59.5 miles Today was one of the hardest so far. We covered 59.5 miles including 5,000ft of climbing in appalling conditions. We set off from Leicht Pass at 8.30am and it was blowing a gale sideways. It was a real struggle for Becca to keep her bike up and the wind kept trying to take the front wheel from under her. We had to descend at 7.5mph and it was a battle with the wind all the way down.
Once we had reached the bottom of Leicht Pass we had two more climbs before we reached Balmoral Castle and then dropped down again. The road from Balmoral to Braemar was a really beautiful stretch, through the woods and along the River Dee. As we turned west the wind returned, this time a ferocious headwind. Our progress became really slow. The climb up the Spital of Glenshee - which climbs 2,100ft - was awful. The wind was in our faces and and making even slow progress was a slog. Becca felt really drained today and was really suffering. After lunch at the ski station we descended to Blairgowrie. For the first 10 miles we struggled again to keep our bikes upright as the wind swirled and whipped around us. One minute it was buffeting us from the side, and the next it was head on. It was a really difficult descent, impossible to get any speed up. I don’t know how anyone didn’t come off. On the way into Blairgowrie we saw the best shop sign of the journey so far, a lovely hairdressers called Curl Up ‘n’ Dye. I think we all feel like that. Blairgowrie, which is in Perthshire, is lovely. The town is full of Eastern European fruit pickers here to pick the strawberries and raspberries. Tonight we are going for a curry because everyone here seems to recommend the local curry house. I had a charming text from a friend this afternoon. “How’s you’re a***? (Obviously it’s better than your face)”. For the record, my backside is beginning to suffer tonight and I’ve had to resort to slouching in my chair. Tomorrow we are heading south of Edinburgh, 70 miles away. Mike