Monday, 1 June 2009
Day 1 - JOG to Dingwall (Inverness) - 110 miles
The sun beat down throughout the whole day, a real saving grace in a country that is not exactly renowned for it's clear skies. We followed the coast road south, the roads 'gently undulating' for much of the first 50 miles. Now, we had seen the 13% Incline sign (about 17 miles long too! ;o) ) on our journey from the airport yesterday but it really had to be experienced to be believed. Almost to a man though, we succeeded. At the 52 mile point we stopped in Helmsdale for a superb fish'n'chip dinner in La Mirage ("As seen on TV" apparently). We were surprised to find a life-sized model of Frank Poncherello from CHiPs!! Odd-place. The locals were very generous with their support, thank you (if you're reading this!). Apart from that, the first half of the ride was marked by the quadruple blowouts to Phil Reynolds tyres and his inability to remain on his bike for more than 5 minutes without careering in to a hedge/verge/dutch caravan/local!
The second half of the ride was along a far flatter coast road where we were able to pick up some speed. Actually, we tried to pick up speed but the contortions of Nick 'entire body cramp' Thomas every 2 miles or so meant that we had to stop and laugh....I mean 'help out and encourage'. We eventually made it in to Cameron Barracks in Inverness after being picked up in Dingwall with the 'veterans' team (combined age of 120 between the 4 of them), who started 30 mins behind the lead team, making it in first. Well done Maj Mike 'Scamplon' and his team. We may have to lose his company soon however, as Oprah Winfrey has heard about his extraordinary spelling talents with the cycle tops and is sponsoring a trip for him to the US National Under-5s Spelling Bee...we're not holding out much hope for a trophy though.
Tomorrow, listen out for us again on BFBS at 0815hrs (find it on Freeview and on Sky). Our journey takes us from Dingwall through to Kinlochleven on the West Coast of Scotland - another 90miles.
Photos: The End to Enders Cafe, all of us together and our accommodation last night. There will be a better photo from the starting point coming soon!
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