Saturday, 2 April 2011
Drongan to Dumphries
Saturday 2nd April 2011 55.37 Miles 4hr 40mins 11.80mph Average Speed 387.68 Total Miles After eating half our cooked breakfast and stashing the other half in our empty cereal boxes for the road, we were picked up by Lindsey at 9am. We loaded up the bikes and thanked her and Alan for their generosity and they also donated £10 to the Lions Hospice… thanks for everything you really saved the day! We were pleasantly surprised to see that the weather had turned completely for the better. We had to stop just up the road to remove waterproofs which felt good. The sun was trying to come out and the wind had completely died down, it was a pleasure to ride taking in the exceptional scenery. It was like a different world to yesterday! We almost flew to Dallmellington despite being mostly uphill. It felt so much easier to ride in these conditions. Continuing on up we made it to 1,000ft and enjoyed a great long downhill into Carsphairn. This was a tiny little village with a lovely tea room that we were overjoyed to see having cycled 20 miles it was time for our first stop. Nice tea cakes and rich hot chocolate. The next section of our ride was climbing back up to 1,000 ft but strangely it felt like a nice challenge with the sun now beating down on us. The road was tiny with only a handful of cars passing us in 18 miles. The road snaked through fields of dry line walls and thousands of sheep and their lambs, it was the best days riding so far. From the top there was an awesome downhill that was the perfect gradient as we did not have to pedal or brake for more than 5 miles, brilliant. We literally rolled into Moniaive after stopping for several photo opportunities. We stopped to watch some more sheep and lambs in a field where we petted a 2 year old dog named Tess who laid on her back in the road for a belly tickle, I miss Cody! The lady owner said we should be careful as the next road was the main road into Dumphries and there will be more traffic. We found a picnic bench by the river and munched on our takeaway cooked breakfast and fresh roll. Fearing that the wind may pick up we cracked on to Dumphries. Well for the final 16 miles into Dumphries we saw approximately two busses and 10 cars?! With only one more hill to climb we sprinted to the top and rolled all the way down into the town. However, Dads bike had developed a rhythmic clonking noise when he pedalled so we googled the Halfords in town and headed straight for it. After a quick assessment it was clear that the smallest chain ring was hanging on by one bolt where it should have 5 bolts holding it there. The other four had managed to work their way loose and get lost on route. Halfords directed us to Kirkpatrick Cycles who stocked these bolts and we got to sign the visitor book for all the Lands End John O Groats (LEJOG) riders that come into the shop. Ross said that in the summer they get approximately 3 a day and we were the first this year so he fixed it for free! Thanks Ross! We made our way to the hotel where Lynne offered to put all our clothes into the wash for us! It was definitely time for a laundry, and I think she knew it when we walked in, we did not even have to ask! Dinner in the Bistro over the road we crashed having done 15 miles longer today than we were meant to having made up for yesterday so we are back on track which feels good. Yesterday was the worst day so far and today was the best! What a difference a day makes.