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Old 02-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #196
Matt 82 OP
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Twas another beautiful day in Bonnie Scotland. Barely a cloud on the sky. So I wrapped up warm and rode to old haunt, Killin. You'll see pictures of Killin dotted throughout this thread, including post #1.


First things first though. A little trip less than a mile down the road to visit the Helix Project. It's nowhere near finished, in fact it's only really just started but I do see a group of Roe Deer wandering about a field on occasion so I thought it was worth a visit.

Rather hilariously, I tried to stalk them to get close. I got to within 200 yards and they noticed (I'm not exactly inconspicuous) and watched me all the way. When I got to about 100 yards away they decided they have enough and bolted. I did get a picture of a tree though.

Helix:






So after bothering the local wildlife, I was en route to Killin. Again like last week, the roads were nice and quiet so I could take advantage of the road up the side of Loch Lubnaig. What a great road that is when there are no campervans to hold up traffic.

I noticed that north of Loch Lubnaig there was still quite a lot of snow on the ground. The roads were perfect though. Here are a couple of pics I took on the way home.

Snow:






Arriving in Killin I was happy to see there was only one couple wandering about and they were just heading away. I'd have the place to myself.

I was wandering about on the rocks, taking some pictures when I noticed that a lot of the pools that form in the area had frozen over. It was at that moment that I wondered if the rocks might be slippery. It was at the moment after that that that the grip from my boots gave up and I plunged down into one the aforementioned pools of icy water. It bloody hurt. I landed with one foot in the water and the other foot somewhere near my head. Before slowly picking myself up and groaning in pain I made sure to look about to make sure no-one had seen me. Priorities and all that.

I was safe from public humiliation, but my knee hurt like hell. I hobbled about, paying a bit more attention to where I put my feet. It was very sunny, but cold enough that sitting down to give my knee a rest wouldn't be a great idea. Decided to walk it off while taking the picture was the best way to go.

Killin:








The view from the bridge:








The view from the road:






There are a few mountains visible from Killin. I think one of them is called "Meall nan Tarmachan". No idea which one though. The one on the right looks more like a 'Gary' to me. My knowledge of Scottish mountains is worse than my knowledge of US states.

Meall nan Tarmachan:








I did consider continuing onwards to Glen Coe but I had left home a bit later than I would have hoped so it was starting to get dark. Decided that it would be more or less freezing by the time I returned if I was to go any further so that'll have to wait for another day. So I set off for home with what remained of the sunlight on my back.

I stopped briefly in Glen Ogle as the sun was lighting up the Braes of Balquhidder (I Googled this and I'm confident it's the right name). It looked pretty good. I also managed to stay upright so that was a bonus.

Braes of Balquhidder:





The journey home was uneventful, if cold, and only really made memorable by the guy on a Harley with a pillion. He appeared to have a car tyre on the back which was seriously affecting his ability to corner. I get why you'd do it in Australia or parts of the USA but a big flat square tyre in Scotland? He was going so slowly that I thought there might have been something wrong with his bike.


That's all for today.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:05 AM   #197
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Love this thread mate, and it is fantastic to see some great photos of my beloved homeland. You almost make me feel homesick! I am certainly inspired to follow your lead and start to chronicle my rides down under. Very impressive thread. Keep up the good work and keep those gorgeous pictures coming. When I've had a few they almost bring a tear to my eye! All the very best to you Sir!
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:02 PM   #198
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Well there are worse places to spend your birthday :



I have an odd relationship with February. My birthday is in February and I don't really lie birthdays. They're fun enough I guess and you get stuff from people but in all honesty they tend to remind me that with each passing year, I'm still not where I want to be in life. I don't own a house or have a job that I look forward to going to in the mornings and worst of all; I still haven't got my full licence yet! It's also cold, wet and dark in February which means anything other than a short journey on the bike is usually out of the question. Something changed today though.

Today I had the absolute best ride I''ve ever had. I turned 31 today (well, yesterday now) and in all honesty if I lived to be 131 I don't think I'd match it. Weather looked good so on a whim I decided I'd be heading to Glen Coe. I would be in a rush though as I was booked in for dinner at 7pm. As a result of that I only have a handful of photographs which is a shame since The Glen was breathtaking today.

