LEJOG – Day 7 – The Water(proof)gate Scandal
Day 7, over two thirds of the journey now completed, broke nice and early. The boys pottered around for an hour or so before making Harriet and Lucy wake up before 7 on a Sunday—never normally safe to do unless there’s a promise of a holiday at the end of it!
After a quick photo opportunity outside the house they had stayed in, the three bridges in Queensferry making a picture-perfect backdrop, the boys said their farewells and headed to the crossing point and off to the Highlands. The girls headed back into Edinburgh, feeling confident that the trains would be running regularly on a Sunday in rural Scotland- not quite so true…
The boys checked in early 20 miles in at Kinross, reporting that again they were cold and wet, having not taken the waterproofs with them (for ‘insert expletives here’s sake). Karen and Martin were quick to respond and jetted off in their direction, jackets in hand. Unfortunately, traffic was atrocious, Karen’s homemade flapjack supply was running low and they were in desperate need of the exotic flavours of pumpkin seed and raisin, as well as cacao nib, that make these flapjacks extra special.
The rain lashed on but the views let up, the pair being treated to some beautiful unspoilt scenescapes as they peddled through the wilderness. By midday they were 50 miles in, having made more progress and yet again the notorious flapjacks were discussed at length once their stockpile was replenished by the support car. I think I hear a demand for an O2e bake sale after this challenge ends… The boys soon resolved to ‘truck’ on until lunch with a belly full of oats and sugar.
By lunch they were 60 miles in, sarnies were the name of the game and they were eaten in the back of the Mini so they could warm up. The afternoon lay ahead of the boys- 15 miles easy enough going but then a straight 15 miles up to the highest point in Scotland on a cycle trail, all of 1,515 feet worth of elevation up the Pass of Drumochter, which sounds like something out Gandalf would appear out of in Lord of the Rings.
Once this was out of the way they made steady progress and arrived at the guest house, despite the traffic being relentless (not something you would expect from a Sunday in the Highlands). They were all greeted with the smell of a roast cooking, happy dogs and the promise of poached eggs and bacon in the morning- bliss! The family who run it have since donated, again unbelievable kindness by people who have been inspired and amazed by the boys’ journey so far. Thank you everyone who has donated so far ,your generosity has been such a source of motivation for the pair to get on the bike each morning. If you have not had the opportunity to donate yet, please do visit their JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/o2ejamesandmark.
Tomorrow is the penultimate day, fingers crossed, which has definitely lightened the mood in the camp. The boys are well and truly exhausted now, their legs still looping in motion as they fall asleep, a whole week peddling non-stop, sometimes getting off the bike at 8pm to start the next day before 7am.
A whole 734.2 miles, 35,702 ft of elevation gained and 56:19 hours in the saddle in 7 days.
WOW! Anyone good at averages will work out that that is an average of 105 miles, 7,100 ft of elevation and 8 hours in the saddle a day.
Their comfort zones left well and truly in the start of day 1’s saddle.
Their resilience has been incredible. This is hard-enough for those experienced on a bike and with previous challenges under their belts, but for the pair who are real novices and who have taken this on in under the recommended timing of 10-14 days, it is even more impressive. Thank you everyone so much for all of your support so far, only a couple of days left to go now and we cannot wait to cheer them over the finish line!
Miles – 101.6
Elevation gain – 5,429 ft
Time in the saddle – 8:05
Waterproofs bought and then forgotten – 2
Wasp stings – none
Roast dinners eaten – 2