Sunday, 15 June 2008

Day 13 – Edinburgh to Dunkeld 66 miles – Ali’s Back on the Bike!

Escaping the Edinburgh cityscape, crossing the Forth Bridge, hail and torrential rain and the beautiful scenery of the Kinross Perth corridor; but more important than that, Ali’s back! The team is once again on their trusty stead. 277 miles to go and a daily target of 66 miles to Dunkeld. Dig in fellas...the end is in sight.

Fatigue is setting in. The team was tired and it is only now sinking in how long this venture actually is. It is a long time – possibly too long. With sore heads the team was up and out by 1000 hrs. Accommodation block handed back and by 1020 hrs the end2end08 team was on their way. Jonathan had made a series of modifications to his ‘mobile office’ space. The fitting of a compass provided to be invaluable, the odometer too is indispensible in plotting progress. Alistair’s modification on the bike was superb, allowing him to keep his bad leg out of the way of the pedals. By his own admission he does look ‘strange’ a one legged cyclist balanced on the end of this enormous bike.

The extraction from Edinburgh was a navigational challenge as the team was unable to us the A720 (City Ring road) and the A90/M90. Jonathan ‘shnurggled’ and picked the bike through the back roads of the Scottish capital. The day was gorgeous, bright, sunny and with little wind. It was an excellent day for cycling. We ended up cycling around the Royal Highland Showground – wow what a facility, this was Edinburgh’s huge event. We ended up having to cross a dual carriage way another opportunity for a top photograph. One thing that we have done well is capture the moment through phototraghs, we always have a camera available – although does have its bad aspects. More road kills were photographed before we crossed the wonder of the Forth Bridge.

For those who might not have seen this piece of construction wizardry – it is immense. We cycled over on the cycle path. The experience was slightly unnerving – the big T was not a happy chap. Crossing the bridge another opportunity for more pictures to be taken. We met a lovely family with daughter Chloe [Hello Chloe if you are reading this – hope you are ok?] they photographed the team with the backdrop of the 2 bridges. I see this being the journey photo...

The team then pushed to Kinross for rapid lunch and a break from the bike. Ray moved ahead to the night stop at Dunkeld. The bike was working like a dream, she is so happy and it shows, even with Alistair’s modification. Perth was a fleeting vision before we hit the A9, we will get very familiar with this route for the next few days. The evening sun was gorgeous, a head on crash caused a huge traffic tail back but not for the end 2end lads as we sped past the queuing cars. The crash looks terrible. The final 8 miles was extremely tough. Ali was in considerable discomfort with the leg and sitting position but soon the base came into sight. Dunkeld is outstanding and what a fabulous venue. Ray had already positioned our bags in our accommodation and awaited our arrival. 1850 hrs we arrived.

The RSM (Mr Wallace) was a star. They had kept some food back for us, it was just like some eating competition, we couldn’t have eaten any more even if we wanted to. What top fellas, we were warmly received and superbly hosted. Blog was written, although no 3G connection meant that we will have to upload our text and pictures tomorrow.
The team is mentally and physically fatigued. We went for a quick beer then bed.

No comments: