We did it! On 22nd/23rd June 2019 five Backpedalers completed the Ride To The Sun.
Look at the numbers. A distance of almost 102 miles, 3 654 feet of climbing and nearly eight and a half hours in the saddle. We’re experienced cyclists but this was the biggest challenge we’ve ever undertaken. To put that in perspective have a look at the route profile.
Route profiles are always a little bit scary but you can see that there were some daunting climbs along the route.
Saturday started with a short ride from home to meet up with Brian Burnie at Daft As A Brush House. Brian is the founder of Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care and takes a great interest in what we do. Brian was on hand to cheer us on our way.
From DAAB House we cycled to the Regent Centre to board our transport to Carlisle. We arrived shortly after 7 pm and by 7.30 pm we were ready to hit the road, along with about 1500 other cyclists.
It was a beautiful evening and a perfect start to the ride. Soon we’d cleared Carlisle and were on the open road heading towards Moffat. Everything was going well until an unwelcome visit by the Puncture Fairy.
Thankfully it was the only puncture any of us suffered on the ride and we weren’t delayed for too long. We pressed on passing through Gretna Green, Ecclefechan, Lockerbie and into Moffat. During the ride we met up with Helen and Hugh, our wonderful support team. Hot coffee, water, snacks and encouraging words were in plentiful supply.
After 43 miles we arrived in Moffat. Moffat is a bit of a watershed along the route because it marks the beginning of the Devil’s Beef Tub, a formidable climb lasting about 7 miles with a height gain of just over a thousand feet. It’s worth pointing out that we were now cycling in total darkness. As we proceeded along the route we could see the red rear lights of the cyclists ahead of us. We longed to reach the point when those red lights were below us rather than above us. Eventually we did and we reached the summit just before midnight on Saturday evening. The summit was also the half way point of the ride, 50 miles done and 50 miles to go.
What goes up must come down. The descent from the Devil’s Beef Tub was exhilarating. Doing it in the pitch black added to the thrill. The downside (sic) was that as we descended so did the temperature. My Garmin recorded a low of 3° C and changing gear with frozen fingers became a challenge. The route took us down into the Tweed Valley and onto Broughton and Penicuik
With less than 20 miles to go and the first light of dawn appearing in the sky five pairs of weary legs summoned up a final effort to reach the the finish at Cramond. The outskirts of Edinburgh were a navigational challenge and cycling along Princes Street at dawn was an interesting experience.
The last few miles seemed interminable but five weary, hungry, sweaty Backpedalers finally achieved their goal.
This has been Part 1. We are very grateful to all our supporters who have donated and sponsored us. Our mission has yet to be completed. If you are able to help us in raising money for Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient Care please follow the link to Virgin Money Giving.