I did have my doubts … However, I was comforted by a blanket of stars above and no sign of rain.
On the ‘B788 Climb’ as it is called my front wheel became lodged and I took an exit stage left, narrowly missing a main body of water but certainly gaining some moisture and mud from head to toe. And very quickly both feet were paddling through the ice cold standing water on the ‘Stage 1′ section.
I knew there were no medals to be gained, although 5/11, etc when considered against other times gained during our wonderful summer ain’t too bad!
It was very dark – very dark; the magicshine was set on 3rd beam since I had quite a journey and brightness of beam lost out to longevity. My feet were freezing. With no reference points visible it seemed to drag, and would have been terribly repetitive if I did not have my trusty Catholic podcasts in one ear only.
No sign of any Highland Cows, though, which curtailed my previous expedition on this old favourite.
I took a new route shortly before the little white cottage exit at Muirshiel; it didn’t feel like a shortcut, though!
By this it was 9pm. I was anxious to be relieved of the sopping, cold socks.
Barnbrock HQ passed on the right (I know, I passed it – allow the idiom). The Blue LED appeared at the back of my magicshine!! How long left? Countdown!
Thankfully dear reader I made it to the Hardridge Farm entry where I’d departed from in similar darkness.
I now sit with a small port (Christmas gift) and Stoker’s’ Dracula, trying to bring some warmth to the old bones. The better half is enjoying a Miranda episode. (I recently tweeted Count Arthur Strong and he replied, in addition to tweeting his appreciation of my son’s impersonation of hom – such a gentleman).
Still dreadfully cold, but I feel refreshed. I can now spend all of tomorrow marking and planning.
Check out my 23.6 km Ride on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/104019348