I lay in my sleeping bag this morning, feeling stiff and sore, and not terribly interested in getting back on the bike, no matter what the sing being played to wake us up insisted. Life in camp has fallen into a routine: I plan out my tasks so as to limit the number of times I need to go back to my tent. This morning's plan: get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, get Garmin off charger. Then get bottles filled, put them on bike and finish packing. Put bag in truck, pump up tires and start. Two things went wrong with this plan: the Garmin, while plugged in, had come off of the cradle and wasn't fully charged. Bah! Plug it back in to leave for last, in hopes it will last the day. Problem 2: the zipper of the large duffel bag I'm using completely gave up the ghost. The crew found me a big plastic bag to put the duffel in, and I headed off.
They say bad things come in threes. We headed off through suburban Glasgow and early rush hour traffic. 16 miles in and I was pulled off on the side of the road changing a flat. The bad thing wasn't the flat itself, it was the fact that the valve stem snapped off when I was pumping it up. Thankfully I had another tube and finally, we got back on the road.
Today's stage should have been sponsored by whoever makes those big, cushy, gel-filled seats with massive springs. The route wasn't terribly challenging, but the road surface was unbelievably bad. It felt a bit like what I imagine sitting on a jack hammer might feel like. I think everyone is going to be a bit bruised tomorrow. We rolled along, taking it pretty easy - yesterday's epic left us all with some pretty sore legs, so we just noodled along next to the M74, trying to spin out some lactate. Sadly the only landscape shot I've got today includes some suggestive forest trimming - you can see why we had to stop. Pity the one man riding with four women!
104 miles later (thankfully the road surface improved!), we had passed through Gretna Green and the big welcome to England sign, and arrived at the Carlisle racecourse. L said at one point, "I feel a bit odd saying this, but this is kind of like a 104 mile recovery ride". That alone makes me concerned about tomorrow's route, which includes passing through the Lake District, and over the highest A road in Britain. Hmmm...hope my legs can hold out!
Today's progress: 104/429/~953