Nat and Phoebe took on the mighty Scotduro the weekend before last. Nat tells us a bit more about what went down…
Scotduro19 in numbers:
- Kilometres travelled: 327 off road (Inverness Castle to The Drygate Bar & Kitchen, Glasgow – following the Badger Divide route)
- Metres climbed: 5500
- Time taken: Day 1 – 12.5 hours total (9 am to.9:30pm), 9.5 hours riding time.
- Day 2 – 15.5 hours total (7:30am to 11pm), 10.5 hours riding time.
- Things we did in those stationary 8 hours: Cafes visited: 3, garage forecourt picnics: 1, punctures fixed: 2, toilet stops: plentiful, from the incredibly picturesque to the probably less secluded than they should have been.
- Photographs taken: 150. Not sure we are hardened long distance racers just yet.
- Bars visited: 0. At least we resisted the lure of the whiskey (next trip is Tour of the Scottish Distilleries, I’ve got to find some way to persuade Phoebe to get back on a bike).
- Bikes ridden: Two x Specialized Fuse with large saddle bag, top tube snack pack and handlebar mounted stuff sack
- Food eaten while riding: 12 cereal bars, 7 packets of jelly, 1 packet of homemade Scottish tablet bought in Glen Lyon, 1 packet custard creams, 1 packet of crisps, 1 hula hoop (yes singular) rewarded to me by Phoebe for getting to the top of yet another climb, 2 chocolate biscuits, 1 chocolate Tiffin, 2 tunnocks caramel wafers, 1 gel.
- Food eaten while stopped: 1 full Scottish breakfast, 1 ham & cheese pannini, 2 sachets of Trek & Eat dehydrated mystery meat meals which actually tasted better than the food I make at home, 1 large freeze dried museli sachet, 1 cheese and chutney sandwich, 1 packet crisps (cheese & onion), 1 packet supernoodles, 1 portion of eggs and beans on toast, 1 pepperami, 1 dairlylea dunkers, 1 tunnocks snowball.
- Men we hated during the ride (it’s nothing personal): 3 – General Wade and his Military Road where it took us an hour to cover 2.5 miles. Yes, that’s a heady speed of 2.5 miles an hour – Rob Roy and his Way that also insisted on going uphill and then into a bog- John Muir and his Way which diverted us from being nearly in Glasgow to still being 3 hours away from the finish and the warmth of the pub.
- Animals seen: Red squirrels: 1 (dead on road), moles: 1 (also dead on road), frogs: over 100 (some possibly also dead on road after we passed), sheepdogs: 1 (trying to round us up and nearly going through my front wheel), golden eagles: 0, things we thought were golden eagles but we’re actually crows: 1, barn owls: 1 (cheered us right up during a particularly rough patch), sheep: many, fallow deer: 10 (which we tried not to scare away but did), impressive stags called Charlie: 1.
- Songs sung: probably about 50-100. 28 hours is a lot of time to fill. Always a good challenge to sing as many military themed songs you can think of while traversing General Wade and his military road (did I mention we weren’t fans?)
- Places which hurt: 11 – one left knee (underneath to the right), one right knee (underneath centre) 2 bum cheeks, one small finger on right hand, two thighs, two hamstrings, two calves (this is starting to sound like a KFC order), one right arm (too long spent pumping up tyres and opening gates with strong springs).
- Good friends: 2 – Gilly & Ross, who were unlucky enough but lovely enough to let us leave the van on their drive all weekend, wait in the pub until we finally finished, drive us around Glasgow at midnight on a Sunday night to find battered sausage and chips (high calorie items required), leave dressing gowns and miniature whiskeys on our bed, cook us breakfast, jump start the van and drive me to Glasgow Prestwick Airport which it turns out is nowhere near Glasgow.
- Particularly dark moments: 3 – riding in the dark with lights that didn’t work properly and a slowly deflating back wheel to a remote YHA at Loch Ossian which we couldn’t see and weren’t sure really existed while Phoebe had just eaten a gel and was flying – Climbing out of Pubil and descending into Killin while feeling like the cheese & chutney sandwich was about to make a reappearance, yet still tying to force snacks down knowing if I didn’t I’d bonk – Believing we were nearly finished and finding the route went up a killer rocky hill on the West Highland Way in the pitch black and driving rain.
Highs: Too numerous to mention. Sunsets, mountains, sunshine, climbs, descents, laughs (sometimes delirious), lochs, breathtaking views, sloe gin in the hip flask, the sense of freedom being miles from the nearest road, the sound of silence, riding out of Loch Ossian in the sunrise and knowing we had completed what really was the hardest event of my life. We may not have been the fastest riders on the course, our love of cafes and a hot meal perhaps limited our overall speed, but our rolling time was not too shabby and I wouldn’t change anything about it. As I know that Phoebe loves a good motivational quote (I’ve learnt a lot more about her this weekend, some of which I maybe wish I hadn’t, it’s all about the journey and not the destination. A good thing really as the Drygate Bar & Kitchen was closed by the time we finally got there.
What a weekend for the girls…such an inspiration to us all…bloody amazing stuff!