My stomach was much settled down this morning and even after a big breakfast things seemed pretty good. So I was keen to get going and have a great ride today. Jos had organized an early breakfast at 7:00 am so we were all feed and ready to go by 8:00 Am. Well nearly ready. Once outside and ready to go there was a lot of last minute stuff which needed to be done. As I was ready I said that I was going to roll and Jos and Patrick could catch up. They generally ride faster than I do and I like to stop for photos, and fill my water bottle. However I never did see them all day.
The ride today was 75.5 miles (121.5 Kms) with 3287 ft (1002 m) of climb. All of it save for about one mile was on paved roads. Although some of the pavement was kind of iffy pavement. There was one big climb which started right out of the door of our guest house and went for 43 miles (69 kms). Not quite one grade but lots of ups and downs along the way. The last half of the ride was pretty much net downhill. It was supposed to hit a high of 64 F (18 c) but I don’t think it made it but it was still very pleasant riding temperature.
I rode alongside a river for the largest part of the day admiring the scenery and puttering along. I stopped to fix a flat for a German self-supporter. That you would leave on a 1000 mile self-supported bike trip with a little cigar style tire pump is incredible. I stopped to pick wild strawberries beside the road. They were like popping sweet tart candies. I rode past the Dalwhinnie distillery and as I quite like their scotch I was going to go in but it looked like a tourist trap. Hundreds of cars and tour buses in the parking lot, and I was having too much fun riding along so I keep pedaling. Just at the top of the hill you enter the Scottish Highlands. I stopped and took a picture. As I turned down the last 15 miles it started to spit rain so I stopped and put my rain gear on. It rained for 10 minutes. I took my rain coat off and rode on. Then it started to rain again. This happened about 5 times.
I wound up getting in 2 hr before Jos and Patrick. I don’t know what happened to them. Sometimes it is great to just ride along by yourself at your own pace. Today was one of those days. A really nice ride through some beautiful countryside.