Thursday, 27 August 2009

Day 12: Traquair to Kinross

In contrast to yesterday evening's sunshine, the rain was torrential as I had my breakfast in Traquair. After putting on my wet weather gear, it had eased off slightly, and I set out towards Peebles. Luckily, this road was quite sheltered from the rain, mostly being surrounded by woodland. From Peebles I joined the main A703 to Edinburgh. Although much busier (and much, much flatter!) than most roads I've taken so far, it was by no means heavily trafficked, with plenty of long quiet gaps. The rain gradually lightened, until it stopped completely a few miles from Peebles.

Before getting to Penicuik, my route forked off towards Bonyrigg, in order to avoid the busiest approaches to Edinburgh. As I began to curve back round to the west, I found that the planned route was trying to take me along a very narrow muddy woodland trail. On the Brompton, especially in the rain (which had now started again) this didn't seem a good idea, so I continued on the main road until I crossed the A720 ring road and found my way back to the route, following the B701, part of the designated inner ring road for cyclists.

With the sun occasionally shining, I travelled through the pleasant leafy suburbs to the south of the city, before going through some of the less-affluent areas to the west. At Barnton, I joined NCN 1, a mostly traffic-free route that took me up to and across the Forth Road Bridge. This was just as impressive as the Severn Bridge (although thankfully with no strong winds), with the added bonus of great views of the magnificent Forth Rail Bridge. I ate lunch just over the bridge in Inverkeithing, next to an interesting and detailed map of the region's cycle routes.

After an initial climb out of Inverkeithing, the final part of the day was spent on reasonably flat and quiet but uninspiring A- and B-roads through Cowdenbeath and Kelty to Kinross. The rain came down briefly again a few miles from the end, giving a misty look to Loch Leven as I passed by. My B&B was easy to find, on the high street, and close to an excellent Indian restaurant where I ate far too much! Sadly, internet connections and phone signals were non-existent here, hence the delay to this installment. I suspect this may become a recurring feature as I venture further north.

Distance: 62.2 miles
Total ascent: 1128m
Cumulative distance: 736.6 miles
Interactive route map and profile:

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