Back in the saddle for a long one again today as we leave the central belt and cross the Scottish Borders down to near Gretna, another 144 km and 1300m climbing.
The day dawned bright for a change. Leaving the hotel, the grey skies built, a splash of rain, and that was it for the day – yay!!
A flat, straight, boring start through linear villages with little to commend themselves, before a turn left and into lovely rolling countryside as I headed down to Carluke. Carluke, Sue found a lovely cafe, that was it! The next meeting point was the motorway services near Abington, so off I set and fabulous undulating terrain to cycle through, with looking higher hills in the distance.
My expensive backlight (Garmin Varia – light and radar) had stopped working two days ago in the rain (mmm), so I was hunting for bike shops. Shotts bike shop didn’t exist, but Lanark Cycles did. Had a warm welcome from Graham there, and after a steep descent and a steeper climb, I was back en route. (There was a dinosaur in Lanark, too, for some reason!)
Eventually, a steep downhill met with a dual carriageway and a sign up the hill to services and down to Abington, so I headed to the services to discover Sue was at the one we’d agreed to meet at, and I was at the other one!
After lunch, a long hill which was bizarrely quick to cycle up led to a fabulous downhill section (look at the profile on Strava) on pretty fast roads or cycle paths. 35+ km/hr speeds for a good long time in sunny weather, smooth roads, generally, and reasonable winds.
So through Abington and onto Beattock (Sue met me there, we didn’t stay long!) and onto Lockerbie (not much there either), Ecclefechan (ice cream and a drink in the shop) and then finally to Kirkpatrick-Fleming and our overnight accommodation (fantastic place).
The data so far…
Distance ridden: 702.63 km (436.59 miles)
Height climbed: 6342 metres (20807 ft)