Saturday, 29 May 2010

Newcastleton - Post Exposure

After leaving the 24hrs of Exposure Camp last Sunday afternoon, we took the mile and a half drive to the bed and breakfast that we had booked into for the next 2 nights. We had purposefully booked a room, which had an en-suite; as the last thing I would want to do after the squalor of camping facilities (which I hasten to add were even worse than I expected) is share a bathroom with any other guests.  The other advantage of booking the en-suite room is that it had a king size bed - which sounded great after 2 nights of uncomfortable camping.  It seemed perfect, as it would provide some of lifes little luxuries that we often take for granted; like a comfy bed and a private bath.

On arrival at the Sorbietrees B&B we were surprised at what awaited us.  Externally it was gorgeous, a large stone farmhouse set in a stunning countryside.  The only noises were an array of bird calls and the odd whinney of a horse, the baa of a sheep or a cow moo'ing.  It was glorious!

We were then shown to our room.  We were both slightly taken aback by it. It was HUGE and very luxurious! I kid you not, we could fit the whole of our downstairs into it!  The bed was beyond KingSize... it was SuperKingSize and there was a comfy sofa too.  As for the en-suite.... well what can I say.... wow! Again it was huge and luxurious. It had a double-ended deep bath as well as a separate huge shower cubicle.  You could get lost in that bathroom.

After a quick freshen up, we went for a quick spin around the local area.  Our B&B landlady is a horse rider and very knowledgeable about bridleways in the area and advised us of a lovely 10mile route, following an old railway line.  It was a great ride which took us directly through fields of sheep. I was in my element chattering to the bemused looking sheep and lambs!   That night we went into the village of Newcastleton to "The Grapes" public house for our tea, which was nice.  There were quite a few stragglers from the race whom we chatted to, before we headed back for an early night in the luxurious B&B to catch up on some sleep (Camping was great fun, but sleep deprivation was starting to kick in).

Breakfast was at 9 and when we walked into the dining room we were shocked by what we saw. A huge dining table laden with breakfast goodies. All kinds of cereal, a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad, yogurts, a selection of fruit juices, all kinds of jams and marmalade's and a never-ending pot of tea. It was amazing! We were the only guests, so this was all for us.  After some cereal and fruit salad, it was time for a (veggie) cooked breakfast and toast.    This breakfast was fit for royalty - we definitely wouldn't be needing much, if any, lunch!

Monday saw my marathon adventure in Keilder (see previous post) and after a hard days ride I enjoyed a long soak in the tub before we went back into town for another evening meal.  This time we went to the "Liddesdale".  The food was simple yet super. Mmm! Again, it was time for another early night. I was exhausted and that bed was just too comfy to ignore.

After another heavenly sleep and huge scrumptious breakfast it was time to pack, but we knew we couldn't leave Newcastleton without sampling some of the fantastic mountain bike trails through the forest.  After all, we hadn't even done a lap of the 24hr race track, so we really must do some of it.  The trouble was my shoulders were still in excruciating pain, so we decided on a short leisurely route that took along 8km of forest road, which was apparently suitable for all levels of cyclists and hybrid bikes. 

We took the first climb up and things seemed OK, the terrain was very loose and sketchy but i'm sure it wasn't anything I couldn't manage. Hmmm! I spoke too soon. I guess in normal conditions it would have been OK, but I was broken from the previous ride.  As we started to descend, every feather of the brakes resulted in a sharp pain in my shoulders. It was so painful that I was unable to pull my brakes enough to stop my bike - so I had to use grassy knolls to slow me down.

It was torture but we had only just done a mile. Mikey suggested we walk back and just forget about riding today. But as the stubborn fool I am, I knew I couldn't - I would hate myself if I didn't finish such a short route. After all, it was a really simple route, that is, IF you had knobbly wide tires, suspension and more responsive brakes. Ouch! I gritted my teeth and continued. Every movement bought pain into my shoulders and hands.

As you've probably guessed, I didn't enjoy any of that ride,  Yes, the scenery was stunning and in ordinary circumstances it would have been fun, but today I was in too much pain!  The only satisfaction I had was that I completed it and didn't let it completely beat me. The only highlight of the ride was passing over the Scotland-England border. 

And one good thing that came of it, was that during those few days in Scotland I rode 50miles - which is what I usually average a week.

Ah well, next year I will hopefully be fitter and if we go, I will know to take my MTB, not my CX bike!


Red Bike said...

I think I said hello to you at Newcastleton although I didn't actually realise who you were until after.

I did the 24hr with no suspension and only one brake lever. (The one brake lever wasn't intended). It's taken nearly a week for my hands and bum to heal!

I hope your shoulder recovers soon.

SS:Mtn Biker said...

I'm sorry you're having the shoulder pain,that can be the worst! Especially when you want to enjoy a ride. I hope you heal up soon.

Be proud of the accomplishment,relish in it,you've earned it :). Sounds like a grand vacation in the B&B. We've never stayed in one before,we just might have to give it a try (when finances finally return to normal,LOL!). I envy the grand weekend you've described,and glad you shared it,was a very enjoyable read,my friend :)


KatieCake said...

Thank you both for your supportive words. I've been riding my MTB since returning from Scotland - just to ease the strain on my shoulders, so they are currently feeling OK.

@RedBike I did chat to you pre race (sometime eary in the morning near the portaloo's) but when I realised you didnt know it was me I was too shy to try and explain. BIG congrats on your 24hr achievements though. :-)

@Steve Thank you for your encouraging words, it is a nice feeling to know that my ramblings are making someone somewhere smile. :-)