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Dave B
11-06-2015, 06:53 PM
So, our annual bike trip was to Scotland after a week in the Picos last May. I booked a big house nr Dumfries for three nights so we met at Hawes, rode to Wilfs Cafe in Staveley and stopped for tea and tiffin..or scones.
http://www.wilfs-cafe.co.uk/

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Andy tucked into his scone and clotted cream while Col tried to suss out a bluetooth headset-satnav-music set up.
It seems he likes getting in the photos.

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Jim had sorted out 6 cheesy t-shirts for the group but thankfully no cheesy tags on the back. 5 of us made the weekend, the 6th is on his 5th bout of chemo to destroy the bowel cancer he has so had his tshirt posted so he could ‘virtually’ join us.

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We spent two days buzzing about a blustery Dumfries and Galloway finding quiet single track roads and tracks and bimbling about between cafes.

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Andy insisted on looking like a twat all week by wearing his camera mounted on the side of his helmet. (one of those 50 SJ4000 thingies..time will tell what the footage is like)

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We’re northern lads so did a big shop at Lidl and cooked good food in the house and drank splendid ales followed by a fine single malt. Bill for 5 of us for 3 days food and drink was 125...outstanding.

One of the lads had to depart on Sunday so on Monday morning it was 4 of us heading North to Fort William, we had done the trip planning the night before….

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The route took us along winding single track to Ardrossan for the ferry to Arran and thence across that Island to another ferry across to the Mull of Kintyre.
Stunning scenery and views in every direction.

Waiting to board.

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Leaving Ardrossan.

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Idiots abroad…

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The short hop to Kintyre.

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We rode round the Mull of Kintyre and stopped at what used to be a WW2 airfield just outside Campbeltown where Jims Uncle used to fly Fairy Swordfish on training exercises. He got to have a natter with a local feller and saw some old huts and the like.

The road South to Campbeltown was twisty, sinuous singletrack and a great ride, crap in a car I imagine. The weather turned good for us and the views went on and on…

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The CalMac ferry entering the harbour waters of Campbeltown. We got a shift on at this point to look at the airfield and avoid all the slow moving taffic up the far faster west of the peninsular road.

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We rode up the West coast via Oban and Ballachulish Bridge to the Corran Bunkhouse 7 miles South of Fort William.

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While Andy rode up to the town to get some food and drink we couldn’t resist the free ferry across the water to the Ardgour Inn for a couple of pints.

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After a decent Pizza and the odd beer we got out heads down and were up and off at 7.45 for breakfast at Morrisons in FW.

While the grown ups finished breakfast, the lad went and opened his secret stash of that awful energy stuff.

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We rode up the fabulous A87, stopping occasionally to take a break and soak it up.

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We were headed to the North East eventually but wanted to get nearly to the top NW to ride a great road SE.

We had to pop up the Bealach na Baa. It took us 30 minutes up and down incl a stop at the top. The two cyclists expected it to take 2 hrs up !

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And visited the Cafe at the bottom afterwards, great place and highly recommended.

http://thebealach.co.uk/

We rode on amidst staggering scenery toward Ullapool where we had ‘cheps’ and a brew.

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Never leave a can of energy drink to bounce about in a pannier……

We stopped at Kylesku Bridge and had a minute at the memorial to men of the x-boats.

http://uk.ask.com/wiki/X_class_submarine?qsrc=3044

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(Two of these subs were built where my old man used to work, Broadbents in Huddersfield.)
Brave men indeed

We made it to Rogart at about 6.30 after 350 miles and 10 hrs riding ( and stopping)
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http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/hotels/stay-the-night-sleeperzzz-hostel-pittentrail-sutherland-2302784.html

A great Hostel with a good pub 50 yards up the road. Haggis tatties and neeps for the last supper and a wee malt or two. Hector, the licensee, was bemoaning the local Polis for giving him a ticket...for doing 110 in a 60 in his M3 at 2am.


I do wish he’d f### off out of all the bloody photos, tosser.

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Sneaky git, more of the stuff…

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We were up at 7 and off at 8 for the 450 mile ride South. We stopped for fuel in Aviemore and then for a brew and piece of cake at Pitlochry Theatre, joining the blue rinse brigade.

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Last pic before we went our separate ways and headed home.

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Another outstanding trip, great company and superb roads. Scotland is a staggering place when the weather is good but ssshhh, don’t tell everyone or it will get inundated with the evo knobbers.
Europes best kept secret.

Peach-uk
11-06-2015, 08:57 PM
:lol:

Great report - brought back loads of memories. Thanks for posting.

Tim in Yorkshire
11-06-2015, 10:27 PM
Looks crackin up there.

Floyd
12-06-2015, 08:23 AM
That looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing :thumb:

Neil Mac
12-06-2015, 08:38 AM
Are you all ex-polis? It's rare I see anyone who isn't a traffic officer with one of those lift-up faceplates on their helmets. Were you all chatting on the radios as you went round? :thumb:

Dave B
12-06-2015, 10:08 AM
Nah, 3 of the 5 but they are just so practical, especially when you get petrol station nobbers refusing to allow you to refuel if you have a full face lid on.
We sorted intercoms last year and they are superb. The phones link in for music and calls and we can dip in and out of conversations with each other. Great for warning of hazards and just talking crap really.

Neil Mac
12-06-2015, 10:23 AM
Nah, 3 of the 5 but they are just so practical, especially when you get petrol station nobbers refusing to allow you to refuel if you have a full face lid on.
We sorted intercoms last year and they are superb. The phones link in for music and calls and we can dip in and out of conversations with each other. Great for warning of hazards and just talking crap really.

Sounds like an excellent idea. Great report, too :thumb:

Nige
12-06-2015, 11:10 AM
What a great report and you had some superb weather to top it off :thumb:

Simon
12-06-2015, 11:32 AM
What a great report and you had some superb weather to top it off :thumb:

This. Enjoyed reading & looking at all the pictures :lol:. Cheers for posting, Dave :thumb:

Stace
12-06-2015, 11:42 AM
Looked like fun. Trips like this are great. Like Darren said in his 'hans device/Cadwell crash' video, times like this are great for spending time with people you wouldn't normally get to spend time with :thumb:

Gary Kinghorn
13-06-2015, 07:02 AM
That looks awesome chap. What a great way to spend time with your mates. Perfect.

orsonbuggy
15-06-2015, 10:56 AM
Great report, Dave - glad you all had such a good trip :thumb: