Sunday, 23 August 2009

A new milestone!

Just a quick post before bed.

I took the 0900 train from Inverness to Strathcarron yesterday morning with the intention of cycling back home to Inverness. It was to be my longest trip on the bike totaling 60 miles. A flurry of texts on Friday night managed to persuade my workmate Ben to come along (although to be fair he didn't need much persuading, he's very keen!) for what promised to be a clear day with a stiff tailwind to help us along.

As promised the weather was good and the tailwind did it's best to make life as easy as possible, the odd impatient motorist tried to put a dampener on things by driving too close or beeping at us for having the audacity to cycle side by side... For the record we were on a mile long straight with no traffic coming towards us and visibility was good, the Highway code states that it's safe to cycle side by side 'when it's safe to do so'...

Ben is a lot fitter and lighter than me and when it came to going uphill would leave me behind, this was a bit frustrating but just makes me more motivated to train and lose weight. I don't find that the hills are particularly harder it's just that I've just got more weight to get up them! The one benefit of having to spin at a lower speed was the fact that I was able to take the time to admire the scenery. I feel privileged to live in the Highlands of Scotland and yesterday was definitely one of those days. On the pull away from Achnasheen I was lucky enough to spot a Golden Eagle making its way towards the Fannaichs. I'm not so sure that Ben was particularly impressed with my poo identification skills when I spotted what looked like fox poo beside the wall at one of our rest stops. If I call correctly the response was "well.. thats very interesting.." followed by a strange look!

The whole trip took three and a half hours and an average speed of 17.7 miles, much faster than I expected us to take. Not only was it the furthest I'd cycled in one trip but it was my first coast to coast, starting at the sea loch of Loch Carron and finishing up in Inverness on the Moray Firth!

Hopefully I can start to build on this, my total mileage on the bike for last week was 94 miles, if I can increase this to about 100 miles on a regular basis then I'll be very happy indeed. I need to up the miles on the longer weekend trips as the Ullapool Mor sportive is in 4 weeks time and as it stands I am nowhere near fit enough to complete it!

Oidhche Mhath,


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