We woke to the sound of roosting birds and barking dogs. I said farewell to the stuffed gazelle head, and said if he was ever in Brixton he should pop by for an Absinthe. Robbie and Freddie Swift were up and raring to go. They looked a little sleepy, but nothing 10 minutes riding on Miss CoBi couldn’t sort out – she is a cruel mistress.
I had weetabix for the first time in years, which was such a treat, and then one quick peek at what we were told is the ‘best bog in Britain’ (it is an open air latrine overlooking the hills) before we drove down to Inverness.
We met Colin at the station with his 9 year old daughter called Mhary (Pronounced Varry but I kept calling her Barry which was most embarrassing). We rode out on Inverness and started up quite a hard ascent, but it was made all the more interesting by Chris organising the hay baling on his mobile phone, ‘You know where we put the bales yesterday? Yes? Well flipping (Other words may have been used) well put the other ones there today’ (Little Barry... cough... Mahry took it all in her stride). Somehow the power of what my mother calls ‘extraordinarily long legs’ (I’m 5ft 10”) managed to break one of the free-wheels which meant we had lost the power of one pair of legs. This is hopefully a problem that can be fixed when we get to Edinburgh.
We picked up a rugby playing lad called Euan just back from Kenya (He had seen many CoBi bikes grazing in the savannah so he wasn’t too fazed) and he helped us take Miss CoBi up to the Sloch... This was hard to say the least, to say the most it was bloody hard. We then cruised down an old stretch of the A9 and picked up another young guy who went by the rather bizarre name of Richard, which meant we were actually oversubscribed – so Ed and myself could have a wee ½ hour or so rest in the van – but we both pined for the chafing leather of Miss CoBi between our thighs and we soon back on board.
The people of Grantown where great and everyone dug deep into their pockets for the cause. It is so rewarding that after such an effort people really appreciate what we are doing!
We stayed with the wonderful Fay and Allen and the Parkburn Guest House; we thought one of us might have to sleep in the van, but Fay offered us another room for free and an extra special breakfast – it was at this point I kissed her bang on the lips and swung her round in a Highland fling.
We still needed riders for the morning, so we headed to the local RAF activity centre and they put the word out for us, and a 61 year old cycling veteran got in touch and said he wanted to give us a hand as a warm-up for his 400k timed ride on August 7th.
We finished the day with a traditional Scottish curry (not the best choice as you will see tomorrow) and Ed took the traditional late night drive back to wherever he came from to pick-up whatever it was he had forgotten.