Berit's parents live up in Aberdeen. We live in Edinburgh. Normally we drove or got the train up to visit them, but one day back in 2010 we asked the question: "Can we ride there"? We weren't sure - it'd be the longest either of us had ridden in one day and we didn't know what the roads would be like. We decided the best thing was to wait until the forecast was favourable and just go for it without telling them we were coming. So if we failed we could slink off to the nearest train station and head for home with our tails between our legs.
Normally for long rides to stay overnight we'd ride on our touring bikes, but for this sort of distance we decided to travel light: road bikes and no change of clothes. We'd borrow clothes, chuck everything in the machine and then get the train back the next day.
I'd had the parkrun laptop that week, so we swung by Cramond to drop it off on the way to the bridge. We set off before the run started though and were soon heading for Fife.
It wasn't long before we had reached our first coffee stop in Perth. I can't remember what this place was called back then, but it is now The Crack'd Pot and is excellent. The lady who runs it remembers us each time and we get a good bit of chat about cycling. It's too early for lunch, but the last few times we've got her to make us sandwiches for later. The natural lunch stop would be Kirriemuir - but all the food places there are weird. They're stuck in some kind of time warp - the cafes that never grew up if you will (google it, it's a proper literary reference).
|First cake stop|
|Waiting for the Petit Depart|
Lunch in Kirriemuir that first year was a sorry affair, but it gave us enough energy to keep going until first dinner at Subway in Banchory - including the climb of the fearsome Cairn 'o Mount 100 miles in to the trip.
|Cairn 'o mount|
|Subway in Banchory for first dinner|