With just 19 days to go until we leave for Alaska our first training camp is complete. This involved a 970 mile tour around Scotland starting and ending in St Andrews.
Our plan was to simulate the Cycle the Americas voyage for 1 week over the most challenging terrain that the UK has to offer. Day 1 certainly presented notable challenges in the form of the Cairngorms National Park and a road that climbs up to both Glenshee and Lecht Ski Centres.
BOOM. We pedaled up through Inverness, camping by the sea on the East Coast before flying up to the most Northeasterly point in the UK, John O’Groats. From here however, things started to get tougher again as we hit the North and West Highlands tourist route, one of the most challenging 170 miles of road we have ever faced weaving over and across mountains until we reached Ullapool on the West Coast..
From here we continued to follow the beautiful Scottish coast, camping by the sea once again.
And making our debut selfie with this a shocking picture of us and an authentic highland tree.
On my 22nd birthday, top of the presents list was an ascent up the toughest road climb in the UK the Bealach-Na-Ba, which proved to be a phenomenal 6 mile battle hairpinning between two mountains at gradients up to 20%. What a climb!
We decided to turn tourist for a couple of days, visiting Eileen Donan Castle and the Isles of Skye and Mull. The weather was once again incredible and tan lines rather ghastly (photos were just too graphic to make this blog).
Finally, we headed back down some grim busy roads through horrible storms to visit Steve in East Kilbride before indulging ourselves in a glorious tour of Dumfermline and Glenrothes on the way back to St Andrews. Body and bike intact. Successful week!