Day 6 THAB
A day of 4 quarters, see the theme developing there?
So after a night’s sleep that was pretty good but all too short, I woke before 5 and couldn’t get back to sleep, I was on my way just before 7am.
Q1, frankly, I was all over the place here. I set of and had immediate pain in my left knee, like someone had whacked me in the kneecap with a hammer, so this was playing on my mind, and there were a load of hills, horrible, grind to a halt hills on patchwork quilt roads. It was a pain in the backside, and that’s another thing, the patchwork quilt roads were playing havoc on my posterior, really giving it a good mashing on the old buttock cleaver. By my first feed stop I was so far behind my schedule that in my head I had already thrown it out of the window.
One of the parts of the journey I had not been looking forward to was getting past Glasgow, well as it happened I strolled through the outskirts and onto Erskine Bridge with no problems, well apart from the cycle path I wanted to use was closed so had a detour around a couple of roundabouts to find the other path. The run up to Loch Lomond was uneventful apart from the shocking road surface in places, at times going downhill I had to slow down to 10 mph to prevent my teeth from being shaken out.
Q2, Loch Lomond, what a stunning place. Really enjoyed the run up along the Loch. I managed to scrape some time back here and was in a much better frame of mind by the time I reached the bottom of the climb up into the mountains. I settled in for the long climb and just tapped away in a low gear for a good half hour or so. As I climbed higher the views became stunning and for once I remembered to look behind me to take them in.
Q3, wind, no, not the bottom variety, the one that was trying to blow me over. In the valleys there wasn’t a breath of air but up in the mountain bases it was blowing a right hooley. I found that I was struggling and shouting abuse at the wind gods to do one or at least blow from behind. At one point coming off Glen Coe I stopped pedalling and cruised along at a mighty 9 mph, downhill this is, with pedal power I made it to 15. Needless to say I was glad to get out of the wind.
Q4, the run in. A wonderful run into Fort William along the Loch to put my head back together for tomorrow.
A tough day, they are all tough but today I was all over the place for long periods of time and losing it a bit, the beauty of the mountains probably kept me sane. Hopefully that will be the only wobble on this journey, I fear it may not but we will see.
On the positive side, I have it on good authority that Windermere has warmed up a shade, good news indeed, although the swim seems a long way off at the moment.
I have given myself a good rolling and a massage ready for tomorrow, I have 3 big climbs, a little less mileage and the dreaded wind is forecast to be in my face again, but hopefully I will have my head in a better place.
137 miles, 6000ft in 9 hours 30 something, I think.