Romans, Reivers and Castles
Day 9: 10/09/19
This is a short blog tonight. We arrived back in Newcastle at 6.45pm and by the time we had changed, showered and eaten it is suddenly 9.00pm. It takes some time to upload and process the photos and ride data so, after 38 exhilarating miles on our bikes we are more than ready for bed.
What can we say about today except ...WOW!!!
It was raining again this morning and when we looked at the tour notes we could see that we had a big climb up into the Moorfoot Hills. My heart sank. We were to be climbing at least ten miles into low cloud on exposed hills. It turned out to be the best ride of our lives.
The climb was 12 miles in total, but it was gentle. We were astonished to be riding this distance in the lowest power possible on our bikes (Eco 1 &2). The dark and brooding hills were magnificent in their isolation and beauty. The rain added to their mystery and beauty. Mist shrouded the tops and we had the impression that we were the only people in the world to be braving the elements.
You will see from the ascent graph below that when we reached the second summit (1,350ft) there was THE descent!! Yes, all the way to Edinburgh with just a few "cheeky little climbs" en route. It was totally exciting and exhilarating.
Honestly, for all of you reading this blog, can you imagine how good these feelings were at our age? We have done some spectacular rides in our time (including many on this tour), but this ride beat the lot. It was truly sensational. We had the thrill of managing a twelve mile climb with relative ease and then the splendour of the downhill.
There were other excitements today too. We had several cycle paths to negotiate and because of the weather they looked dark and menacing upon the appoach. The heavy wooded paths let in little light, but they were a joy to ride.
The only difficulty today was Edinburgh. Having seen so few people for the last nine days Edinburgh was a total shock to the system. It was teeming!! The pavements were at least 6 people abreast. The traffic was unrelenting and Bob and I are totally useless at reading the tour maps to find our final destination. It was complicated too by the HUGE film crew (fire engines, 5 huge mobile cranes, huge camera crew moble vehicles and traffic chaos) that were shooting a series of "Fast And Furious", so the road, where we were supposed to meet the lovely Steve from Skedaddle, was completely shut off for filming.. So, a huge thankyou to Brad at Skedaddle who coped admirably with my stress and panic. We ended up sitting by the Duke of Wellington statue on Waterloo Place feeling lost and homeless. Imagine our joy when Steve suddenly tapped me on the shoulder. He had come to look for us! What an amazing guy.
So, back to the lovely Hilton Hotel for the night. A good meal and a glass of wine. Ready for bed now.. (10.15pm). We will finish tomorrow with our overall thoughts and feelings about this amazing tour.
fond wishes to you all
Annette & Bob