Pedal for Scotland 2010 – done!

Well we are here at last, the final post on this blog.

Pedal for Scotland 2010 was yesterday and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was dry and bright but not too hot and not too much wind. Perfect!

I was really lucky to have my cousin Stewart cycling with me, I had expected to be going alone but what a difference it makes having someone else there. Especially Stewart, but I’ll tell you about that later :0)

This was my first time at this event (as you all know from previous posts) and I had obviously been told just how busy it would be. But that didn’t prepare me for the start line. We arrived at 8 all set to go, number 82 pinned on my shirt and bike and camel back full of water.

And we waited…   and waited…   and an hour later we finally got away!

It was actually really fun to be part of this massive group of cyclists and see all the different people and bikes that were involed. And of course I got all excited cause Graeme Obree was there. I can’t say I noticed Kay Adamns or Aggie – sorry.

There were some fantastic sites on the way – something called the cosy bike reallywas a sight… a huge bike where 7 people sit in a circle pedaling. There was also a guy on a hand bike, where he was pedaling using his hands. That just looked like soooooooooo much pain!

I had done this route previously as a practice run and was really happy with the 4:30 time it took. After all if you read back to the first posts, I was expecting 6 hours.

But there is something about cycling with the crowd, and possibly the frustration of the crowd around you… we just seemed to be constantly overtaking people, and Stewart was on a big heavy mountain bike… you’d never have known.

We hit the first food and water station at 09:45. Chomped on bananas and oat bars and then we were off again. the second stop came at 10:52am. By this time we were both quite gee’d up. And I especially loved the violins playing “Guns n Roses”.

This is where I started to have to really work. Once you leave Avon Bridge, there are some hills that that take a lot out of you. That is where Stewart came in. He was a fantastic motivator and he just wouldn’t let me give in. We kept the pace up and I managed to stay on the bike for every hill except one. I should point out that at some of the hills, I could hardly breathe and Stewart wasn’t even out of breathe… not even a little. AND… he would suddenly burst off and start overtaking ON A HILL!  That’s just wrong!

Somehow we managed to miss the Linlithgow Palace foodstop. I’m not sure how. But we hit Kirkliston food stop – the final stop with 12 miles to go at 12:05.  I had a fantastic cup of tea (maybe the best one I have ever had) and then we were off again.

About 8 miles from the finish I had a minor mishap… I managed to pull the valve off the camel back water pack I had and got soaked… I had to pull over to fix it and unfortunately, this is where I lost Stewart. After this point you hit the cycle paths and you are pretty much single file and slow and I was soaking wet and looking like I had wet myself :0(  Hoping there are no photos of me!!!

But I cross the finish at 13:00 to find him waiting for me grinning. (He claims he just crossed the line 5 mins before me but I think he was lying to make me feel better – I’m sure he had been holding back the entire journey to stay with me)

So total time start to finish 4 hours (including time for food and drink)
Cycle time 3 hours 29 mins
Average speed 14 mph
£220 raised for Maggie’s Cancer Charity

I have to say a huge thank you to Stewart. He was fantastic on the day and made the whole thing so much more enjoyable and he proved I could knock an hour off my previous time if I put some effort in :0)

Bring on next year!!!!!

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