Slow start this morning as my tent needed to dry out and packing up in the rain is…well, wet…
My plan, as ever was…I don’t bother. Actually that’s wrong. I make the choice not to plan the roads, gradient or even look at the weather in fear of rolling over and going back to sleep. It’s easy to give up on a day sometimes isn’t it? I think back to why I started this…bear hunt. Getting up during COVID 1 was a struggle for me so I don’t give myself an option. It’s like going to work. Commitment, and it’s not so bad when you get there is it? Anyway my plan… Greta today. About 50miles.
My ride stated with some quintessential Scottish village photo opportunities. Then through to Hawick where I hunted high and low for Rocky Road but ended up with Tiffin. So there I am just outside Hawick on a little country road planning my next leg and I notice I’m on Lovers lane. Ahhh those were the days. I took myself back to the last century and reminisced. Ahh the red post box…
Anyway back to that tiffin. For those not familiar with the ingredients, though Of course recipes will vary. Crushed biscuits, raisins, cherries in a heavy chocolate sponge with a thick layer of chocolate on top. Feels like there should be nuts in there …but I suppose then it would be called a rocky road.
Anyway my route. Of course as I’m following the Scottish boarder doesn’t involve the sea but it did involve rivers. All the way. The Slitrig then the barns burn to copshaw holm. It was 25 miles of nothing. No cafe, No pub, very few houses and no people – it’s a time to think, reflect, plan, look and take in nature and breathe….
The hillocks and the furns let you know where you are. It has to be Scotland.
As I ride along I constantly create pictures in my head. Can you imagine too – ‘old Scotland’. Braveheart, or Connor McLoud, kilts flairibg as they race down these hillocks to defend or attack….
The woods are deep, dark and wet but there’s still lure to peek in. To smell the pine and the damp. Films like the hobbit and lord or the rings gives these ancient woods mystery and history….
All I can hear as I cycle along is the ever present sound of running water…fast running water at the moment…. rain is never far away as locals know and are dressed for it. Always.
I’ve never had a beard before. I wonder if / how it changes my look. Do people perceive me differently? After a long climb. My longest yet. I stopped for air. A 4×4 drew to ask if I was OK which was nice. We chatted for a bit but before they left they said one more time “are you sure you’ll be alright”… was it the beard? Did I look Old? Maybe they looked at my bike and knew it was a short ride bike pretending to be a tourer? By the way I’ve still had very few ideas for a name to call my bike…. Who knows and being honest it shouldn’t worry me. I’ll never know the answer. I’ll never know if they were truly concerned for me or just being nice. Let it go James. It’s done.
The rest of the day was much the same.
So I’d cycled the boarder between Scotland and England in 2 days. 120miles. It has been a wonderful part to my journey and it’s something anyone can do.
Drive to a place near a train station (so if you need to, you can train back instead of riding back), or just drive to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
You don’t need much and tents are optional.
Over a weekend you could do the boarder too.
Do it alone or with friends. You don’t need to do 50-60 miles a day. Do 40 a day over 3 days. You can do anything if you want and I guarantee you will look back on it with such happiness. It may restore a bit of self belief. It may give you time to think or the opposite and leave those thoughts along the ride. You may get a tan. You may get wet. 3 days of your life…. what are you waiting for?
Today I’ve no idea where I’m going yet. I ache so it might be a short one. That’s ok though.
Thanks as ever for your messages and the additional views. It means a lot to me. I hope it means that it’s interesting and may be doing something I needed a year ago….
Have a great Sunday everyone.