Friday, 8 May 2009

Nessie Hunting...

A late start this morning, got up at 6:30 a.m and read yesterday's paper. The raging torrent outside had subsided and I even got a glimpse of Ben Nevis between the clouds.

After collecting my drying from an exceedingly smelly drying room, I again tumbled my trainers to get them bone dry and warm. I braved not putting on waterproofs - which lasted 3 miles to the start of the Caledonian Canal!

The wind was still really strong from the SW, there were warning signs up advising that ferry services were cancelled - good job I'm on dry land today and cycling NE.The canal path, the "Great Glen Way" was superb and I made good progress.

Along the lochs (no canal) the path followed forest tracks, old rail lines and for 3 miles a "red grade" mountain bike trail - soft mud, steet inclines, tree roots - not fun with panniers on. At one point the track crosses an old rail bridge, they had thoughtfully put some anti-skid mattins across most of its width, I strayed and skidded ending up standing with my bike hoizontal - first fall in 1,000 miles.

Reached Fort Augustus - it was not. Only redeeming features were Helen and Megan, the best looking End-to-Enders I've met to date. They were heading into the wind that was propelling me along at 15mph. I wished them luck, it was their day off so they were heading back to their hostel to read my blog - Hi ladies!

I had read horror stories about the A82 along Loch Ness but the alternative was a 600ft climb or more off road trails. Megan had been hit by a car and within 2 miles of joining the road I come across the Police sorting out a head-on. Decided that riding 4ft from the verge would deter cars trying to squeeze past and force them to properly overtake. Seemed to work, much of the traffic was Nessy related coaches, sure I kept overtaking one German coach as it stopped at every vantage point to see the 'Wee Beasty'.

Last 4 miles into Inverness was back on the Caledonian Canal (with its friendly Lock Keeper) cutting down to enter Inverness across some spectacular Victorian suspension bridges.

For the last 40 miles my back brake has lost grip, I tried tightening the cable and the offset of one pad to no avail. Decided that new pads would solve the problem - it did. The last set lasted 900 miles.Decided that tomorrow will be a non-cycling day, I'd always planned one free day, so I'll take in the sights of Inverness on Friday - shouldn't take long! It will also give my right knee and shin a rest.Thursday StatsFort William to Inverness.

Distance 68.9 miles, climbed 4064 feet, heavy rain in morning, surprisingly sunny in the afternoon.Wednesday StatsTobermoray to Fort William. Distance 70.2 miles 4,786 ft climbed.Tuesday Stats Lochranza to Tobermoray, distance 82.4 5,285 ft climbed Total to date 1,013mile, 79,776 ft (265 Edge Hills!) I'm off to bed..


  1. Richard,

    It sounds like you're meeting quite a few characters en route. Keep on pedalling! And remember Gods's a Scotsman, so anything other than rain in Scotland is a bonus. God bless, PMac (

  2. testing.janet

  3. Kit Lawry said...
    Hope you have a very good day's rest today, Richard - you certainly deserve it! Sounds as if things have been really tough with the rain and the wind. Have been spreading the news of your ride among business network groups in Leamington Spa. The contrast between our activities, as we sit over a nice breakfast networking together, and yours, battling the elements, makes me feel guilty: Who's working harder to raise funds for CORD?! Kit

    08 May, 2009 09:32
    Anonymous said...
    Hi Richard, sounds as though you had a better day than yesterday, after 1000 miles you deserve a day off, hope all goes well will catch up over the weekend. Keith

    08 May, 2009 16:32