Day 6—Motherwell to Ecclefechan

Second blog in a day, in an effort to catch up and thereby make subsequent entries less rushed.

It rained much of today. I know this statement is otiose (hello Ed!), but it’s so irritating that I thought I’d mention it again. We were aware that we had a long ride to Ecclefechan today, so we had an early breakfast (after I had helped Carl load some .gpx files to his Garmin) and got out as fast as we could, about 08:15.

So off we went through the Strathclyde Country Park, negotiated the M74, and we were on the open road. Everyone says that it’s much more sensible to do LEJOG than JOGLE because of the prevailing winds. They are right. As well as rain today we had a really horrible headwind to negotiate. And I also had a minor brake malfunction when something or other got stuck in the front disc assembly. It seemed to have bent the disc a bit, which is bad news, but I took the wheel out and forced the pads apart so that they’d have to re-set their position, and everything seemed OK.

I need to record that at about 25 miles the wind died down, the road was smooth, the rain eased off a bit, and there was a slight downhill gradient. Brilliant!

We had discussed whether to stop for coffee in Biggar (London’s big, but Biggar’s Biggar etc etc) at 33.6 miles or in Broughton at 38.8. I went for the latter, on the principle that the more of the ride you do before coffee or lunch, the less there is to do afterwards, but alas, I found myself alone in the excellent Laurel Bank café. At this point, the sun came out and suddenly the weather was fantastic, and this inspired me, on the next stage of the ride, to take the photographs below (I can’t summon the energy to take pictures when it’s pouring).

After Broughton was a long slow climb that leads towards Moffat (look at the stats below). On the way, near the top of the climb and before the descent into Moffat, I passed a hollow called the Devil’s Beeftub (the bottom image of the four above). The ride that is known as the Devil’s Beeftub starts at Moffat and ends at the Beeftub, and is rated 4/10 by cycling cognoscenti. All I can say is the descent, in the other direction, is brilliant. Such fun!

Moffat was our agreed lunch stop, but I couldn’t see anyone around so I had a quick Scotch Pie and went as fast as I could for the remaining 20 miles to Ecclefechan. It was, of course, still raining, and the road was pretty rough, so it was pretty tiring. I checked into my room as quickly as I could, had a shower, and joined Les and Carl, and then Jamie and John, for dinner. Here we are (from left to right it’s Carl, Jamie, Les, Jim and John).

Dinner (all a bit tired)

A shorter day tomorrow, but with the same amount of climbing. We shall see how it feels! Here is a map and some stats for today:

Today’s progress

Speed and energy consumption are on the right (over seven hours cycling and only 2,397 calories!) and more data about heart rate, elevation. and speed are below. I’m surprised my heart rate went up as high as it did during the climb (I haven’t been above 180 for a long time) but it came down very quickly so I’m sure it’s OK! More tomorrow…