Archive for cycling

Day 16 – Boat of Garten to Tain

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 21, 2013 by lejogsb9

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A fabulous sea mist awaited us this morning allowing a much cooler start to the ride. It wasn’t until we reached the Kessock Bridge over the Beauly Firth that we started to get a glimpse of any scenery as the sun began to make its presence known again. On reaching Inverness we weaved our way to the cycle cafe for mid morning tea and cakes and the opportunity to see a replay of Chris Froome’s epic finish on Mont Ventou. Continuing our journey through the Cairngorms the usual medley of songs rang out through the various villages we passed through. Our next stop was Dingwall for lunch. Finding not one cafe open the only option was the local pub. With 20 miles left of the route we ran parallel with the coast where we could see the disused oil rig in Cromerty Firth and far reaching views of the Black Isle. Picking up a stiff headwind for last 5 miles we arrived in Tain by 3.30 enabling an earlyish finish before regrouping for dinner with the rest of our cycling party.

Day 15 – Pitlochry – Boat of Garten

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 20, 2013 by lejogsb9

Welcome to Highlands

 

A fairly flat route awaited us today with a long gentle climb to the gateway of the Highlands at the top of Drumochter Pass. Sandra had the most scenic puncture of the tour.  We joined the old A9 road for several miles which has been designated a cycle route.  We then headed for Dalwhinnie distillery and on past Kingussie and General Wade Barracks.  With temperatures at 29 degrees we found respite in some undulating woodlands before heading past Aviemore and back into the heat of the afternoon.  We were all really pleased to reach our hotel to gain a reprieve from the heat of the day.

Day 14 – Stirling to Pitlochry

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 20, 2013 by lejogsb9

Stirling

 

With barely any time to get the legs turning we were climbing up onto the moor. Some pretty steep sections kept us pedalling hard in the hot weather.  Once on the high land we encountered some superb vistas through Sma’ Glen skirting such places as Dunblane, Gleneagles and the odd distillery.  Our morning stop was at the Stuart Crystal Visitor Centre on our way to Crieff.  On leaving the Glen we pushed onto Aberfeldy. This was where Richard and Patrick encountered the bridge crossing we were using closed.  Having arrived at different times there was a mutual strong exchange of words with the workmen leaving no one best pleased! The rest of the group got the message and were able to make a detour. The remainder of the route was fairly flat and we ended the day in the picturesque town of Pitlochry where stayed at a most unusual hotel. We were warned it was like Fawlty Towers and that pretty much summed the place up!

Day 12 – Abington – Stirling

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 18, 2013 by lejogsb9

Lejog

At long last a mostly flat route passing between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  The first stop of the morning was upon us fairly quickly as we’d managed to put on a decent pace. After a quick trip to the apple pie shop – absolutely scrummy – we continued onto Shotts where we overshot the lunchtime cafe!  On our way out of town we stopped at the local ambulance station to ask directions to the cafe, only to be told that it was shot for refurbishment.  The ambulance crew then invited us into for tea and coffee.  It was at this point they had an emergency call and left us with full use of their kitchen and lounge facilities.  Within seconds Sally was comfy in leather armchair and watching the telly while Patrick made drinks for every one.  We never saw them again, so we had a whip round and left them details of our blog – so thanks guys your generosity was very much appreciated.  So far, so good…..  After our next refuel stop we headed off for Biggar.  The nearer we got the bigger the climb became! Once at the top we had far reaching views of the Firth of Forth.  A big downhill then awaited us all the way into Stirling.  Tomorrow is a day off so we will be back soon folks.

Day 6 – Hereford to Shifnal

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 11, 2013 by lejogsb9

Crossing at Ironbridge

Today was an easy day compared to what we have been experiencing over the last few days. Did you think we would every say “Shropshire made for easy cycling?” With an early start some of us were making the most of catching up with family as were so close to home. We had a mid morning break in Ludlow and pedalled onto Much Wenlock where Richard caught up with us having gone AWOL the previous evening. Within 10 minutes of arriving home he was up a ladder carrying out some remedial work on the house. We arrived in Ironbridge early afternoon where we could almost smell the faggots and peas in the Black Country. Alas, we couldn’t escape the climb out of Coalport. We reached Shifnal around 2.30 and made the most of a sports massage and a dip in the hotel pool.

Day 4 – Exeter to Sidcot

Posted in Lejog with tags , , , on July 10, 2013 by lejogsb9
Exeter to Sidcot.
The nine ‘bugs’ woke up this morning hoping for an easier day after the mega hilly day of yesterday. We set off from Exeter at 8.45 and after stocking up with supplies at Sainburys, headed off for Sidcot, Cheddar. We had some wonderful stretches of flat roads, some gradual climbs and a few steep hills, but compared to the climbs of yesterday everyone found it much easier.  That is until the last 2 miles.  We got lost on a disused railway line.  The Garmins lost their signals when we encountered a long dark tunnel on a disused railway track “3 times” by mistake.  Sye thought we were in Netherton!  The day ended an hour later than expected with 70 miles on the clock.  Sandra also achieved a milestone today.  She has cycled 20,000 miles since joining Stourbug 4 1/2 years ago.  Congratulations Sandra!
Sandra celebrates 20,000 miles!

Sandra celebrates 20,000 miles!

Day 3 – Lostwithiel to Exeter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 10, 2013 by lejogsb9
3 miles out of Lostwithiel Wendy’s tyre burst.  It sounded like a gun going off and Patrick thought Sye had been shot!  With a new tyre and inner tube in situ Patrick and Sye serenaded Wendy all the way to the highest cafe in Cornwall by singing Elvis songs. Regrouping we refuelled well before heading towards the Devonshire border and up onto Exmoor.  We knew this was going to be a fairly tough day and in the searing heat it proved to be a bit of a slog. We did manage to take time out to admire the fantastic views on top of Exmoor and also stopped to admire the ponies. By the time we made it to Exeter we were all fairly tired and very pleased with our achievement, especially as it was so hot.
 
Photo taken on the Devonshire border.

Photo taken on the Devonshire border.