There are loads of Scottish Islands but if you are a Munro bagger only two are of any interest-Skye with the Cuillins inc the infamous Inpin and Mull with Ben more which was my sole remaining island Munro.
This was my third attempt at Ben More the first, 9 years ago was cancelled due to the early appearance of my first grandchild, the second attempt last year ended at Oban and now here I was sitting on the ferry to Mull bike down with the cars ready to bag it at my third attempt.
The ferry docked and I headed on the Salen road and then to Knock leaving the bike at the “Munro” car park by Loch Na Keal. I had elected to do the out and back route rather than a longer circuit and set off up the well worn path to a cloud shrouded summit in the wake of the occupants of the three cars that had all passed me from the same ferry.
There was hardly a need for maps as the path wound it’s obvious way towards the top and even when I entered the low cloud visibility was still good enough to follow the track up onto the plateau and along to the shelter cairn. I had passed two pairs of walkers on the way up and the third pair was at the summit cairn just getting ready to depart as I sat down for a spot of lunch sheltered from the wind. I looked at my watch and had made the 3 mile 966m climb in 2 hours consulting the ferry timetable I realised that I might be able to catch a ferry at 15:30 rather than nearer 1700!
I made the descent in 90 minutes and without much ado climbed on the Giant for the 19 miles back to Craignure which I covered in 1:25 and made the ferry.
A tiring but exciting microadventure.
L for Loch Katrine. A localish race that allowed me to drive early in the morning and do the race and be home for 5pm.
Being Scottish L was always going to be Loch something it was just a matter of fitting the other races in as well.
The Loch Katrine running festival comprises a 10K, half marathon and the full marathon. The full marathon sets off from Trossach Pier at 0900 and follows the Loch to just past Stronlachar Pier where you turn around and head back the way you came.
The forecast was bad but on the day the weather was really quiet good with a dull damp start and the sun making an appearance later on about mile 18 or 19. The course had a total climb of 2500 ft with some long hills. It was a small field and there were a few occasions when no one else was in sight especially with the winding loch side road which was almost traffic free. The majority of the race entry fee goes to charity and you won’t find gels, isotonic drinks or bananas at the feed stations. Water only with flapjack and sweets at the turnaround point.
4:57:0 with 2500 ft climb.
The A-Z challenge went well this year only two done but what a blast.
J Jungfrau a great trip a marvellous run and a hugely satisfying experience.
K Kielder an off road race just 2 hours from home and organised by none other than Steve Cram. Part of a festival including a 10K, half marathon and duathlon. Well worth a visit.
A page turner by John Metcalfe. This is the story of the authors trip down the Great Divide from Roosville in Canada to Antelope Wells in New Mexico a 2500mile mountain bike route which he completed with his long suffering friend JK.
Witty and well written the book has the right balance of stats and descriptive narrative. The writer manages to give a daily account of social, economic, historical and geographic facts.
Describes potential problems you might encounter if you fancy tackling the route.
A great read.
I wont bore you with the technical details you can get all that from Brooks lets look at the important things!
Looks: A bright pair of shoes. Not in the fluorescent all over way but a pink diamond pattern almost resembling snake skin! Black laces with web straps rather than lace holes.
Fit: I went for the woman’s eight, oops that might have something to do with the pink colour then!!, Brooks have been wide on me in the past and a mens nine is too big so I decided to try a woman’s eight and although the fit is too tight with thick socks they fit really well with a thin pair on. The uppers almost wrap themselves around my feet.
The run: Light and agile with the sole pods providing plenty of power transfer. The sole is similar to the old Reebok soles. Not a shoe to take off road or even on tony paths as stones get picked up in the sole unit.
Verdict: Good shoes doing the rounds on sale at he mo grab a bargain!
Taking bikes to a Jean Michel Jarre gig might not be the first thing that pops into your mind but with gig tickets and 2 nights hotel booked it seemed like an ideal opportunity to explore some of Glasgow on two wheels.
