A torrential downpour in the dead of night ensured a few anxious moments having complacently neglected to tension my guide ropes when I pitched the tent. This meant water reached my inner threatening to soak any limb I brushed against it.
A little morning contortion saw me successfully slip into my cycling shorts etc. without soaking myself overly and I emerged, relieved, to little more than a damp drizzle.
Packing away a camp in the rain is a pain at the best of times. For a novice like me it was a certainly finicky process requiring lots of to-ing and fro-ing from bike to kit. All this meant I didn't leave until 08:30 despite waking at dawn.
With a salute and a ring of my bell to my new Friend Dennis and his menagerie I was off. Before returning 2 minutes later to retrieve my helmet which I had left hanging from a tree branch…
Underway, after that momentary hiccup, the rain cleared and I could get a good look at the dramatic peaks confronting me. Toiling up on my fully loaded bike was hard work and I was soon switching between pushing the bike and riding - but I had all day and my spirits were high.
As I climbed (1693 ft) the climate changed and I enjoyed my first taste of snow and high winds.