So day 1 dawns, the forecast says, wet and windy, you couldn’t ask for less!!

Dinner went well last night, with most riders sticking to Rose’s strict alcohol rules: max of two pints before dinner, or something like that, and then I forget the rest of the rule.

One of our new riders Jules introduced himself to the group and amongst his many claims to fame that we can remember, was his intimate knowledge of the WD-40 website. Yes, there is one and Jules is one of the few that has viewed it.

An early alarm call and incredible power shower, which my head clean OFF my shoulders (quite the best thing in the Seaview Hotel) signalled the longest day of most of our cycling lives. 120 miles is a long long way – even longer in Scotland…much longer in the rain.

After the obligatory John O’Groats signpost photo and start line shot, we all piled into the van and legged it to Inverness…..I wish….

Nope, it was heads down into the wind, and it wasn’t long before we were to experience some of the most challenging of Scottish weather. At times we were soaked, at others, visibility was a low as the bike in front. At particularly special moments it was a combination of all of the above.

I can’t tell you a great deal about the Scottish countryside as we actually saw very little. One highlight in a break in the weather was Portgower where we cycled right next to the North Sea, awesome views.

120 miles had us stopping every thirty with Ruth’s rolls and Terry’s van in full swing. Great support as always, and food has never tasted so good.

As a team, we seemed to ride well. On several occasions, even as a group. We’ll probably crack it tomorrow. No major events today other than the ‘bladderettes’ seemed to stop quite often to check the view(!) and James decided to attempt to cross a major roundabout in reverse, it was quite funny….afterwards. Stunning view of the day came as we crossed the Kessock Bridge into Inverness.

As I write we’re slumped in the Premier Inn Restaurant about to order food, I think it’s safe to say everyone is a little weary.

A great start to the ride and only 800 miles left to go…..

Roadside News
Alive – Field Mouse / Toad (Rescued by Simon)
Not so well – Hedgehogs (2) / Toad (1) / Snakes (Lots) / Rabbit (2) / Haggis (1)
Punctures – 1 (Neil)
Chain Incidents (3)
Costume Changes (Lewis – lots)