Route out – Gorebridge to Borthwick to North Middleton to Middleton to Blackhope Farm to Dewar. For route map click here.
Route home – Dewar to Blackhope Farm to Middleton to Fushiebridge to Gorebridge. For route map click here.
- Weather – sunny and cloudy, cool with a chilly wind on high ground.
- Distance travelled – 23.69 miles
- Riding time – 2 hours 53 minutes
- Maximum speed – 27.8 mph
- Average speed – 8.2 mph
On Sunday morning I decided to take Dad on a cycle run over the top of the Moorfoot Hills. We had been along the B7007 from Middleton to Innerleithen many times in the car but had always thought that it would be a bit too steep for us to cycle on. As it it turned out, we were completely wrong and it wasn’t too difficult at all.
The first mile or so from Gorebridge was all uphill and extremely steep but soon you got a great view across to the Pentland Hills in one direction and the Moorfoot Hills in another. From there it was downhill all the way to Borthwick Castle and it was here that I reached my fastest speed of the day. Just before the castle, we crossed a bridge over the Borders railway but didn’t see any trains. We then had a short steep section which took us to the village of North Middleton. Here, we used the underpass to cross the busy A7 main road, before heading uphill once more, passing by a dead badger before reaching Middleton, where we stopped for a snack next to the National Cycle Network signpost.
From Middleton we headed gradually uphill for around 3 miles as we headed to the highest point of the road through the Moorfoot Hills. It was quite an easy ride and I even managed to ride all the way up in gears 8 and 9. On the way the views across to the Pentland Hills, Edinburgh and Fife were really good. We could even see some snow capped mountains a long way north as well as the new Forth Road Bridge peaking up above the horizon. We stopped for an early lunch of tiger prawns and cheese sandwiches just off the main road at the start of the track which leads to Blackhope Farm. From there we could see the second highest of the Moorfoot hills, Blackhope Scar. After lunch, we speeded the rest of the way downhill to our destination Dewar. There isn’t much in Dewar but we did discover an old bus which appears to have been turned into into someone’s house.
On the way back we spotted a massive bird flying close to the ground. Dad said it was much bigger than a Buzzard and may even have been an Eagle but he wasn’t sure. At the highest point in the road, we stopped to look at the unusual signpost which told us that we were 404m above sea level and that Newcastle was 168 miles away – a bit too far for us. I thought we would be lucky to do that in 5 or 6 days! We took a slightly different route back to Gorebridge from Middleton, by passing North Middleton and Borthwick and heading back via Fushiebridge. Luckily for me, we stopped at the railway bridge just in time to see a train going passed on its way to Gorebridge station so we followed it the last couple of miles back to our staring point.