The Easter holidays are upon us again, and the usual Waddell, McGivern, D’Alessio get together is once more upon us. From Huntly to Mull to Fort William and this time down in the borders – Langholm to be exact. Never been here before, but I’m sure it will be lovely.
So not time to cycle. Not quite. Gio hatched a plan and it’s me and him on the early morning train to Berwick with a vague route plotted to take us to Langholm.
Starting out from Berwick we hook up almost immediately with a local, just as we are contemplating a none too road bike friendly section of cycle path. Our new friend, Alistair, ensures us it’s fine and just a quick means of crossing the A7, so on we go – and he’s right, it’s fine. Alistair sticks with us for 22 miles to Kelso. He’s good company and knows the roads well, so the miles pass by quickly, aided by the tail wind. No big pushing going on here, but a healthy enough average, and very little in the way of hills until we part company in Kelso.
We continue on at a reasonable rate with the road beginning to rise and fall, and repeat. It’s all good as the roads down here are cracking and the traffic almost nil. Riding in the borders really is heavenly.
No mishaps, no big setbacks, no major incidents. And from my viewpoint, no big memories of much of the route. Suffice to say we end up in Newcastleton, anticipating 5 miles to journey’s end. Hmmm.
We speak to a chap watching a game of football who tells us that we can continue on the flat road we are on and will hit Langholm in 15 miles, riding the A7. Not a comforting prospect. Or we can go in another direction (our intended route) which will be quiet and is 9 miles – “it’s hilly mind you”. He lied not. The road went sharply up, then went up and up and up. Down a bit and then up and up. Getting ridiculous now. Eventually, it went way down and we were flying into Langholm, at which point we recalled climbing this very hill the other way round in a sportive last year – Never been here before. Incorrect.
Nearly done now. As ever, there is always a sting in the tail. We hoped to have maybe a half a mile to roll to the holiday home. In truth, still 7 to go and a couple of right good hills.
However, it’s not long until we pull up in front of the beautiful dwellings that shall constitute home for the next week. A quick For Goodness Shake, a bit of Sandra’s diving malteser cake (or 3), and pull the shutter down on a fantastic 96 mile training run. Life is sweet.