We were on the road at 8:45 this morning in spitting rain. The clouds were very heavy and almost down to the tops of the hills, giving everything a dark and gloomy appearance. However today was to be a good day as it was all paved roads and the forecast was for sun in the afternoon. The first section of the ride was 43 miles (70 kms) from Bellingham to Hawick where we were meeting Agnes for lunch. This section had the majority of the climbs in it and the biggest climb of the day. The second section was from Hawick down to Selkirk where we are staying. Although the second section did not have any big climbs it did have a lot of short but really steep climbs. Most of the climbs were under 0.5 miles (1.0 kms). The total day was 59.5 miles (95 kms) and 5250 feet (1595 m).
Today we left England and entered Scotland. So we stopped and took pictures to mark this important mile stone of our journey. I must say the accents have really changed and a couple of times I have just had to guess what was being said as I had zero idea of what was being said.
At about the 30 mile mark we hit the big climb for the day. It was over 3 miles long (5kms) and 1500 feet of climb (500 m). The steepest section I saw on my Garmin was 22%. This hit a false summit, a short downhill followed by another climb which was about a mile long at around 10-15%. The climb was tough enough but on the climb there were thousands of flies. They were landing on your hands and face and because the climb was so steep you couldn’t ride away from them. Where all these flies came from I don’t know as we were out in the country with woods on either side.
The climb done we rolled into Hawick and met Agnes for lunch. After lunch Jos and Agnes went off to visit a woolen mill. Patrick and I decided to roll on. With only 16 miles to go we took our time and made lots of stops to take pictures and enjoy the sun which had come out and was playing across the fields and hills. As Patrick and I rolled into the hotel Agnes came out to meet us. Jos had been trying to catch us and rolled in less than 10 minutes after Patrick and I.
Tonight we are staying at the Glen Hotel which is a beautiful small hotel on the edge of town. Turn of the century place which is absolutely stunning. Check it out: Glen Hotel
Over all a great day of riding.
Tomorrow is into Edinburgh and two back to back rest days. Looks like and easy day as the ride is only 52.5 miles (84 kms) and 3420 feet (1043 m) of climb. In Edinburgh we are staying in an ultra-modern condo across from the Royal Yacht Britannica. Weather forecast looks very favourable with a slight tailwind and mixed sun and cloud. Yahoo!