Edinburgh to Selkirk yesterday. The concept was to do ~ one hundred miles with a reasonable ratio of off and on road riding. Broke out the maps and planned a route which took me to the Pentland Hills off-road and from there a road section to shy of Peebles. At this point I was planning a yomp over about a km of 'unknown' land to join the trails north of Glentress and drop down from here to Peebles, then transfer to the south side of the Tweed river and continue, taking in Cardrona, Elibank and Traquair and then Innerleithen forests. At this point I would join the Selkirk Merida course from last year and at the last minute drop off down the Minchmoor 'road' to the south of Selkirk. Looping Selkirk I would then rejoin the forest trails and go back.
I hadn't figured in the rain. Never heavy, it was always threatening or raining. The trails became sticky and as fatigue set in I had to alter my route. First missed out the unknown section and thus about 3 miles of off-road became road. Also missed out the forest trails between Selkirk and Yair and joined a lower trail (part of the Sustrans route 1) to Plora woods and Innerleithen. From here it was the same as on the way down. Except for a wrong turn from Flotterstone which somehow led me to the wrong side of a hill meaning I had a steep walk to rejoin the trail down to Bonaly and back into Edinburgh.
The whole took near 11 hours, 3 liters of water, 750ml of SIS energy drink, a can of IrnBru and 3 cans of sugar free Red Bull. On the food front, 2 sandwiches, 2 cereal bars and that was it.
Honorable mentions in terms of equipment: Pearl Izumi mitts, with gel padding on palm. Very good. Pearl Izumi no-stitch posh shorts Never had a sore bum.
Felt like I could have one on further, and was a little disappointed about bailing on the steeper climbs out of Selkirk, but all in all I was pretty stoked to see my form *finally* beginning to come.
1 week recovery, then SSMM 24 hr race as a pair (currently, tho' that may change) then the next Merida 100km the week after. On course for Wilderness 101.
"Coach, put me in the game..."