The Cycling Begins

A week ago Tim and I took the train from Sheffield to Oban, on the west coast of Scotland’s Highland region. The train rides were slick and easy – places for bikes must be reserved ahead and each train has one car with racks for bikes.

First thing the next morning we crossed to the Isle of Mull and began to ride. We chose a longer, scenic route in order to go through the town of Calgary. It was raining of course, and windy, too. The roads went up and then down and then up again – no along! As with cross-country skiing in this type of terrain, it is hard to get a groove going. Well, impossible. It is a test for one’s gearing on the bike, and of course the Rohloff hub with its grip shifter is second to none for quick changes.

Look at how even the English cheapen their own language with short-forms:
First day and I’m already wearing ALL my clothes!20130514-172248.jpg

There was a lovely camping spot near the sandy beaches in Calgary, and there we stayed. We hadn’t come very far, but I was ready to stop – this was my first lesson in how cycling distances in Scotland compare to other places I’ve cycled: what with the rain, the wind, and the hills, don’t expect to get very far on a loaded bike!

In Calgary – the rain has taken a break in time for dinner. Notice the groundskeepers hard at work in the background.



5 thoughts on “The Cycling Begins

  1. Thank goddess you’re blogging again so I can have my Scotland fix. I’ve had to send my bagpipes away to be fixed and I am getting twitchy.

  2. I warned you about the rain – didn’t I??? It’s just that every mystery book I’ve ever read, set in Scotland, describes the weather: wet, windy, cold (regardless of season). However, none of these books ever gave the sheep their due credit – obviously the authors didn’t live as close to the ground as you do. Keep sending sheep news. My question is this: when in sheep company, find out how they fared during that last horrific snow storm in March.

    • All the sheep we spoke to survived the snow. However, having spent too long this morning researching stuff to avoid going out in the rain, we have learned that sheep are a symbol of oppression, having replaced crofters in the Highland Clearances. Tim.

  3. Great photos on both blogs. Beautiful landscapes. My ancestors were some of those cleared for sheep. I think that it was probably a good thing reading your accounts of the weather, as they immigrated and swapped constant rain for sun (and the occasional drought). Ironically, some became sheep barons in their new country.

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