With the Easter long weekend approaching I decided to plan a lengthy and more challenging cycle. So full of enthusiasm I phoned Duff. Surely everyone gets time off at Easter. But there was to be bad news as the manic work schedule wouldn't allow it. This was not a good start. Trying not to let the loss of my good buddy get to me I decided I'm a respectable 30 years old man. I have my own house and car. Not to mention outdoor gardening broom.
Things quickly fell into place as I found out both my sisters families would be in Tighnabruaich at the family holiday home. It was around 60 miles away and manageable. So I planned my route and decided to leave on Good Friday.
In the text and pictures below you can follow me on what was a journey full of fun and enjoyment.
As I awoke at 7.15 with a planned departure of 8 I took my first pick. I can look much worse at 7.15.
So "take lots of pictures for the blog" I thought. "chart the whole journey. It'll make great reading" I thought. This would be the making of me!
Quick as a flash I was on my bike. This was my first opportunity to take a picture for the blog. Please see my first pictures below.
My first stop was Bridge of Weir. Below is my noble steed on what must surely be the Bridge of Weir.
The pic below I think was after I passed the port glasgow/Greenock border. These derelict houses didn't look so healthy and I wondered what I was cycling into.
There is no need for the y but it still made me laugh.
I felt the van above was worth a picture. If ever you need an egg in Greenock you should go to this bloke for the slogan alone.
I new the cycle track linked up with the ferry to Dunoon. I had taken the ferry many times as a youngster when I was going on holiday. However, the ferry I new was a big car ferry and this was just a passenger ferry. It definitely said Dunoon. That was good enough for me and I hopped on.
|Rammed to capacity|
I had travelled about 33 mainly flat miles. I new the next 26 mile section was to be more challenging. I cycled up hill for over ten miles and stopped at Loch Tarsan. See below
My video footage isn't super. I sound like a big slow ned.
It was still raining and I saw no point in stopping. I did, however, have to stop twice on the steepest hill. My Dad said it's called ballachabuch or something like that. Anyway, great news was to follow as I reached the view point. I new this wasn't far from Tighnabruaich. I also new it was mainly down hill.
I arrived at 1.45. The afternoon was super. We went out on the gnu with Ricky and the kids and later I went to the pub with my sisters.
As I left to go home the weather wasn't at its best. the scene below is the same as the viewpoint above. I think I was in a cloud.
I tried to take a picture of Ballachabuch to show its incredible gradient. This picture just doesn't do it justice.
Again I stopped at Loch Tarsan as I new it was mainly down hill from here on in. I checked my texts to see my Mum had text to say ferries were one per hour. It was 10.10am. I felt the 10.50 ferry was worth a try. It was roughly 11 miles away. I had a sporting chance. If I could keep the speedo above 16mph I could make it. I set off with jet heels. The wind was at my back and I flew down the hills.
Careering along the front towards Dunoon I was on target. I could see the boat. As I arrived I looked to go down the jetty only for a man to shout "you've missed it, next ones in an hour". I checked my watch and it was 10.49. I had misjudged my mileage and had done 13.5 since I stopped. Oh well, it was Sunday and I wasn't in a hurry. I videoed the ferry sailing off and decided to cycle two miles back to the car ferry. I should just've got it in the first place.
The music on the handlebar radio in the video was the Sunday morning sidewalk by Johnny Cash. It was pure coincidence that it was Sunday morning and I was on the sidewalk.
Below is the car ferry. The men were pleasant and friendly and asked where I had been. One man told me he used to go to Tighnabruaich in his mini and could only make it up balachabuch in reverse. We laughed and I decided this was a nicer ferry to be on anyway.
I continued at good speeds on the way home although the wind in my face slowed me down. All in this was a great trip and I realised again how much extra freedom I had since retiring from football in January. Hopefully these pages will be filled with Duff in the next update and the uberchallenge will continue with a full compliment and twice the fun.