Wednesday, May 13, 2009


What a good way to start my accidental mountain bike holiday. The flight over was the usual never ending 9 hour ordeal (unlike my last flight when I was sitting smugly in business class).  It was the typical cramped seat, trying to sleep while the neighbor refused to shut her shade on the window, and the crew not being as friendly as usual. The flight ended and after a transfer to another flight I ended up in Edinburgh. Andy was right outside the gate waiting for me and I was excited to show him how small a suitcase I got my Trek Fuel Ex into. I figured out a few years ago that it would be quite easy to take a full suspension bike and remove a few bolts and put it into a normal suitcase (This save around $400 round trip). This was my first attempt. Well the bike didn't arrive. It is hard to figure how it could have been misplaced as I had lots of time between all my flights, but on the other hand it is hard to figure how these airports keep track of the millions of pieces of luggage everyday. They did track it down and it will be here at around noon today.
We still had to complete our first day mission though, the weekly night ride in Selkirk. I have done this ride every year I have come to Scotland and I didn't want to miss another chance. I borrowed one of Andy's bikes, bought a new pair of Bontrager shoes ( I was going to get a pair anyway at home) and off we went. Pete decided today was a good day to ride The Eildons Hills. These are the three hills between Melrose, Galashiels and Selkirk. They are the symbol of the Borders. The Borders is the area of Scotland which lies in the southeastern part of Scotland, between England and Scotland. I have hiked up the Eildons at least three times but this was my first time on a bike up them. You can see by the photos how beautiful they are .
To make a long ride a short story, the normally two hour night ride ended up being a four hour ride. Ali of course had soup and cake waiting for us at 11:30 at night, along with a big smile. I had forgotten my jet lag hours before (a 4 hour night ride is the best jet lag cure I have used). I felt at home. It was like I had ridden with these folk every day forever. 
I am truly blessed to have all these great friends.

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