Scotland bike tour: Day 1 (Sunday, July 14)

Lots of pics of this day of the tour are here.

Today was cloudy for most of the a day, although it got sunny a bit at the end. I wore shorts, T-shirt and long-sleeve top when it was cloudy, then took off the long sleeve top when the sun came out.

between Brodie and Lethen

The program was fairly straight forward-ride for 15 miles, stop and eat, ride for 15 miles, stop and eat, ride for 20 miles to our destination for the night, Elgin. The group stayed together well, with no major mechanical difficulties. The only minor mechanical problem was Neil (one of the leaders of the tour) finding a bulge in the sidewall of his tire. He worried about suffering a blowout, and wondered where he could get a new tire. Lo and behold, just a few miles down the road, at the top of a hill, was a bike repair shop called Re-cycle. It was open (very unusual for a Sunday, but not too strange considering that it was run out of the guy's shed), and the owner happened to have an exact replacement for Neil's tire! So he got it and a new tube to go with it. While we waited for Neil to fit his new purchases I sat on the bank and was very surprised to see some succulents growing there, a small sort of sedum.

The route was very nice, mostly small roads with very little traffic. There were quite a few places where we went through trees, which I found reassuring, being from a tree-filled area.

We reached Elgin a bit after 5, checked into our B&Bs (the group was split between 2 B&Bs) and got cleaned up. Cleaning up was fun, as ur room had a huge bath, big enough for the two of us! Simon and I washed the clothes we'd worn for the day, as we had yesterday. We were travelling fairly light, with only 3 changes of bike clothes, but we realized that once we had accepted that we would be doing our laundry every evening, only two would have done fine. The four people in our B&B went to a pub where they had beer and I had juice and fizzy water. Then we met up with the rest for dinner. Again we split up, Simon and I and Mike going to an Indian restaurant (Al something-or-other) while the rest went to a new pizza/pasta place next door. I wasn't expecting much as the menu was exactly the same as any other UK curry house, but the food was surprisingly good.

Total for today: 50 miles over fairly hilly terrain.

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