

Annette & Bob


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