Having been so cold the day before, today I put loads of kit on before we started, to ensure keeping as warm as possible. Of course, the day started bright and sunny and thus caused overheating. You can't beat Murphy's Law.
Murphy worked well today. The longest 139-mile leg ensured we compensated by starting early, 07.30. Then promptly getting lost, adding 16 miles to the day and being back in Perth, where we started, at 09.00. This contributed mightily to everyone's wellbeing.
One of us was particularly irate. Now I hate riding in the rain and the one and a half hour detour had added, of course, one and a half hours at the other end of the day. And the weather forecast had categorically stated that it was going to rain continuously from just after lunch. Which it did. So my apologies to everyone on the ride for my foul temper and filthy language, especially as I was already starting to feel ill.
But I had a stroke of luck. My indegestion got steadily worse. As we came out of Edinburgh the pain in my stomach was such that I could not ride any further - at one point one of our number had to get off and walk a particularly steep hill. I was behind, as I had been all day, and still he gained on me. So I quit and was sitting in Jimmy's van as the rain really started.
If you ever do this run, be aware that there's nothing between Peebles and Langholm, an extraordinarily long ride. So stop for coffee in Peebles, why not? And however much beautiful countryside you are seeing, and there's plenty of it, it's just another bit of road in the pouring rain and cold.
Here in Peebles Chris Dennis and Aaran contemplate a bleak rest of the day in the rain.
This really was the worst day. It ended up as 150 miles, with the last 100 in rain and cold. And that interminable run through Peebles towards Langholm. What we did find however was The Samye Ling Centre where we arrived at 16.45. They were scheduled to close their cafe at 17.00, but when they realised that cold, bedraggled cyclists were approaching they instantly and without fuss volunteered to stay open as long as needed. Very nice people.
The final topping to an all-round downer of a 150-mile day was that the hotel in Carlisle was hard to find. All the others were pretty easy (thanks to good organisation) but this was not; some were saying that evening that the last 3 miles, not quite knowing where to go, where the worst of the day.
Roll on the 4th day...