Cycle Touring

Clyde to Cape Wrath – day 1

 

Day one of the Clyde to Cape Wrath trail, off-road bike route  which I followed during the first week of May this year. The inspiration came from my good pal, Dave Wilson. The An Turas Mor website is his idea alone, without which I would have struggled to finish. The route is iconic and should become the best off-road bicycle route in the UK. Using the restful four hour train journey from Fort William to Glasgow (Dalmuir station), allowed a gentle start to this adventure, towards the north-west highlands. Other start points in Glasgow are available. Personally, I found the Kelvin Walkway to offer the least enjoyable section of the whole journey. It was impossible (for me) to gain any sort of rythym of travel. Fences and muddy ruts, next to a deep river did not play well for me on the first day. The journey improved as time passed by. Dave had joined me on this first day and we found a good driniking ‘hole’ in Aberfoyle to enjoy supper and a few pints, watching footie. A wild camp in Aberfoyle, down by the river was restful.

Cycling Orkney (Rousay)

Back in July A day trip to Rousay Full of History and Tombs and Chambers and Sculptures
A short ferry trip from Tingwall on the Orkney Mainland and a fifteen mile cycling circumnavigation of Rousay is simple in a day. Plenty of interesting places to visit, especially Midhowe Cairn.

 

Glen Roy cycle

 

A visit to the Scottish Mountain Heritage Museum  put together by Mick and Kathy Tighe is well worth the trip. Give them a call to make sure they will be around, before making the journey.

The collection of ancient mountaineering kit is considerable, fully archived and continues to grow. In fact, if anyone has any kit they no longer need or has been passed down from generations, Mick and Kathy would love to hear from you. Anything from old photos and books/magazines to clothing and hardwear is of interest.

The weather finally gave a decent day for an outing on the bike  outing on the bike Venturing further up this remote glen is not to  be missed, to view the Parallel Roads

 

Cycle Lochan Lundavra

Lochan Lundavra Is about as hard as it gets for a short ride locally. There and back, loads of up and down and steep grades. Very quiet though and some good countryside on the south side of the Mamores.

Cycle Corrour

A very good day out with Sue, David Wilson and Coire. We caught a morning train out to Corrour and cycled on the very new and good estate tracks to Rannoch Station, where we caught an afternoon train home. Not very long, but a fair bit of uphill to start with and the track became very bumpy for the final third. Glorious late summer weather enhanced the trip, with views west from Ben Nevis to Glen Coe. A final Cherry on the top is the tea shop at Rannoch Station, not to be missed. The ladies are collecting for Nepal and David was able to hand over a fairly sizable donation.

 

 

Chris Walker Cycle Challenge

Last weekend was spent in the English Lake District taking part in the Chris Walker Cycle Challenge and although the main event had been cancelled due to a lack of numbers, quite a few of us turned out, to both remember Chris and support this very worthwhile cause. Please have a look at the Chris Walker Trust and seriously consider donating a few quid. Many instructors/guides reading this will benefit from the free avalanche training days on offer through the various mountain training groups in the UK. The route we took can be viewed on this link. Fortunately it stayed dry and I can thoroughly recommend this little ‘spin’, even the 100 metres of Honister Pass, which I had to walk, pushing my bike! Cliff Smith and my daughter, Victoria came down and Colin Downer, who lives in Keswick came along to add to the ‘banter’.
Off interest, we met Billy Bland, a local fell running legend, who keeps fit cycling up and down Honister Pass. So far this year he has made the trip 136 times and is aiming for 200. Our route took us up the more abrupt side of the pass from Borrowdale. The final descent of Whinlatter Pass towards Keswick was rather fast and exciting!
Before heading back north to Edinburgh we had a morning cragging at Bram Crag Quarry on the Sunday, where Colin has been bolting a variety of climbs. The easiest one we managed was around VS 4c and the hardest was probably E1 5b, although sports grades will probably be adopted in future. All are equipped with solid lower-offs as the top of the cliff is loose and horticultural.

Just cycling

My good friend David Wilson has been leading me astray recently! Making the most of a couple of good days weather, our cycling route from Fort William took us first to the Lochailort Inn for a quick pint, before an overnight at the Glenuig Inn The next day the Acharacle coffee and cake shops appeared closed until 1130 but salvation came at the refurbished Salen Hotel before a non-alcoholic lunch (?) in the pretty little village of Strontian A final pint at the Inn at Ardgour before heading over the Corran Ferry and running the gauntlet on the A82 back to Lime Tree for another final pint. I could get used to this form of cycle touring!

En route we met Graham cycling for road safety. Not just on bicycles, but all forms of transport. Needless to say Graham did not partake of any alcoholic beverage. His charity cycle aims to visit some of the extremes of mainland UK. Check out the link to his website here

Snow dusting

A minor dusting of snow came and went on Ben Nevis yesterday. We had fine weather on Wednesday but now it is all downhill for a day or so.