Day 8: Le Jog (104 miles Glasgow – Carlisle)

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After two great nights in Glasgow we roll reluctantly out of town at 0930. While it is obviously de rigeur in these situations to praise your hosts for their generosity and hospitality; in this case it truly was overwhelming. With a bag full of clean clothes, full bellies and a renewed sense of purpose, we follow our gracious host out of town to East Kilbride as she leads us out of Glasgow in a monstrous 4×4.

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From here on out we follow Sustrans Route 74 which runs along a succession of A and B roads, running parallel to the M74. Our luck with cycle routes appears to have run out. In fact our luck has run out altogether. After 20 miles Aldercy Manning stops to take a picture of some grazing sheep and brakes too suddenly, hurling himself over the handlebars onto the floor. This sees to him riding the remaining 80 or so miles with one toe clip – the other stowed away in his saddlebag. Thankfully however, he is unhurt.

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Another 15 minutes down the road and one of the countless potholes of route 74 catches us out and the first puncture is sustained by Aldercy Manning, some 400 miles into the tour. While these stops slow our momentum slightly, the real issue we encounter is the road. Gravelly, strewn with holes, uneven and in a general state of disrepair; it disappoints us in a multitude of ways – leaving us grinding slowly through the final grounds of Scotland, even on downhill stretches.

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At 1915 we rattle into Carlisle, the border town having crossed a most untriumphant sign post, announcing out arrival into England. We are sore, stiff and our bones rattle to the frequencies of the roads as we crawl into bed, in some pain and praying for a smoother ride tomorrow when we reach the Lake District and some proper hills.

Rafe Watson

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