Rubbish sleep, but still up early to set about A Day in Hell - a Rapha inspired route to 'celebrate' Paris - Roubaix. 100 km loop that helpfully ran right past the door. A mix of roads and forest tracks, farm roads and estate tracks and a couple of climbs thrown in.
Along the sea front, and through the New Town cobbles and onwards through Polwarth and up to Colinton. Then onto the Water of Leith path to Currie before a sharp ascent up to the reservoirs at Harlow and Threipmuir.
Majestic crisp views across the Firth of Forth. The jacket came off so I didn't suffer the indignation of Middleman.
Onwards and downwards; out across the county line and down towards Kirknewton; a bumpy woodland descent to East Calder and onto the Shale Trail. New to me, its a nice wee path linking East Calder with Pumpherston. Where I caught a flat.... 55km and do I stick or twist? There's a shard of glass and I think I need a new tyre. Is it home on the train or try and find a bike shop nearby? Google tells me of Herbie where I find Neill, owner of my local bike shop! This guarantees decent service so £50 and an hour of sitting in the sun chatting later, I'm back on the road. Uphall, Dechmont, Bangour and up to Cairnpapple. 3 emergency service vehicles in a field ( no clue why)
Beecraigs was ramned with picnics and bbqs, but a speedy descent put lots of distance between me and them; more gravel to Linlithgow and eventually I rocked up at the shore at Blackness. Tide out, also loads of people milling about.
The final schlep along through the woods and parkland of Hopetoun, the ice cream eating hordes of the Ferry, and retraced last week's steps through Dalmeny. The bumpy tracks were grating by this stage, and a slow grind along the Silverknowes prom saw me climb off 111km into the day. A full 8 hours so hardly rapid, but given the terrain and unfamiliarity of the route, its to be expected. Oh yeah, and fitness.
Bath, bus to town, dinner at Hers, whilst aching quietly and another bus home. I was asleep quickly....