Carol and I travelled by train to Glasgow Queen Street and then onwards to our hotel in the West End by a very effective protected bike lane which took us through the traffic and over the motorway system safely and efficiently. Before heading for our hotel we nipped into the Siempre bike cafe on Dumbarton road to while away some time till book in. We had checked with the hotel that they had storage for bikes and this was in the main corridor under a cctv camera which, by the markings on the wall was a pretty regular occurrence. With bikes stowed and after a wash and change we headed out for food and the Hydro which was just a short walk away. Whilst browsing the net for food outlets in the vicinity I came across Fanny Trollopes literally 200yds from the front door of our hotel, Fannys it was. Advertising a two course pre theatre dinner for £15 I would happily have paid double for the food. It was excellent. No use describing what we had here as the menu changes on a frequent basis but suffice to say even if you think you know what you are getting it will be different with some twist to the flavour. The gig at the Hydro was amazing and JMJ in his seventies still has the energy and passion he showed at the Docklands in the 80’s.
After a not too heavy breakfast served efficiently and quickly by the staff in the Sandyford we climbed on our bikes and headed back to the Hydro and the Clyde walkway. This had been work in progress when I did my LEJoG and although some stretches were still undergoing work had vastly improved in the 3 years since I had last been thru. We followed the walkway out to Clydebank and Dalmuir where we had a break for a cuppa mainly to warm ourselves up as a slight rain was falling. We had lunch booked at The Ubiqitous Chip in the Centre so after tea we headed back to the centre but along the F. C Canal.
WE followed the canal back towards the centre, through the Botanic Gardens and into Ashton Lane and the Ubiqitous Chip. Unlike Fannys this was booked on purpose and features in Peter Irvine’s Scotland the Best. Soup and an open sandwich was the order of the day here and the results are shown below. Another gem of a place!
After lunch we headed back to The Sandyford.
We had return tickets for the train but decided to bike down the Canal to Lenzie or Croy and catch the train from there. So we headed back to the Canal via the River Kelvin and the Botanic Gardens and headed NE first then due East along a well tarmaced canalside path. We stopped at a canalside pub for a cuppa and sheltered under an umbrella from the rain. Then continued on towards Lenzie. We left the canal at Kirkintilloch and picked up a cycle path near the marina from there it was simply a case of following signs to the station. On the way there we cycled across a nature reserve and through a wood both of which even in the rain were very pleasant.
We now begun a tour of Central Scotland’s lesser known rail stations from Lenzie to Larbert where we changed to get our
train to Edinburgh and were told in no uncertain terms by a surly rail guard to move our bikes two carriages down as the bike storage was full. We would have done this anyway. But a smile doesn’t hurt does it!!
Totals for the weekend were 30 miles 530 feet climbed in 3h 27. Not great distances but the whole point of the trip apart from JMJ obviously was to do some biking in Glasgow.
Posted in Living it!
Tagged clyde, clydebank, fanny trollopes, Glasgow, larbert, lenzie, ncn, scotrail, scottish bike touring, ubiwious chip, union canal
Kielder a local race compared to China and Berlin and with a plea for car sharing by the organisers I decided that it could be done in a day. I managed to get a lift thru FB and rose at 4am Sunday and headed for Rosyth and my ride south.
Numbers were sent out by mail along with a 4 page guide which included a route map but no route profile. WE arrive at the village of Falstone and after some food and drink and the almost inevitable pit stop we headed for the buses.
The buses took the full marathon runners to the start at Leaplish waterside park, there were marquees available for bags, massages and food and drink with a wandering MC doing a fine job. The announcement came over the tannoy for runners to head to the start which was published as being at 10:15 but ended up starting at 10:30.
The course heads north out of the park and heads around the lake. It was a dry warm day and the trails were in excellent condition. The course undulated all the way round the lake with a couple of larger lumps and some sharp bends. There were drinks stations approx every 5K with isotonic drinks being provided from 15K there was no food available.
At the end of the race you got a medal and a shirt then a goody bag with drinks and a muffin. There was also bananas available.
After the race it was back on a bus to the village and the journey home.
Not a race I would like to do again. Time was 4:53:49 442nd overall.