I have misjudged the time it takes to cycle to Bonaly a couple of times. 36 minutes was fastest ever when the lights were all green and I was stomping it. (Not the average!) Today virtually every light was red and there was that stiff headwind. Why was it so cold when it came from the South? Antarctic? I must remember it is a 40 minute cycle under normal circumstances. I arrived late and with trashed legs. Michael was already there and couldn't put my helmet and lights and cycling jacket in his car because he had run there. Oh.
We have a loose tradition of going for a winter warmer around now frequently medicated with hot grog. Which is a little like a herbal tea in a flask but more whisky-and-port-based. I didn't take the time to prepare any for today and Michael was maybe driving later (this week) and so best not. Also I think some of the rum he was drinking last night was still to leave his system. Even without refreshments it was still a very good splosh across the Pentlands.
While the photo below is sharper and in many ways visually more accurate I think the one above is closer to how it felt - a very bracing harsh wind scouring the hill tops and your teeth rattling in your head. While it's nice to get a bit higher and survey the land, most of today's route was lower and more sheltered. I keep forgetting the Garmin to see how long it is. I've done this route a few times and it makes an attractive prospect of about 90 minutes. I'm guessing about 7 miles.
I slowed to take photos here and MG got ahead. I had to race to get close enough to shout LEEEEEEEEEEEFT into the wind to stop him taking the straighter line across the swamp. Not that our feet were anywhere near dry by this point. Or clean. More just habit really. On the other side there was plenty of mud and despite warnings Michael had a slip and touch down. I didn't even laugh but I did take a photo for the record.
Contouring round Black Hill we came to these reeds swaying in the wind and looking more like sand than vegetation.
Back up towards Maiden's Cleugh then just before the stile turn left and contour round back to Bonaly.
2-0 to Michael
He was wearing new Inov-8 270s which looked great but were more trail than hill shoe and the wet grass and mud were very treacherous. I was wearing Speedgoats. Good grip but could feel them slide at points in the gloop.
Great run despite the forecast cloudless skies not really materialising. Today was noticeably colder than it's been and felt like Winter had really arrived. Look out the warmer gloves and hats!
On a positive note the Forth Bridge is now open in time for all those travelling at Christmas (as long as you don't drive there in an HGV) and Mary and I booked our flights to a marathon in July. Onwards and upwards!