Day 8: Stirling to Menzies: 52 miles

Posted on: Monday, 20 June 2011 by Toby Carroll in category Cycle ride

Day 8 group with Forth road bridge in the backgroundTuesday’s ride in Scotland proved to be one of the best so far. Whilst it was a small group, we were all of similar ability and made good pace. David Wylie led the way on his mountain bike having test driven the route and warned of the stiff climb out of Falkirk.

Tough climbs

The similar abilities were, however, tested once or twice with some tough climbs - firstly out of Falkirk where we faced a long steady climb over 3 kilometres to Slammanan. Steve McIntosh and Mick Murray were first up the hills - their training in Cumbria proving helpful (although having a long conversation with me 80% of the way up as I gasped for air was unhelpful) - and Alex King’s experiences riding John O’ Groats to Land’s End gave him the stamina.

Diversions and refreshment stops

The ride took us through Slammanan where we enjoyed the cheapest cafe stop ever and then to Avonbridge before dropping down to Linlithgow where a parade forced us to delay at the local pub for soft drinks (other than Alex who had obviously built up a thirst for a drop of lager).

Having followed the diversions around Linlithgow we lost Brian for a while as he decided to make up his own route. We then lost the route again near Abercorn. Euan was somewhat distracted by the news from his wife that the gearbox had blown up.

The Forth road bridge

We eventually found our way back to the route but decided we wanted to ride over the Forth road bridge - all but one of our team who didn't fancy the heights. Then on to Queensferry, and more hills back out towards Edinburgh.

One last hill to finish

Since we had been assured we had seen all the hills it was a blow to face a short vertical climb into the Gyle. Jim and Ewan brought up the rear. It was a tough day and Brian - who had stayed with the pace throughout despite riding a knobbly tyred mountain bike - was particularly pleased to see the finish at Menzies.

We were greeted by the senior team at Menzies who provided refreshments. A great day and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

See more pictures from day 8

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