Massive breakfasts in the Station Hotel, Carl did some filming with Reka and John… then Reka and I cycled off to start the day….. up the most massive and long hill you have ever seen in your life. As it was the first hour of the day and I couldn’t give up in hour 1, I somehow got to the top, painfully, slowly and with my eyes firmly looking down rather than ahead so that I couldn’t see how much further I had to go! Luckily the sun was shining and no rain, so that was a big help. There was a lovely ride once at the top, so by 2.00 p.m. had covered 25 miles. Carl took over for an hour but unfortunately it was one of the worst hills so far but he too managed it slowly and painfully to the top, then happily passed back to me! We found a national cycle network path for the last 19 miles. Carl took lots of photos and filmed as we were crossing the Forth Road Bridge, the only person probably to lie down in the middle of the cycle track going across the bridge to film us biking past. Coming into Edinburgh across the bridge, we were so aware of traffic fumes, noise that even Adele on my ipod couldn’t mask and speed of traffic that we were tempted to go around the roundabout and back up North… but then we had a lovely experience. We called in at the Maggie Cancer Care centre in Edinburgh to say hello, as somehow it seemed appropriate and we had a warm and welcoming reception from the whole team, who were interested and enthusiastic about the ride and made us feel it was important. They even had tea and cakes for us! Their warmth really lifted our tired bodies and minds… thank you lovely Maggie’s Edinburgh staff. We went off to the massive cycle shop ‘Evans’ in Edinburgh for a quick bike check and lovely Jack, the Manager, after having spoken earlier with my brother Robert about the ride, gave both our bikes a full service, which would have cost us lots for free and said it was the least they could do! So if you live in Edinburgh and cycle, go to Evans…. they finished our day off perfectly. Reka of course has been her usual amazing self. Just quietly and determined she gets on her bike and starts pedalling and finishes at the end of the day. Looks after her support team and encourages us, waiting for us, motivating us to get up those hills. I wish I was faster so that sometimes she doesn’t have to be at the front but am getting stronger each day and Reka told me i would never have made today’s hill last Friday, so who knows, either I’ll be completely finished by next week or maybe a bit stronger every day. We do have lots of fun and laughter though. It’s not all about my dread of the hills! We’ve just had a massive dinner to go with our massive I breakfast with Rob and Helen. Most importantly, I had my first bath since last thursday with muscle relaxant and bath salts in it. Only the call to dinner got me out…. So many parallels between this ride and medical treatments… ups and downs of hills and descents… warm baths and driving rain…. free bike servicing and impatient motorists… my sweet little niece filming and photographing alongside me writing this blog! It’s great to get your messages on the blog. Reka and i read them to each other over breakfast, which feels like you are all with us… Just a few messages now for my family….Hello Rio, I’ve thought about you lots today in your last week at school, new baby at home and all kinds of things happening in your life. i can’t wait for you to come for your summer holidays. You, me and Jayden are going to build the biggest sandcastle anyone has ever seen in their lives. Scarlett, you too in your last week in this first year of being a newly qualified teacher…hope India plans are going well, Mark and Amanda, hope you’re getting some sleep and keep sending photos of the baby .. love and miss you all…. Photos to follow..