On Saturday morning I woke up with an upset stomach and so took some I ate some Rolaids for it. While that quieted it down it never quite fixed it. On Sunday which was now the second rest day it was time to get serious so I when to store and bought the big package of anti-acid pills. I thought I had it fixed but this morning my stomach was rolling something fearsome. Well I wasn’t going to miss riding across the big bridge in Edinburgh for an upset stomach so I got dressed and ready to roll.
The once in ten year weather of the weekend had been replaced by the everyday weather. It was raining quite heavily, although it wasn’t big drops of water but more of a very heavy mist. There was a steady cold wind out of the north which was straight into our faces. Although I didn’t see a temperature gauge it was no more than 40 F (5C).
The track out of Edinburgh was along the sea wall and nice smooth pavement for about 5 miles. However after this ran out we were down a dirt and rock track which followed alongside a creek. The rain turned the dirt into mud which was about an inch plus (2.5 cm) deep. Within a few hundred feet we were totally plastered in mud. The tracks then lead to a set of stairs which were about 5 stories high. As they were old stone steps in the deep woods they were very slippery and I was really afraid of falling while carrying my bike up. At the top of the stairs we were faced with a flight of stairs going down but instead of stone they were aluminum scaffolding type steps. At least there was a hand rail and carrying the bike down as a lot easier.
We were actually crossing the Edinburgh Forth Road Bridge, which opened in 1964. The famous Edinburgh Forth Bridge which is the UNESCO world heritage site is really a railroad bridge and was constructed between 1883 and 1890. The Forth Road Bridge is a suspension bridge which is 8241 feet (2512 m) long and has a clearance of 145 feet (44.5 m). This compares to other bridges I have ridden such as the Golden Gate which is 8,980 feet (2737 m), and the Biloxi Bay Bridge at 8448 ft (2575 m). However like the Golden Gate Bridge the shear height of the bridge is over whelming. To the one side was the old rail bridge total shrouded in fog and the new Forth Road bridge which is under construction and will replace the bridge we were on as it has exceeded its design life. Weather and stomach not withstanding it was a pretty cool experience riding such a monumental bridge. I took 167 pictures while crossing the bridge and you are looking at the best.
By time I got to the 40 mile (64.4kms) mark I was wet and frozen. It was 3:00 pm my stomach was still churning but at least we had all the big hills behind us and it was starting to lighten up a little. There was still 24 miles (38.6 kms) to go when Agnes pulled up and I decided I would jump into the van. When we got into town my first stop was to get a big two liter bottle of “The Black Doctor”. Over the next little while I drank most of it and it seems to have fixed me up.
Tomorrow is a big day with 74.8 miles (120 Kms) and 4920 ft (1500M) climb. Although the profile shows only one climb it is a long one and the weather does look a little better.