Today we had an 8 o’clock start and we crossed the border into Scotland at 9 o’clock much to our relief and happiness to have got this far without major incident. It was then into the wind all the way into Dumfries and then a long climb towards Kilmarnock.
We stopped for refreshments at Annan and Graham R had his first haggis since getting to Scotland and Graham J tried haggis for the first time and much to his surprise liked it. Shane was too much of a wuz to try it!
Then it was off to more climbing, followed by more climbing through some of the most fantastic scenery to be seen. Graham J was having a hard time deciding whether to ride in the middle of the road with lorries or by the edge next to the cliffs with sheer drops as he does have a problem with heights.
We had lunch at Thornhill in the town centre where we were met by our support team. We then went off to search for public toilets that were clearly signposted and are still a mystery to us now, and luckily we were rescued by a local lady who was out walking her dogs and kindly invited us into her home and let us use her toilets. It’s sometimes people like that who make days like this really lovely.
We carried on to the summit which was a long climb but quite a gradual gradient. Somewhere near the summit Shane forgot to unclip his shoes from the pedals and fell over in the road (luckily he was uninjured, so we were able to have a laugh).
Throughout this ride, there are lots of references to Robbie Burns, culminating in the Robbie Burns memorial of which we passed today and took an obligatory picture.
It was then 25 miles into Kilmarnock, mostly downhill but the road kept kicking up and giving us surprises of further climbs.
Generally our fitness has improved no end and we finished the ride feeling tired but without some of the pain that we’ve experienced during the earlier part of the ride.
We finished the 98 miles in around 12 hours, so we didn’t reach the hotel until 8pm. We’ve just finished dinner and now we’re off to bed ready for a slightly easier 58 miles tomorrow.
Today your kind donations took us above the £2k mark on our JustGiving page. Thank you to you all for your messages, they are invaluable to us for motivation. Ad to Jack who we met yesterday, good luck on your ride.