Another great weekend cycling, after a bit of a break.
John, Anne, Kate and I checked out the first part of the first day of the sponsored ride. We found out that it might be straight, but it's by no means flat! Speaking of flats, John got one as we started climbing the Moorfoot Hills, so the rest of us kept warm by doing Mexican waves for all the cars and cyclists passing by! John sat by the side of the road, cringed and apologised for our behaviour, whilst pumping up his tyre in a way that looked very much like he was having a lot more fun than we were!
We didn't really plan a lunch stop and although we had an abundance of snacks between us, by the time we got to Heriot we were starving. Unfortunately, the nearest place to get some decent food was back in North Middleton, where we'd just come from - whoops! We found this out by asking what we thought was an unknown couple in their front garden where the nearest pub was... it turned out I knew the guy (James) from a previous job!! Small world!
They pointed out a shortcut to us, so we spent the next 30 mins traversing fields of sheep, cows and barley, admiring some enormous bullocks from behind a sturdy wall. It was a really amazing shortcut - with thunder rumbling in the distance and the blustery wind making the barley swirl in all directions. Kate and I used up way too many megabytes of photo footage on the barley!
We managed to miss the pub in North Middleton and found our way up to Borthwick Castle, where there was a wedding taking place in the church. We were stunned by the presence of the castle and the picnic tables proved too inviting, so there we sat, and consumed our movable feast of fig rolls, chilli peanuts, dried figs and apricots, muesli bars, fresh mango, fruit salad and seeds. Yum! We thought we'd better get moving before the wedding party came out to find us blotting the idyllic scene, with our panniers, waterproofs and seeds in teeth, so off we went up Gallow Hill... we managed to defy death by nipping off round the corner and taking the scenic route, into Gorebridge.
John zipped off to Auchendinny, while Anne, Kate and I steamed down the main road, getting drenched by the first proper rain of the day, which was bouncing off everything (all the other rain showers earlier on were a bit of a poor effort and were actually a relief from the mugginess). We got back home at about 5pm, with a surprising amount of energy left!
And then on Sunday, I drove Rod and Tadge ("Rod, Tadge and Becky"...!?!) two-and-a-half hours up the road to Laggan for some mountain-biking. Did one circuit of the upper red trail (took me a while to get my 'mountain-bike' head on), then met Erland, Pamela and Des and did the upper red trail again, and then the lower red... Tadge showed us up by jumping off the top of the almost vertical slab which is Ayers Rock, and landing halfway down it, whilst we watched in awe... and then whilst wending our way down the the slippy wooden boardwalk it absolutely peed down, so that was our last circuit and we stopped in the cafe to eat baked potato, cheese and beans! Mmmm! Drove home in a steamy car and felt surprisingly good.
The next day, at work, I was absolutely exhausted!