The Deans take a break in the Scottish Borders
Races, time trials and duathlons are over which makes this time of year perfect to take a holiday without having to miss any events. The weather at this time of year might not be the best but just getting away from work and home (where there are always jobs) makes it worthwhile for recharging the mental batteries.
Having visited the borders before we know it is a great cycle area with wonderful quiet, undulating roads and very considerate drivers. Yet again we are not disappointed and would recommend any cyclists to consider heading north over the border.
Friends joined us in the cottage at Hume (a mile stroll to the castle) for the weekend which meant that we did a couple of walks which Neil said is really tiring. I also enjoyed a 10 mile run with a fell running friend whilst Neil headed off on a short ride.
The friends left and cycling began with a 60 mile route on quiet roads:
The weather was warm, dry and even sunny for half of the day. However, the road above is deceptive of the terrain as we climbed around 3,800ft during our ride.
The weather again was great though a bit windier today, thankfully my wind shield was with me. We reached a junction with nine miles to Innerleithen which headed uphill for around two miles then a seven mile glorious descent to the town and during the full nine miles we encountered just two cars!
We stopped at the Whistle Stop Café where we were pointed at the bike lockup points along the wall and asked if we needed to borrow a lock. Brilliant. We enjoyed bacon, egg, sausage, black pudding, tomato, mushrooms, beans and a pot of tea all for just £7. Left well stocked up and very relieved that we had a few miles along a quiet, gently undulating valley road before the very steep climb from Stow – 1.5 miles, 16% gradient. I had been dreading it but it was OK, just keep turning the pedals!
After the big climb it was mostly downhill which was a relief to both of us as our legs were tired. Our Garmins told us we had climbed around 4,400ft today.
The holiday continued with good weather though the wind picked up. We did two more, shorter rides after which our bodies were complaining so I guess it was time for the holiday to end.
We really recommend the area – castles, abbeys, stately homes and empty road … plus a few hills!