Monday, 27 May 2013

Day 1 - John o'Groats to Tain

745am, the weather had turned we were faced with grey skies, 20mph headwinds gusting up to 40mph.  With a breakfast of porridge and full Scottish inside us, we kitted up and made our way down to the John o’Groats sign post for the final picture where Colin got our official certificates stamped and we were officially on our way by 930am.


Gerdoosh! less than ¾ of a mile up the road, and still inside JOG the puncture repair skills were called into action, Sammy’s back tyre had gone, a 5 min tube change later and we were back on the road eating the monster headwinds and wondering what on earth we gotten ourselves into, Andy especially with his Deep Dish rims was being blown all over the place!


We headed down A99 to Wick for our first stop of gels bars and energy drinks, thirst quench we cycled on down towards the almighty Berriedale Braes  which put hairs on the chests, the 13% up hill was our first real test, that had the legs pumping and caused the air to be filled with multiple expletives.

53 miles in it was time for Lunch and La Mirage in Helmsdale which had come highly recommended, on closer inspection it had some pretty hairy looking locals but some world class Fish and Chips!

Down through Brora the group was splintering out into several mini pelotons, and with the wind easing off a little we got into our rhythm as the miles clicked past. Our afternoon refuel of tea and scones was well received as a shower came and went we were glad to be in out of the rain.

On the home stretch down to Tain we wound the legs and got some speed up and knocked out the last few miles over the Dornoch Firth and into Edderton Inn.

1st Day done, 86 miles travelled, tired but happy, time for bed.