1997 John O’Groats to Lands End – Day 3 Tore to Pitlochry

After a good breakfast, left Tore and headed south to Inverness and the bridge over the Moray Firth.   I stopped here to take a photo and to adjust my saddle-bag which was getting closer and closer to the back wheel.   I only had today and tomorrow and then I would meet up with Mum and Dad to offload my kit.   A long, slow climb followed away from Inverness on the A9 which is a bloody awful road.   Thankfully, cyclists are now diverted off the main road in a number of places and follow the old road or ‘B’ class roads which is a nice break from the constant stream of traffic.   I reached Aviemore after 37 miles where I stopped for lunch but after leaving was no more than 2 miles down the road when it started to rain.   Put more bluntly, it persisted down for the next three and a half hours until just past Dalwhinnie, the small railway station that I had passed through on my journey north.   As I reached the Slochd summit I had my one and only accident.   I decided to stop in a layby to recoup from the climb and unclasping my left foot from my pedal the bike lurched right and over I keeled.   Luckily I was in the layby and did little damage other than a cut to my knee and a grazed elbow.   I felt a proper fool but in future I would remember to unclasp both feet before stopping.

After this little incident, there was a long gradual decent into Pitlochry, mainly on small lanes that had been set aside for cyclist, and it looked very much like the old road before the A9 had been built.  I arrived in Pitlochry in the glorious sunshine and found the tourist information who directed me to the last single room B & B in Pitlochry that night.   I arrived bloodstained from my earlier accident but after a nice bath and a cup of tea felt 100% better.  I walked down the hill into town and had a pint and a nice meal at ‘The Mill’ restaurant before climbing back up the hill to my digs and yet another goods night sleep.   Tomorrow, all being well, I would meet up with Mum and Dad and have my first night under canvas!

Daily Mileage: 95.92 miles

Average Speed: 11.20 mph

Cycling Time: 8h 30m

Cumulative Mileage: 213.83 miles

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