IT’S a curious thing but I thought that after a week of not cycling I’d be dead keen to get the bike out and go for a ride. But I’m not…
I had to take a week off cycling because I was away all week filming the Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail. The filming went really well, despite a day of unexpected snow when we were in Kirk Yetholm, but we almost made up the lost time and the quality of the interviews we did was great.
We also had some superb weather, particularly for the ascent of little Wideopen Hill above the Bowmont River and our ascent of the Eildons on a sparkling blue sky morning when the distant Cheviots were still snow covered and stood out like the Cairngorms. The filming didn’t leave much time for cycling though and with the start of our End to End only a week away I was really looking forward to getting back in the saddle, swopping my boots for a bike.
But this morning I woke up with a slight tummy bug and have felt a little lethargic all morning. On top of that it’s been raining steadily all day and it’s a pretty miserable Good Friday. After what seems like weeks of great weather it’s difficult to accept this return to winter and I must admit, the thought of cycling along in the rain is not very appealing.
So, I’m going to take a further day off, get some work done, and do some planning for the End to End.
I’ve arranged to hire a car and I will collect Hamish and his bike from Sedbergh before we continue south to Penzance. I’m told the Enterprise car hire people will give us a life out to Land’s End once we drop the car off so that could be a big bonus. Anyone know if that is the normal procedure with End to Enders dropping a car off at Penzance?
We’ve booked a night in the Land’s End Hotel so should be fresh and ready to go come next Friday morning - Friday the 13th April, unlucky for some but hopefully not for us!
After that we’re aiming to get to St Columb Major on our first night, a distance of about 60 miles, and then on to Great Torrington. That’s another 66 miles. Then it’s another 64 mile day to Bridgewater, when I hope we’ll have the big hills of Corwall and Devon well behind us. Anyone know of good B&B’s or hostels in these towns - St Columb Major, Great Torrington and Bridgewater?
After that the plan is as follows:
Coleford - 84 miles
Much Wenlock - 73 miles
Knutsford - 73 miles
Sedbergh - 93 miles
Langholm - 82 miles
Edinburgh - 74 miles
Perth - 70 miles
Newtonmore - 65 miles
Dingwall - 64 miles
Helmsdale - 66 miles
John O’Groats - 50 miles
Wow, it all looks so easy written down on paper, apart from that big day to Sedbergh but Hamish has been working on that section and reckons he can knock a few miles off the route. I guess we might chop and change a bit as we go along but we’re praying for south westerlies to blow us along.
Once we finish in John O’Groats we’ll be heading back down the road to Newtonmore when Hamish will celebrate his 62nd birthday and Gina and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Should be a good party, particularly if we can celebrate a successful End to End as well.