I've traveled all over the world and seen some amazing sights. None are better than Glen Coe on a stunning February day. When I said the weather looked good I wasn't kidding. I didn't see a cloud the entire day. Just a cool, bright blue sky. It was freezing at times (quite literally as you'll see) but that low winter sun is a hundred times better than a sunny summer's day. I'm still in awe. Before I start rambling, I'll show you the photos.

Coming into Tyndrum I remembered that on my very first trip to Glen Coe I had pulled in at the side of the road to photograph a snowy mountain in the distance. It's pretty enough but in comparison to what lies ahead on that road it's pretty unremarkable. At first viewing I thought it looked great though and I remember hurriedly pulling in to get a picture of this "amazing scene". It hasn't changed much. It's still pretty nice but not in the same league as other parts of the country.

Nice Enough Mountain:




The Green Welly is a famous stop on the road to the highlands. It has a separate parking area for bikes and you'll never be there and not find at least a few bikers there to converse with. Unless it was earlier today and you're me. I was the only biker there. I'll stick my neck out and say that there won't be a better day for biking all year than today. And I was the only one to see it. The second part might not be true but if there's a better day to see Glen Coe this year I'll eat my bike.


The lonely fat git:





Next stop was as always, the Rannoch Moor. It was frozen solid. And just look at that sky.

Rannoch Moor:






It's not long after Rannoch Moor that you crest the hill and Glen Coe looms into view. I wish I could properly share this moment with you as it was as close to spiritual as it gets. The low winter sun lit the atmosphere just perfectly. Those mountains cast some large shadows across the glen and moving into the sun from the shadows was like being washed in sunlight. The hairs on my arms were standing up (not just because it was cold!) and I'll confess that I had to wipe a tear from my eye. It was in all honesty the most beautiful thing I've seen.

The shadows also drop the temperature something awful. There are parts of the glen that don't see daylight at all this time of year and there was frost on the road. There were also frozen waterfalls, which isn't something you see every day.

Frozen Waterfall:











A quick check of the clock told me I'd be cutting it fine with the dinner plans so there could be no more gawking or resting. I reached the top end of the glen and u-turned, heading straight home.

On the way in however, I had promised myself a picture that would involve a bit of on-foot exploring. I pulled in on a dirt patch at the side of the road and made my way. The problem is that a lot of the ground around the entrance to Glen Coe can be quite marshy. It's bad enough in the summer but when there's a thaw to deal with it can get pretty difficult to navigate across.

I should have known it was going to be harder than I had hoped when I came across a dead deer. I nearly stepped on it as they do quite a good job at blending in with the grass. When I first saw it I was worried it was just sleeping and was going to jump up as I was walking past it. There would be no deer zombie apocalypse today though. She was gone.

Deer:




So I waded my way through, round and over the marshy ground to get to the river. If I had gone in over my boots I would have been in trouble. The only thing stopping the water from freezing over was that it was moving. That would not have been good on my 3 hour journey home. After I reached the river and took my photo I actually saw a more direct route back up to the road so went with that rather than risk a soggy leg or disturbing a dead deer.

So after all that, here is the photo that had me risking hypothermia/zombie stuff.

Buachaile Etive Mor:




And with that I was heading home as quickly as my little bike would take me. The sun got lower as did the temperature but for most of the return trip I had the sun behind me, lighting the road up in that gorgeous orange way that only a setting sun can.


To hell with the summer months. It just rains anyway. I have seen the future, folks. And it's called February.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #199
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NB I made it home with half an hour to spare!





Quote:
Originally Posted by rodmuzwa View Post
Love this thread mate, and it is fantastic to see some great photos of my beloved homeland. You almost make me feel homesick! I am certainly inspired to follow your lead and start to chronicle my rides down under. Very impressive thread. Keep up the good work and keep those gorgeous pictures coming. When I've had a few they almost bring a tear to my eye! All the very best to you Sir!
And the same to you pal. Spent 6 weeks in WA in 2011 myself actually. My mum and her husband split their time between here and there so I was visiting them. Nice place. Glad you enjoy the thread. It hopefully should get spectacular in the next few months.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:37 PM   #200
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Great thread

... from another February birthday boy.

