Day 6 Penrith to Edinburgh – Welcome to Scotland

Today we entered our third country (all of three miles in Wales) when we crossed the border into Scotland near Gretna Green. As far as I know, no one nipped off for a quick wedding on route and we didn’t have to produce passports!

Scotland gave us a great welcome with a strong, very cold westerly wind, horizontal rain and a tiny bit of sunshine at pit stop 2. By that time it was so cold that one rider admitted later to eating his sandwich while in a portaloo as it was the only warm place he could find – I’m sure he breached all Threshold Sports’ health and safety rules ( but perhaps it was OK if he used the hand sanitiser!). The road surface was challenging with harsh tarmac on the old A74 running alongside the motorway making for a bone jarring two hours even with the Trek Domane. Another comment from a rider was that the only training that would come close to that section was sitting in his cycling gear on top of the handle of a pneumatic road drill for a couple of hours (a slightly edited version of his actual words!).

Again, it was meant to be an easier day. However, I think all the riders found it challenging – exactly what we signed up for in order to ride the length of the UK.

I rode with Carl W from Wales for the first section. The rest of the ride was spent with Nick, riding to tick off bucket list and to the end of the ride with Nienke, a young lady from the Netherlands working in London and a very strong rider at the end when I started to flag. It is really useful to share the work when riding into the wind. We were helped by a tailwind and a mainly downhill route to the finish which meant completing the 115 miles in just under seven hours moving time and eight hours elapsed time.

Tomorrow we have a 112 mile route to Strathdon via the Glenshee ski resort and Braemar. Lots of climbing so a tough day coming up.

Highlights of the day:

  • Crossing into Scotland
  • The Clyde Valley
  • The flowing descents