Thursday, 20 April 2017

Day 2 and 3 of West Highland Way By Bike

After a fairish bit of bashing of rocks along the side of Loch Lomond on a path that didn't exist in places, my rear derailleur must have got knocked off line a bit resulting in the chain trying to chew the spokes out of the rear wheel when I changed into the lowest gear, however with the usual mix of foul and abusive language it was soon repaired and bent back into place.

How did we ever manage to pick weather like this to cross Rannoch Moor, surely one of the loneliest spots in the British Isles in bad weather but on a day like this, fantastic!

The bottom of the Devils Staircase in Glencoe and we're faced with about 45 minutes of pushing the bikes up the rocky climb, but worth it for the scenery if nothing else!

A triumphant wave as I managed to reach the top of the |Devils Staircase in third place.

You just cant relax for a second on the track along to Kinlochleven with the stretch probably about the smoothest.

The last mechanical when Davids derailleur hanger came loose and jammed up his rear wheel, soon repaired though and once again foul language came to the rescue!

Andy's in laws stay in Kinlochleven and we took advantage of their hospitality to have a cup of tea and some crisps etc before heading to our bunkhouse for the night.

Next morning after a relatively short but hard and cold 16 miles we reached Fort William and cycled abreast up the High Street to the amusement of some of the locals who must see this nearly every day of the year!

Barrie and I pose for the camera at the end of the |West Highland Way with me vowing "never again" but pleased as punch at doing it (and surviving)!

The eight who set out from Milngavie all made it with a few scrapes and bruises and loads of memories.

My legs showing my personal cuts and scrapes more or less all done on the 4 mile stretch along the side of Loch Lomond from Inversnaid.

A fantastic trip with plenty incidents and weather that couldn't have been better, Scotland at its best and not a midge in sight for the whole of the trip. So far over £3000 has been raised for Meningitis Research,thanks to everybody who donated.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Day 1 of The West Highland Way by Bike charity ride in aid of meningitis research

The start of the ride in Milngavie and Barrie and I  try our best to look cool calm and collected.....and fail badly!! 

The first glimpse of Loch Lomond and little did we suspect just how hard reaching the north end of it would be

A group photo minus Graham who took it and still no scraped shins!

The start of the descent from Conic Hill above the village of Balmaha which sits at the side of Loch Lomond, as we descended we encountered more and more hill walkers on their way up.

The descent at times was hairy to say the least, here David does the steps while Peter prefers the smoother side track!

Barrie also took the slightly easier way down, preferring to reach Balmaha and lunch in one piece! 

The Drovers Inn at the north end of Loch Lomond, if ever anywhere looked as if it were perfect for a horror movie it was here, but the accommodation was first class and I was asleep within 5 minutes of going to bed.

Eight of us left Milngavie at 9.30am on Friday the 7th April in great biking weather, not too hot, not too cold, with some of the group having expectations of averaging 10mph over the 40 odd miles to the Drovers Inn! In actual fact we took over 10 hours to reach it and you don't have to be a mathematical genius to work out our average speed! The section that really slowed us down was the last 4 miles or so from Inversnaid Hotel which took over 3 hours of not much biking, a fair bit of hike-a-biking and a new pastime to me of rock climbing whilst carrying a bike. This is where the scraped shins and multiple bruises appeared from along with the occasional near tumble into the loch.However we eventually reached our 1st nights stoppage point and after a meal which quite frankly a few of us were too knackered to eat it was off to bed in our en-suite accommodation, hoping we would feel better the next morning!
More later.....