|2013-04-15 15:22:00||blah||News Quiz|
After fighting our way up long slopes, in parts an inch deep with rain, and trying to stay on while ever-present but gusty wind did its best to stop us, we’d just started the descent to Crosslee (about 19 miles, 2 hours 20 minutes) when a marshal-car caught up with us. The marshal strongly advised us to turn back – due to flooding and wind, the long route was closed, a river was threatening to burst its banks at Traquair, a rider had been blown off his or her bike and we still had the biggest (and presumably most gusty) ascent ahead of us.
We were both soaked through and shivering, and neither of us were enjoying the ride. My gloves were sodden from rain running down my sleeves, gusty wind meant I couldn’t stay clipped in and visibility was pretty poor. So we made the logically correct but emotionally incorrect decision to turn back. The return to the Gordon Arms was fairly swift (the sun even tried to come out) but cold. We stopped there for about half an hour, enjoying chat with other riders, basking in front of the log fire and wringing out sodden kit.
We were offered a lift back to Peebles but by then the rain had abated slightly and we wanted to ‘finish’ under our own steam. The final 12 miles were lovely – the sun came out, it was warm enough to ride without gloves and I enjoyed pelting downhill through through 4-inch deep floods (Elly didn’t like this).
Back at Peebles High School, spectators were applauding finishers – I don’t know how to describe how fraudulent this felt. We skulked away fairly soon back to our hotel for tea and dry clothes. Both of us cried – we had trained for 4 months, made all that effort for what felt like nothing. The sadness is just about gone and we’ve promised ourselves we’ll go back and do the route so that we can feel we were delayed, not beaten.
We weren’t the only ones advised not to finish – there were already about 40 timing chips in the DNF pile by the time we got back to Peebles, and another Lifescycler wrote ‘I bailed after almost coming to grief on a climb’ (There are other comments here and here [Facebook].) Other Lifescyclers did finish, one despite 4 punctures and another who ‘came off and went underwater at one point…’
In all, we did 38 miles at an average speed of 9·8 mph.
Ah well, Tour de Forth and other sportives beckon…
Thanks so much to Lifescyclers tonight for positive talk and encouragement – now feeling ‘well, we gave it a good shot … and we’ll be back to beat it!’
Here’s some photos (all blagged from Facebook)
|Andy and his dream-machine||conditions en route|
|flooding en route||floods at Traquair – yeehah!|
|conditions at finish|
|Bruce ‘finishing’||Bruce and Elly ‘finishing’|