Amazing day, which in Scotland just means no rain. No really, jokes aside it was good, note the mist and the ruin in the background of the picture, doesn’t that just scream Scotland.
I added another 10 miles to the daily work taking me in shooting distance of the cruising speed of 60 miles per day. I suspect though today was a bit of a blip, as you can see from the inclination profile there was a lot of downhill and flat surfaces so I do not expect I will get anywhere near today’s average of 11.5 MpH when I tackle the lake district.
The other good thing is that I have left myself an easy stage for tomorrow (21 miles or so) and I will be at the Winder’s with plenty of time for chatting etc…
The other amazing thing that happened to me today is that I started what I expect to be a fairly common occurrence in my traveling, the meeting of interesting people.
First In Thornhill, where I had my banana break in the morning a chap approached me and tol me that he had seen me in Strathaven two days ago and in Cumnock yesterday and after seeing me for the third time in three days he decided that it was time to have a chat. I explained to him what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and it was amazing to see how excited he was, for a second I thought he was going to run to get a bike and join me.
My lunch stopover was in Dumfries where I tried my luck in the local Greggs (I maintain that the yum yum you get at Greggs in Scotland are better). Anyway, no yum yum on Sundays AAHHHH!!! I had to make do with two slices of pizza.
After I finished lunch a couple approached and the chap (Michele) started talking to me. Turns out he was italian, like me, and, like I’d been, was accompanied by a lovely lady (Gillian) who I, did not ask but, assume was his girlfriend/wife. We talked a bit about the bike, the solar panel charger and the trip and it was like a blast from the past. Gillian was quieter and classy, Michele came across as genuinely excited about our conversation, It reminded me of many instances in the past when Tarn must have looked on with some incredulity and a little worry when I got carried away in conversation with a stranger we had just met. Perhaps there is a pattern there with british girls being attracted to that “what’s next-ness” that so often comes with the package when you buy “Made in Italy”.
This put me in a very contemplative mood and riding the last ten miles of the day in that mood what could have been better than listening to Pink Floyd’ Pulse. One line in Wish You Were Here in particular made me reflect on the choices we make in our lives and …
I think it is better to be exceptional than to be normal, and one should never be afraid to trade change for cold confort nor to exchange a lead role in a cage for a walk on part in the war.