Sun is out, bike is built. Bags packed – not too carefully: live and learn is the name of the game.
Out through the woods. Bone dry trails – as if the last 6 months of rain never happened. My cold doesn’t seem to be slowing me down too much. Game on.
Take the well worn trail, along the West Highland Way. Too busy with walkers for the technical Conic Hill decent, around instead.
Then along the bonny banks. Not sure if I will go north or cut east. Take it as it comes.
Struggling to eat, energy is now coming hard. Llamas save the day, at least for the moment.
Snot is making me choke, still not eating. Water from a waterfall is reviving, but there are not many calories in H2O. Decide to head east, around Loch Katrine and instead of bivi’ing out, make for home to lick my wounds. My estimate makes it 100 miles by the end of the day. I’m ok with that.
In to Queen Elizabeth forest to wave at all the rough campers beside the wee lochs. Beautful day for a bbq and a beer. It just about makes my mouth water.
The dust is amazing. Forest trails slip by easily. As the sun begins to dip, the temperature does likewise.
My ‘disaster style’ packing left me with no arm or knee warmers. Shivering is on the horizon.
My Sinewave revolution has charged my light, just in case but I think I’m on for home just after sun down. Cut it close. Keep it tight, but loose.
With the sun gone, my mind flips to the negative. My left 4th toe is dead to the world again. I’m concerned about the fact it hasn’t got better over the last few weeks. My left knee feels a bit tweeked too.
I run over gear choices and thoughts. The new packing system – frame bag ditched, smaller pocket from Backcountry biking on the front of the sweet roll and two feedbags in place (cooking kit one, food in the other à la Paul Errington) – is much better and it feels lighter, but it is still heavy, in some ways. 5.5kg on the bike (bags and food included, water not).
I’m struggling to see how this can come down, although an Ermine on the way and my occasional-use-only cuben sweet roll will knock off a few hundred grams.
Home, pizza, beer. 95 miles in the end. 10 hours. Done for today.