Keep up the great work.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:10 AM   #201
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And the same to you pal. Spent 6 weeks in WA in 2011 myself actually. My mum and her husband split their time between here and there so I was visiting them. Nice place. Glad you enjoy the thread. It hopefully should get spectacular in the next few months.[/QUOTE]

Mate, if you are ever back over here give me a shout and we can arrange for you to come for a ride with us. We can find you a bike and some riding gear so if you are interested let me know when you are coming. Stay safe mate!
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:59 AM   #202
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Beautiful pictures
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:08 PM   #203
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Cracking pics Matt, so you still looking at March for the Mod 2?
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:28 PM   #204
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Absolute quality bud ,, pictures are shit hot ,, the Buachaile Etive Mor pic is awesome ,, what camera are you using ,, i get good ones with my Nikon but these are way better .. I was driving to Harogate yesterday over the A66 and i had the same sky ,, never seen it like that before ,, fannytastic mate , jim
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:39 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadtownMax View Post
... from another February birthday boy.

Keep up the great work.
Thanks man and happy belated birthday. Hope it was as good as mine!



Quote:
Originally Posted by rodmuzwa View Post
Mate, if you are ever back over here give me a shout and we can arrange for you to come for a ride with us. We can find you a bike and some riding gear so if you are interested let me know when you are coming. Stay safe mate!
Awesome, thanks! That would be amazing. Spend 3 months in Oz touring mostly by bus and the closest I got to being on a bike was Scooterroo when we visited 1770. It was about as far removed from my normal biking habits as you can get but it was actually quite good fun. And it scratched an itch!





Quote:
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Beautiful pictures
Thankyou very much, sir.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kwakbiker View Post
Cracking pics Matt, so you still looking at March for the Mod 2?
Hopefully mate. It's 165 to do Mod 2 with the cost of bike and instructor included and I don't have it spare tbh. I'm prepping the Marauder for sale right now though so the second I have cash from that I'll get it booked.



Quote:
Originally Posted by trackrider View Post
Absolute quality bud ,, pictures are shit hot ,, the Buachaile Etive Mor pic is awesome ,, what camera are you using ,, i get good ones with my Nikon but these are way better .. I was driving to Harogate yesterday over the A66 and i had the same sky ,, never seen it like that before ,, fannytastic mate , jim

Thanks man. I do love that picture. Might be one for the living room wall!

Camera is a Nikon D5100. That picture was taken with the 18-55mm kit lens. F16 - ISO 100 - 1/320 and at 24mm. It always helps to be in one of the worlds beauty spots! Aye the weather was amazing that day. I'll be talking about it for years!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #206
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Fantastic pictures ! Makes me yearn to visit and ride Scotland. I just worry about having to ride on the "wrong" side of the road !! Happy Birthday too !
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:10 PM   #207
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Fantastic pictures ! Makes me yearn to visit and ride Scotland. I just worry about having to ride on the "wrong" side of the road !! Happy Birthday too !
.

You wont be riding on the wrong side of the road.

You will, at last, be riding on the proper side of the road.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:39 PM   #208
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Fantastic pictures ! Makes me yearn to visit and ride Scotland. I just worry about having to ride on the "wrong" side of the road !! Happy Birthday too !
Come over, dude. Everyone should ride Scotland at some point in their life.

Tbh I would also feel weird about being on the other side of the road. If I was faced with an issue on the road eg a car coming at me in my lane I think my natural instinct would be to move to the left. That obviously wouldn't be great if you're meant to be on the right hand side of the road. Maybe you adjust naturally but it would definitely be weird I think.


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.

You wont be riding on the wrong side of the road.

You will, at last, be riding on the proper side of the road.

The UK, Australia, NZ, Japan and a handful of other places around the world: Where right is wrong.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:42 PM   #209
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hi, that its my kind a way of travel...low cc bike, and time to really see the landscape, you have there some of the most beautifull photos that i ever seen, cheers
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:05 AM   #210
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sounds about right price wise mate, good luck
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