These post LEL days, we have reminisced about our cycling journey. LEL was one of the hardest challenges Steve and I have ever encountered in our life. The journey forced us to push ourselves beyond what we ever thought we could accomplish. The challenges were so much more than purely physical, by testing our mental and emotional strength to the max as well. We went through extreme highs and lows and every feeling in between on this ride. This post only highlights just a few beautiful moments and not so beautiful moments we experienced on our whole journey. A later post will encompass the entire ride in great detail from registration to crossing the finish line, well at the least the sections that are not a blur!
We ascending Yad Moss for the first time as the night sky moved in approximately over 300 miles in to the ride on the start of the second night. The moonlight illuminated the valley below in a way that makes it difficult to explain in words. The colors that were there but not really there because of the darkness and shadows. The way the light creep in and out and around the ever changing curves of the mountain and around the sheep and cattle that were laying down slowly ruminating their previous meal was absolutely mesmerizing. The faint flickering lights were barely visible in the stone homes below. Our pedal strokes made the only sound that disturbed the stillness all around. It felt like we were the only ones moving in a world froze in time until you could just barely make out a faint red taillight disappearing into the distant above.
Climbing out of the Devil’s Beef tub was my second favorite moment. Despite the rain the gorgeous hillside full of sheep could put a smile on anyone’s face. The small streams twisting around and down the hill were straight out of a painting and nothing I ever thought I would experience in life. The rain never lasted long and when it subsided it always ended with a rainbow, sometimes a double rainbow. We meet a few people on the climb up and everyone’s attitude were high knowing we were over halfway finished with the ride.
The third beautiful moment was climbing in and out of the River valley just past Innerleithen. Each hill we climbed the evening sky slowly approached until all you could see where faint flickering taillights of other cyclists zigzagging up into an abyss above. There was no traffic and the only sounds audible were the fly wheels buzz and the occasional moo or ba. In fact, there were no houses and no business, we were riding in some of the sparest populated areas in the UK. On one particular descent, two highland cattle greeted us in the road and at the same time we asked each other, did you see the cattle? Sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations and we both thought we were hallucinating!