Monday, 21 July 2014

Edinburgh To Aberdeen

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
From Perth it was onwards to lunch in Kirriemuir - stopping only to watch the start of a bike race.  Despite the 70 miles in our legs we hung on to the back of the race convoy and then tried to pace a girl who'd been dropped back into the race.  She couldn't hold our wheels though, so we waited where our route took us off the race course (we had no choice but to stop, I think the marshal would have thrown himself in front of us to stop us going the 'wrong' way) and cheered her on.  I don't know if it helped.
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   

From Banchory it's a pretty short ride to Greenmoss, where we found Berit's surprised mother working in the front garden.  We'd made it and despite the lack of warning, Janet managed to rustle us up a very welcome cold beer and an even more welcome second dinner.