Edinburgh to Kincraig
The escape of Edinurgh city was a painless affair, a couple of back roads then we picked up the cycle track and stayed with it all the way to the bridge. The cycle paths were full of commuters going into the heart of the city by bike.
We then traversed more cycle ways past all the traffic standing still coming into the city, eventually popping out at the Firth of Forth Road bridge and the magnificant sight of the, rail, road and new road bridge ( being built )
We took the cycle path across in a very strong cross wind, stopping in the middle for a photo op, trying to get someone to take a picture. An irate scotsman wouldn’t help us but the next cyclist across stopped and was very happy to help us. Chatted and wished us good luck, but she turned out to be english !
Off the bridge and bike shouldered we walked up about 100 steps back onto another path, then away we went leaving the structures behind. Up and down we went through small towns until Martin eventually lost his chain ( gears been playing up all morning ) on the ascent of a climb.
Nothing to serious and we headed off againt through the rolling roads coming to the city of Perth, which was also nice and had a good sysem of cyclepaths that took us down by the river in an easy and enjoyale route through the city and out again in to the countryside.
The road climbed through some forest and we were joined by a scottish rider out for the morning. We all chatted and he gave us the heads up on the road we were on. Eventually we reached the top of the very nice climb and descended at quite a pace, negotiating the bend at the bottom and avoiding the car coming round it !
We said our goodbyes as he headed in the opposite direction and we headed for some drink and food at our next stop.
After the stop we again headed into the countryside and the dreaded A9 which we mostly avoided by using the remains of the old road and cycle paths between, some of which were not very good for road bikes. On we went when eventually we came round a bend in the cycle track and out into a station and there were two Cleveland Wheelers to meet us, Nick and Julie.
They took over and led us on a route through the cycle tacks, some of which would be better on a MTB but the views and countryside were great. For a good few miles we chatted and rode at a good pace all the way to Pitlockry, when as we formed up it was noticed that Meil had a broken spoke. This was lucky as we were within a few yards of the bike shops. Neil went into the shop and we rolled to the van in the carpark.
Pit stop over we now had a few thousand feet of continual climing to get over the pass and onto Kincraig, the main problem was it was along the A9 and all the wagons and fast cars ! We headed up the A9 with Nick and Julie leading and the road went up at a gradual pace but up nevertheless.
We then took the cyclepath, again the old road, going ever upwards until we decided the path was a bit too rough and the road, which seemed quieter now, was a better option. Onto the main road and a, “we will see you in one of the laybys” by the van crew. We hammered along the A9 at good speed but with a bit of trepidation as lorries and cars sped past.
We stopped at a layby as the road started to descend but could see no van and as the cold was setting in decided to jacket up and set off but just after setting of Martin had a blow out and his back tyre went flat. He was left in the layby for the van and we pushed on in our foolhardy reach for the bottom but then salvation in the form of an exit and cycle route but not before Roy missed a turn and had to cycle back up then cross the A9.
We were within reaching distance of the end now and the route went down and flat, so at a very fast pace we legged it along the road with Mick, John and me rotating of the front at a fair lick. Kincraig and the guest house, was reached and we rolled up the drive with the promise of fish and chips tonight.