LEJOG – DAY 6 – Rosé Lunch to Rose Lane
Day 6 dawned dull and rainy. The boys set off from Carlisle and soon reached the border, the obligatory ‘Welcome to Scotland’ selfie was taken and the sign post pointing to ‘John O’Groats’ in one direction and ‘Land’s End’ in the other was spotted.
At the same time, Harriet and Lucy (girlfriends of the pair) were jumping on the 8.30 out of Kings Cross. The Cycling Gods must have been smiling down on them as the 7.30 and 9.30 were not quite so lucky and fell foul of the lightning strikes the previous day. En route to Edinburgh Waverly the girls were provided with entertainment in the form of a hen-do (which Harriet had correctly and nervously anticipated) all the way to the Toon, which included home video discussion, Robbie blaring from their speakers and Harriet being rebranded “oooh that lovely girl” with countless offers of prosecco and melon.
43 miles in, the boys reported that they were “cold and wet” – words no one expected to hear about the weather this July. A quick stop and a phone call to the support team later, whilst wolfing down yet more of Karen’s delicious homemade flapjacks, the boys had donned their skins and underarmour to help them stave off the freezing drizzle. Many thanks raining down (excuse the pun) on Karen and Martin as they’d searched high and low for extra layers, ready salted crisps and other warming supplies. Mark’s promise of their ability to have the day to themselves to explore seemed like a long time ago! Every minute for each support team has involved tracking down more food and water, then finding the boys themselves and keeping their spirits up. It’s been a tall order, but every team has made it that bit easier for the pair whilst they take on this challenge. So thank you.
In the meantime, the girls were tasked with finding waterproof jackets on their way to Edinburgh Waverly (delaying their much talked of rosé lunch!). For some reason, Mark had packed waterproof shoe guards but forgot to pack a waterproof for a cycle along the west coast of England and the east coast of Scotland. The boys have countless sport waterproofs sat at home in London, helpfully keeping their cupboards dry, as they “didn’t think it would rain” (J. Hope 2018).
Returning to the boys now, lunch was in a shepherd’s hut, some questionable, malting deerskins adorned the seats, which again a kind stranger offered up for a sheltered break for the team to help them warm up.
49 miles left in the day- 4 hours of riding, the boys were cheered with the prospect of soon reaching Queensferry before 6pm with the new welcome party in the form of Harriet and Lucy, armed with the finest waterproofs Sports Direct could offer. Spirits were lifted again further with another costume change courtesy of Karen and Martin, complete with a wet sock puppet show in a bid to restore feeling in their frozen hands.
Meanwhile, the girls had earned their lunch (more importantly the bottle of Whispering Angel) after traipsing round Edinburgh- a mission to acquire waterproofs, new cycling shorts and leggings had been set. The pair, veteran shoppers, took to the task like ducks to water and soon had located every item on the list.
Harriet and Lucy had mildly underestimated how long their rosé lunch (in what could only be described as a feminine-stereotype nirvana, a restaurant resplendent with large bouquets, rosé magnums and yet more hen-do parties) would take, and arrived at the Air BnB at Rose Lane (courtesy of a two carriage train) just after the boys, spag bol provisions in hand, Karen and Martin kindly having picked them up. This was, retrospectively, a well played tactical move as the boys were already showered and out of Lycra in time for their arrival. Win.
Spag bol prep soon started whilst Karen and Martin enjoyed a well-earned sit down, the girls enjoying a karaoke session to ‘Mellow Magic’ in the kitchen. Dinner was soon on the table with Lucy’s gluten-free spaghetti finding its sticky way firmly to the bottom of the bin whilst Mark asked her the ritual question of how many chilies she had put in because it’s ‘got a kick’, in reflection it might just have been the fact they were reduced to clear in M&S.
Before settling down for the evening the cycling elf in the form of David Turner had been busy and arranged some bespoke LEJOG t-shirts for the fans as a surprise. Cute family photos below, no one is quite sure what James’ body position is about, but expect to see these photos on a Christmas Card soon: