Monday 24 August 2015

Day 9 – Across Another Very Big Bridge

Today looked like being a relatively easy day’s riding so we decided to take it easy. Well it would have been rude not to! A leisurely roll out of Peebles through some gentle countryside soon brought us to the outskirts of Edinburgh. The only incident of note was that the group claimed I jumped a red light. I'm sure it was green; but on reflection the green may have been for pedestrians. PC Brown, who I am sharing a room with, is going to give me an official caution this evening.

A quick vote and we elected to stop for a coffee at the first café we saw. This turned out to be at the Hillend Ski Centre. Now those readers who know it can probably guess what comes next. A hill. But not any old hill. A very steep hill. So steep that before reaching the café the road transforms itself into a staircase. Undeterred we pedalled onwards. By common consent the gradient was the steepest since leaving Land’s End. Hannah, one our group and who didn't join us for coffee, offered to talk to me. She's a mental health nurse. Oh, and by the way, the coffee was unremarkable.

We then skirted round the western fringes of Edinburgh, which having lived in the city was interesting for me - how much has changed. Before long we were whizzing into South Queensferry with the iconic rail and road bridges providing the backdrop for the day’s main photocall. Then we rode across the road bridge which was a spectacular experience – all the more so because the sun was shining so the views were outstanding.

We were soon in Fife and Ray’s Diner was up and running. After refuelling on some excellent mini chilli pasties, a banana, some malt loaf and a handful of jelly babies (for mental comfort you'll understand) we were off again. We then had a mini diplomatic incident, involving a road closure and a pavement, some temporary fencing, two very vocal pensioners and a Scottie dog. There are certain words and phrases that transcend the barriers of language and culture. I'm guessing that we won't be receiving an invitation to come back to Kinross. Once international relations were restored we set off and made excellent progress to Perth. Rumours of Italian food for dinner are hopefully true.

Miles today 65
Total miles from Land’s End  702 (+ 17)
Miles to John O’Groats  284

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