Day 7

(In the words of Bum on Bike, Jules)

Today was memorable, but not for all the right reasons. But by 5.30 we had cycled around 90 miles, climbed c.1,500 metres and arrived at the outskirts Moffat.

We did indeed need our wet weather gear, leaving Bowness at 8.30 in light showers which turned to heavy as we climbed steeply over Kirk Pass and Troutbeck. The view at the top of the pass was about 20 feet and the descent through the mist was chilly. At 10.30 we stopped for a very welcome coffee during which the rain eased and we then enjoyed a much drier run crossing the border into Scotland for lunch in Gretna. The heavens opened while we chomped on toasties and then headed on towards Moffat.

The highlight of the day was the call “Dougie out front”. After five days of constant pain Doug’s knees seem better and he was leading the charge from the front for the first time. We made good time. But at 5.29pm, a mile outside Moffat, Paul hit an enormous pothole at speed and was catapulted over his handlebars. Badly shaken and with a messed up hand we ended up in Dumfries A&E for the evening. The hospital was fantastic and after having been cleaned up, drugged up, dislocated finger straightened and stitched up, and pumped with antibiotics we were discharged at 10.00pm with the all clear to ride tomorrow, but with the doctor’s warning “it will be sore”.

Before coming away I watched the movie Platoon with my son, Toby. There is a famous scene when after an ambush Sargeant Barnes approaches a wounded soldier and placing his hand over his mouth orders him to “take the pain”. Toby was tracking our ride and the weather forecast this morning, texting him I said we were getting wet but grinding on. He simply texted back…take the pain. Advice I fear Paul will have to embrace over the next few days, but it will take more than a few scrapes, bruises and a messed up hand to stop him getting to JOG.

(From the view of Bum on Bike, Charles)

Dragging tired bodies from bed while listening to the steady pitter patter of rain contemplating another 90 miles. This was going to be a day we were going to have to dig deep putting one peddle in front of another to cycle from Windermere to Moffat via Gretna. What was going to be the right combination of clothing as we faced another day of steady climbing. The first being the Kirkstone Pass where the cloud cover had descended seriously reducing the visibility and the temperature dropping as we ground out the climb. Sadly there no spectacular views to compensation effort only a treacherous descent on wet roads and the potential of stray sheep as potential hazards to be avoided. Once at the bottom, it was a simple matter of putting our heads down, follow our Garmins steadily moving north. Fortunately, we did have a tailwind which made up for some of the discomfort as we progressively got wetter and wetter. At each stop we endeavoured to dry our clothing but to little avail. To add to the challenge we managed to have two punctures, fortunately both reasonable late in the day.

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