Day 31– Thursday 23rd April

  • 20 minutes plus 5 minutes cool down level 14 (bike 1)
  • Sets bench and abs
  • Max heart rate = 163 bpm
  • Calories = 272 (total so far 10232)
  • Distance covered = 7.85 miles
  • Total distance so far = 348.96

Well it just shows what you can do when you set your mind to it – and of course having a ‘trainer’ like David on my case certainly achieves results 😊! Despite feeling somewhat under par, I set the bike to level 14 again, kept the rpm above 80 the whole way and with Dave shouting that I should ‘keep my legs moving to the end’ (!) I burned a massive 272 calories and achieved a super personal best on a gym day of 7.85 miles.

My musical accompaniment today was the legendary Phil Collins, Both Sides – deluxe edition. Some beautiful listening on this album with a real mix of slow and fast. The aptly name Survivors and We Wait and We Wonder both had great pedalling rhythm.

My ride today takes me through Carstairs, a small village with a long history dating back to Roman times. I’m heading towards the border with England now and the place names seem very different from the ones we encountered in the far north east of Scotland. Carstairs is Brittonic in origin (an indigenous Briton as opposed to an Anglo Saxon or Gael). The first part of the name is the element cajr ‘an enclosed, defensible site’ and the second part of the name is a lost stream-name

Carstairs was used as a labour camp and instructional centre in the 1920s and 30s and in more recent years has gained a certain notoriety as the location of the State Hospital (a maximum security psychiatric facility).

My 7.85 miles takes me just beyond here and in sight of another village with the unusual name of Pettinain, supposedly derived from the old British word Peithynan, signifying ‘a clear space of flat ground’ – and it certainly is compared to the Scottish mountains.  Brief respite now before we get into the Lake District.

A hundred years ago the ruins of a house were discovered at Clowburn, a few miles from the village in which tea is said to have first been introduced to Scotland. It was brought from Holland, by Sir Andrew Kennedy, in 1677, and who, being ‘Conservator of the Scotch Nation’ at Campvere, had received it as a present from the Dutch East India Company.