Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Downside...

To having a lighter load...
Keeping the bicycle attached to the road in 50mph gusts..
Sorry to dissappoint the sponsors but I  didn't quite make it to Porlock...
Did find a handsome stand of Scots Pine for a brief; if alarmingly creaky respite from the wind.




Brings back memories of Hebridean cycling...

My personal top tips if you contemplate travelling The Western Isles by bike...

1. Anyone who tells you there are no hills, in that undoubtedly picturesque string of archipelagos, has only traversed them in motorised transport, if they have had the luck to visit them at all.

2. The 'go from South to North' rule
to benefit from a following Southwesterly wind; is not a dependably hard and fast rule by any measure.

3.Take a tent. Even if you think you'll easily make the nights proposed billet in the time allowed; having to pedal hard downhill against the prevailing; might mean you have to rethink your accomodation options. And besides, waking up to an uninterrupted North Atlantic dawn; just outside your flimsy door; if the weather is fair, takes some beating.

4. Research the location of available Tea Shoppes in advance, and if you come across one, use it. Such establishments can be frustratingly few and far between...And your brew stove, however trusty, might not stay reliably upright or alight, in the winds you are likely to encounter.

5. On the interconnecting Island ferries (Cal Mac) Make the most of your first to load, first to get off, privileges as a cyclist. Enjoying that level of priority on two wheels; is a not oft encountered pleasure...

6. Don't let any negative impressions, given above put you off..... 
Even on a 'weathery' day, it is, unarguably, a place apart, and if the meteorological pixies smile upon you, it is quite truly stunning.

And here now?

 The four poster beckons...










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