Six days’ riding and experiencing some of the wonders of Scotland by bike. I traveled with a small group of hearty souls, climbing the small roads and passing through farmland, forests and small villages.
A few of the many highlights – the cathedral where parts of Outlander were filmed, the castle where the Monty Python movie, with the French taunting took place, sheep everywhere, amusing road signs, tasting peat-infused whiskey, challenging climbs to get to braw vistas, skinny roads too narrow for a car and a bike to pass, incredibly courteous and respectful drivers.
We started near Glasgow, stopping for a visit at Drumlanrig Castle on the way to our hotel for the next two nights. During our stay at Selkirk Arms Hotel, we did a 46 mile loop and stopped to check out the Sweetheart Abby; then next day did a ride looking for red deer and wild goats with a short steep hike to a viewpoint.
On day four, the much anticipated ferry ride to Arran Island and accommodations at the Auchrannie Resort in Brodick for the next three nights. The remaining days were spent exploring the few roads on the island, and a day trip ferry to the Kintyre Peninsula, then a loop around the entire island with a stop at a distillery for whiskey and chocolate tasting.
Getting used to riding on the left side of the road and the reversed brake levers was much easier than I anticipated. The bicycles provided were of the best quality possible and extremely well maintained.
Total miles over 6 days, about 250 with 10,596 feet of suffering and climbing to get to some amazing vistas.
Many thanks to Bicycle Adventures and our guides, Jeff and John, for making the Scotland trip truly worth every minute!
A paddle on Salmon Creek kicked off a Gypsearoad summer. Beautiful place to paddle and oh so much trash this time!
Next up was the 10 Mile Ridge Run, a trail race over and through the mountains. It was more over the mountains than through them. The climbing started abruptly, just out of the start, beginning on a very steep paved road, then morphing to a rough track, for almost 4 miles of non-stop uphill! The rolling descent revealed grand vistas of the Columbia River, before a continuous 2.5 mile descent to the Skamania County Fairgrounds and a nice cold beer.
The Gypsea continues adventures by flying to Scotland in June to meet up with a favorite organization, Bicycle Adventures, to explore the Aran Island area of Scotland. Ride – Eat – Sleep! That’s all I have to do on this trip. Oh, maybe sample some whiskey and take photos.
Shortly upon return from Scotland, the Gypsea heads to Southern Oregon for another supported cycling trip with BRNW. August will be filled with car camping and a backpacking trip.
The finale is the Big Bike Tour which begins in Pittsburgh PA. With the assistance of Adventure Cycling, C&O and GAP resources, WarmShowers, and more, I’ll be making my way, self supported, down to North Carolina for the long and relaxing train ride home.
Stay tuned for updates!