08/17/2013 – 44 days/4361 miles

Riding in the wind isn’t necessarily that bad…what makes it tough is if the wind is gusting, or if it’s blowing from the sides, much like on my ride from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye today. But on a positive note, at least it rained 90% of the time.

At one point there was a gust from the right that was strong enough that I actually thought for a moment that my tires might be blown out from under me (kinda ridiculous in hindsight, but it was nerve-wracking at the time). With two feet of shoulder on my left, then a ten foot drop into a lake…sorry, loch…my goretex riding pants nearly got soaked on the inside.

So, you can see I’ve made it to Scotland. Everything went well with the shipping of the bike. It was actually far easier than I expected.
IMG_2424Here’s the bike, in the container, ready to get loaded on the plane, and then getting unloaded from the container in Glasgow.
Within two hours or so of landing, I gave my thumbprint, signed a document releasing the bike, got advice from one of the workers about all the best roads to ride across Scotland (looks like it could be a whole trip in itself), then was on my way. A quarter mile down the road, I stopped at the first gas station available. After paying, there were two guys waiting for me beside my bike, wondering what I was up to. Before taking off, one of them gave me his number, in case anything would come up while I’m here and I’d need info or advice from a local (David, if you read this, I can’t say enough how much I appreciate it!)

When I arrived at the hostel, I could hear bagpipes off in the distance as I shut off the bike…seemed like quite the welcome, until I walked around Glasgow in the afternoon and heard no fewer than four groups(?) playing bagpipes throughout the city.

Here’s a shot of the Glasgow Cathedral. The front is covered by scaffolding, as they’re currently doing an exterior restoration project

The next day, I made a quick trip to Edinburgh. Not for long enough to really do anything special, but enough time to see that it’s a bit nicer looking than Glasgow.
IMG_2464    IMG_2468    IMG_2469

Not sure how I feel about this building though. Call me simple, but I think it’s unnecessary. If an old building is in good shape, leave it as is. If it need repairs or refurbishing, try to return it to it’s original design. If it’s beyond repair, knock it down and start over, or leave the ruins if they’re historical. And who knows, maybe its just this particular example that turns me off to the idea.

I figured I better get to a distillery if I’m in Scotland. Auchentoshan is just outside of Glasgow. Their claim to fame is that they’re the only distillery in Scotland that still triple distills their whisky.

OK, so the ride to the Isle of Skye was actually pretty great. Sure it was wet and windy, but the roads were really fun, and the views were beautiful.
IMG_2484    IMG_2486    IMG_2493
IMG_2490    IMG_2502    IMG_2508

Looks like the weather should be a bit less rainy for the next couple days


6 thoughts on “08/17/2013 – 44 days/4361 miles

  1. Hey Pat, David (from the gas station, Glasgow airport) here, hope you enjoyed Scotland and the midges were not too annoying! I’m following your travels on here, looking good so far. Stay safe and enjoy. David.

    • It cost about $2100. It was a really easy process though…rode to the airport two days before the flight, had <1 gallon of gas in the tank, and disconnected/taped up the positive on the battery.
      I was on the same flight as the bike…landed in Glasgow at 8:30am, and I had the paperwork done, bike loaded, and was on the road a little before noon.
      Really simple on both ends

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