How to cycle the 250-mile coast-to-coast Kirkpatrick C2C in Scotland

As I climb slowly out of bed my thoughts immediately turn to my shoes. Are they dry? The previous evening, the first thing I did after checking-in to our hotel in Langholm, tired, wet and dirty was get in the shower and thoroughly wash my once pristine white shoes. Covered in grime and soaked through, I got them sparkling clean before I turned the soap on myself. I’d smuggled some thick paper hand towels out of a cafe earlier in the day knowing I’d need to stuff them in my shoes overnight. I can’t start a ride with wet shoes. I just can’t. So in that cafe, even before I was halfway through day one, my thoughts had leapt forward to the start of day two.

The towels and heated towel rail had worked their magic. My shoes were clean and dry, and with fresh kit laid out, I instantly felt more positive about the 100 or so miles that lay ahead. A quick breakfast and we were soon getting the bike out of the back of the car. It was raining. Hard. In fact it had been raining most of the night, and water was streaming across the roads

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