The day started very cold and very early. It is the first and I hope the only time that I have to scrape ice off my saddle before setting off for a ride!
This was a second new route for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (along with Day 7). I knew it would be tough but I didn’t know how tough. Within 10 miles of the start we had The Lecht with gradients of up to 28%. I made it up the first “ramp” and had to start zig zagging to keep moving. Unfortunately I zagged a bit too far with my front wheel going into the sand at the side of the road and I toppled over onto a soft tussock of grass! I had a short 100 m walk to a lay by and then managed the rest of the climb to the ski station.
The descent off the top was fantastic. Very fast and quite scary at times. Definitely a time not to be riding in a group! We went through Braemar before we hit the huge sting in the tail of the final climbs within 15 miles of the finish, when we had already ridden 100 miles. The ride profile showed two climbs. You can only imagine the words when we crested a very steep climb to see the climb continuing up the valley for another two miles to the left – it was a false summit!
Again the scenery during the day was stunning. Scotland and the Cairngorms were certainly living up to billing and exceeded my expectations. I will have to put a slide show together with all the photos.
Highlights of the day:
- The descent off The Lecht into Braemar
- Getting to the finish line after my longest ever ride in terms of time and distance