Sunday, 18 September 2011

Day 7 Peebles, Borders-Pitlochry, Perthshire

The owner of the B&B had very kindly washed my cycling kit for me and it was nice to put on properly fresh kit rather than just a quick hand wash in the sink!

The first part of my day saw me climbing up and then descending down past Penicuik and into Edinburgh. I used my GPS to plot a quiet route through the suburbs and keep me off the busy dual carriageways. After passing through the wild and open landscape of the Moorfoot Hills, the outskirts of Edinburgh seemed a world away, grim, grey and depressing, the persistent drizzle not helping matters.

Passing the airport to the south, I arrived in Queensferry and out over the Forth bridge. I stopped to take some pictures but in the stiff westerly wind, the bridge shook and vibrated a worrying amount, so I pedalled on and over to dry land once again. From here, I headed north, parallel to the M90, through the sad grey villages of Crossgates, Kelty, Kinross and then past Loch Leven. I then turned onto more minor roads through Glenfarg and Dron before reaching Perth, a town (or city?) of nice architecture bordering the river Tay.
Heading north on the A9 I had no option but to join a section of dual carriageway. Although busy, the extra width of the road meant that cars (and large lorries) were able to give me plenty of space, something not so easy further north on smaller section of the same road. At Bankfoot I followed B roads up the Tay valley, past Dunkeld and Logierait. 

Even with clouds clinging to the conifers and hills, the views were beautiful and there were several rainbows across the valley. There was a short steep climb at this point, which my tired legs protested at but still got me to the top. I was feeling pretty tired by this point but I rolled into a soggy Pitlochry after 94 miles of hard cycling.
I had an hour until the owners of the B&B were home so I found a nice little café (Café Biba) which provided me with some much needed calories and somewhere warm for me to recover for a while. Unfortunately, my B&B (The Dell) was right at the top of this hillside town, which involved some more hard climbing before I could finally rest for the evening. And rest I did. The wet weather seemed here to stay and I couldn’t face another soggy walk into town so the B&B owner very kindly made me a tray of sandwiches, cake, yoghurt and fruit, just what I needed. I sat on my bed nursing my sore quads watching red squirrels in the back garden, a lovely end to another tough but enjoyable day. Tomorrow should be my last hard day, round the Cairngorms to Inverness, climbing over 7000ft.

94.5 miles, 6 hours 16 minutes, average 15.07 mph, 5503ft of ascent

No comments:

Post a Comment