Scotland at 45mph

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Matt 82, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Thanks mate. Yeah I bought a new one at the tail end of last year. Had my eye on a whole load of bikes then this one came up at a price I couldn't say no to.

    Honda Deauville: Planet Trekker SE.

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    Ok it might be lacking in the off-road column but it's more or less ideal for me just now. Fast enough (it'll get me up hills at the speed limit) and comfortable. Longer trips for me are a must and this'll facilitate that.


    Glad you're enjoying it. Also glad to hear to enjoyed our wee country.


    All are welcome! The weather is starting to pick up again. It's sunny today and supposedly tomorrow as well and 3 days ago it was nice for a while too. That's practically a summer here!



    Nut, no test. I'm absolutely skint at the moment though so I'm trying to resolve that situation before I go spending £100+ on the test. Hopefully soon. I'm thinking I should probably just sell the Suzuki now since I won't be using it once I pass.

    Nice bike! Still looks too shiny though! :evil

    Yeah a couple of days of sunshine and talking to folk here has ramped up the excitement of getting back out. Won't be long.


    Heh, I'd actually quite like to see Scotland by train. Though I think I'd like the idea better than the reality. I like the idea of sitting back as the scenery went past you. Last time I was on a northern train however it was cramped and uncomfortable. That was a seven hour journey as well. Hellish.

    Actually screw that, I'll stick with the bike. :rofl


    Going back to something Trackrider said; If anyone sees me out and about and wants to chat or say hello feel free to come over. Or toot your horn when you go past if you can't be bothered stopping!
  2. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Cheers, Matt! The new bike looks a treat! :clap:clap Honda waited until about 2010 to bring those over to this side of the pond--now we've got a chance to enjoy them. Hope you get the license soon and are able to get back out on those glorious Scottish roads again! In my part of the States there is still snow on the ground and it was 0 farenheit the other morning, so no riding going on here at the moment. When I lived in Colorado it was in the town of Boulder, which is on the eastern edge of the front range of the Rocky Mtns. Nearly every day in the summer thunderstorms would boil out of the mountains and hammer us for an hour or so, but an hour after the rain stopped everything would be bone dry....even me (got caught out a time or two...oops). Got super hot at summer peak but never felt as nasty as the East...maybe b/c the air is so dry. Except for making me feel uncomfortably landlocked, a great place.
  3. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Nice bike.

    Great wet weather tyres, too..

    Cheers,

    JM.
  4. windmills

    windmills Gnearly Adventurer

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    Hey Matt,
    congrats for the new bike! Its always a good feeling.

    yeah, I was going to say that, I had them on my old SV. Great tyres in the dry too, but outstanding in the wet, so might come in handy huh? :evil

    Hope you can get all the ducks lined up and get the test out the way soon mate, and get out and enjoy those lovely roads up there.
  5. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Just about to get back out on the bike. Quite bright and sunny but absolutely freezing.

    The choke on the Suzuki is goosed so high end technology was called for in the form of a Aerotherm-propulsor. You non-science folk might call it a hairdryer. Bike is now running nicely and will soon me moving me to somewhere a bit colder than the place I am now. Small report to follow.

    Enjoy your day. I'm going to enjoy mine. :D
  6. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Now that had me :rofl

    Off to work later so the Versys will be battling birmingham's joyous rush hour:evil
  7. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    So today was the first ride of 2013.

    Despite my earlier optimism, it did not stay bright and clear. It did in fact get cloudy and dull. And cold. So cold in fact that I think I may have been on the very edge of human endurance of low temperatures.

    It wasn't going to be an epic journey north today so I was happy to pick old favourite, Loch Lubnaig as my destination. It's too early in the year for old folk to be doing day trips or for campervans to be slowing everyone down so the roads were nice and quiet. I didn't see a car at all after leaving Callendar until I stopped to take pictures.

    So first thing I notice is that the two car parks that sit beside the Loch are closed. Seems they're getting an upgrade. No work had been done on them that I could see though apart from some new gravel near the entrance and there was nobody about. Since the tourist season starts in about a month I'm guessing the new facilities translates as a new surface. A new surface will be welcome as the surface right now is more or less just some mud.

    Fence:

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    I didn't stop though (I took that picture on the way back) and headed up to the very tip of the Loch before deciding I was going to head from from there. I often find the temptation to just keep going is almost overwhelming and often have to say to myself, out-loud, that's it's time to go back.

    There's a lay-by towards the top end that I stopped in for some photos. It was pretty dark and they're pretty dark as a result.

    Loch Lubnaig:

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    It was on the return leg that I decided to stop at the car park (the entrance had more than enough room for the bike) and see what was going on. The fence was pretty extensive and blocked off the paths down to the water.

    No fence can stop me though and I walked round the side of it to get to the beach. No tourists...no midges...bliss. It was here that I discovered that a huge chunk of the Loch had frozen over.


    Frozen Loch:

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    I wandered about a bit but my hands were beginning to seize up due to the cold. So off home I went. As with the journey out, I mostly had the road to myself. Though by this time the temperature had dropped considerably and it made for a pretty unpleasant ride once the scenery had stopped giving me something to look at.

    So that's that. No guarantees when I'll get back out as the weather is so unpredictable and merciless at this time of year but hopefully it'll be soon.
  8. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Great pics, as usual.

    Thanks,

    JM.
  9. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    First rr of 2013! :clap:clap Looking forward to more!
  10. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Good stuff, snow looks like its clearing quick, just started snowing down here now:cry
  11. trackrider

    trackrider Adventurer

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    Cracking pics again there matt ,, was very cold the other day so good on ya for venturing out
  12. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Cheers guys. Felt so good to be back out.

    Here's a couple more from Thursday.

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  13. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I've been following this thread for a bit. Thanks for your great writing and pics; they have been thoroughly enjoyable. If you ever want to visit New England or New Scotland, I think you'd feel comfortable here. I live in Caledonia County, VT, and have a little plot of land in Nova Scotia.

    You may feel at home. I'll supply the beer and bikes.

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    We've got lochs and Celtic redheads also!

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  14. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Nice! I actually thought that New England was a state until I looked it up. My knowledge on the US is so bad.

    If I'm ever across the pond I will absolutely look you up!
  15. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I'm sure your geographical knowledge is no worse than that many Americans have for anything outside of their native states.

    At least my native Vermont has decided to brew some beer worth drinking!

  16. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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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:

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    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:

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    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:

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    The view from the bridge:

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    The view from the road:

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    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:

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    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:

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    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.
  17. rodmuzwa

    rodmuzwa Been here awhile

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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!
  18. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Well there are worse places to spend your birthday :evil:

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    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:

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    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:

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

    Rannoch Moor:

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    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:

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    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:

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    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:

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    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.
  19. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    NB I made it home with half an hour to spare!





    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.
  20. MadtownMaxx

    MadtownMaxx Been here awhile

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    around 43.07°N, 89.4°W often enough
    ... from another February birthday boy.

    Keep up the great work.