Toronto, May 23, 2013
Three weeks to go!
Well, it's been a while since I did this. Three years in fact. I hope I haven't forgotten how to write a coherent...a coherent...a coherent sentence. Whew, that was close. I guess I can still write. I started thinking about the 2010 cross-country/North America ride this morning when I decided to blog again about my upcoming mountain bike ride across Scotland with my son Adam in three weeks. A lot has changed since 2010. My kids have all graduated from university. Now that they have graduated, my twin daughters are now actively looking to start their careers. My Dad passed away in 2010, I sold all my businesses in 2012 (yes, I am retired and loving it), and The Duchess and I undertook an amazing cycling trip down the Pacific Coast last Fall. After we get back from Scotland, Adam will enrol in the Columbia MBA program this August after having worked as a management consultant in Manhattan the past 3 years.
However some things haven't changed. My favorite sports teams (Leafs, Jays, Bills) still aren't very good (although they are improving), my golf game is barely improving, and despite a lot of time in the gym, my fitness level seems to be at a plateau. We have been trying to get our training in but mountain bike training is different than road bike training. The weather this past spring has been horrible. It has been really cold and wet which makes riding unpleasant. However, while roads do dry fairly quickly after they get wet, mountain bike trails don't, and many trails won't allow you to ride if the track is muddy because it ruins the trail for a while.
Complicating things is the fact that we should have been training over the last 2 months on the weekends but every weekend since the end of March we have been at one of Lauren's softball games either at St. Lawrence (Canton NY, 3.5 hours away), Albany (RPI/Union, 6 hours away), Skidmore (Saratoga Springs, 7 hours away), or Rochester (3.5 hours away). Adam has been working, so weeknights haven't been great, especially with the weather. We have done what we can, but we have not done enough. We will jam as much training as we can into the next three weeks. We are losing one weekend at the end of May because we are taking the whole family (including Adam's girlfriend Jess) to Vegas to celebrate Lauren and Samantha's 21st birthday. Should be fun, and we are seeing Santana at The House of Blues when we are there (assuming I can get The Duchess away from the craps table).
So here are some details about our upcoming trip. We are flying to Edinburgh Scotland on June 12/13 (overnight), and then taking a train to Inverness. Our ride starts June 15, and is 6 full days of riding. We will average 60 kms of riding/day and the average climbing is 1,000 metres/day. It looks hard. We will apparently be riding through the Highlands of Scotland and the word is that the scenery is spectacular. As well, the tour company says we will be riding some of the finest single-track (trails) in the world. The ride starts on the east coast of Scotland in the city of Aberdeen and ends in Ardnamurchan Point, the westernmost point on the mainland of Scotland. We have heard we are going to be near the Queen's summer home at Balmoral, and that we will be in the vicinity of some of the greatest distilleries in the world. Sounds like a Scotch version of Napa/Sonoma Valley. The tour company we are with is Wilderness Scotland. It is guided and well-staffed. Outside magazine rated this tour as one of the "10 must-do" cycling trips in the world. Should be fantastic. And best of all, I have one of my kids with me! I will be blogging more frequently in the next 3 weeks and then everyday while we are away, so hopefully you can come along for the ride, so to speak.