Scotland at 45mph

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

  1. Ross1969

    Ross1969 Adventurer

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    Well done Matt, maybe you are starting to find that biking is in your blood! When you get your full licence and bigger bike you will look back on your time with the 125cc as a Golden Age". Great photo's and an entertaining ride report. Ride safe.
    #21
  2. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    Very nice, thank you.
    #22
  3. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Today's outing was not a long one. I hadn't been out the house long when I realised that there was an issue with my bike. I couldn't get over 45mph. I had noticed this on the return leg of the trip to Glen Coe but had assumed it was because I was riding into a strong wind. The sluggishness was not caused by mother nature however, but by a chain that was far too loose. I will sort that once I've finished today's report.

    I had spent Saturday night in South Queensferry at a wedding. It's a nice enough wee place that would be virtually unknown if it wasn't for its proximity to one of Scotland's most famous landmarks. The Forth Bridge. There are two bridges here and people often get mixed up when talking about them due to the similarity of the names. You'll probably get mixed up as I babble on about them on here. The aforementioned Forth Bridge is the original (and best). It is a rail bridge, so is often referred to as the Forth Rail Bridge. Then there is the Forth Road Bridge. It is also a nice bridge and you'll see it shortly, but I think you'll agree it doesn't quite have the majesty of The Forth Bridge.

    Being the son of an engineer, I had grown up with an appreciation for a good bridge. I climbed the one in Sydney, and I'll be abseiling off the Forth Bridge in June for charity in memory of my father. Have a wee look here if you would like to make a donation. Thank you ever so much if you do.

    Most of my time at the wedding was spent gazing at the bridge, so I decided to come back with my bike and my camera and let you lot see it too.

    So my journey took me east. Queensferry isn't far away at all. Only 18 miles. The road is quite nice though. After passing through a village called Newton, you're treated to a fantastic view of both the bridges together:

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    A few miles after that and you're in Queesferry. The main street running through is narrow and cobbled. It has a lot of character:

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    Here is Queensferry from the other side. The road bridge reaches clean over the village to drop cars off at the other side:

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    The Forth Road Bridge:

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    The Forth Bridge:

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    A view from the foot of one of the stone pillars:

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    In the photos where you can see under the bridge, you should be able to make out a small island. That is Inchgarvie. Its main use has been that of a defensive position and had been used in that capacity from the middle ages all the way up to the Second World War. At one point however in 1497, it moonlighted as a syphilis colony. Hope they washed it before going back.

    Inchgarvie:

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    Some birds:

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    So that's that. I'm off to sort my chain. Will I reach 55mph? Will I change the thread title if I do? Tune in next week!
    #23
  4. Isgro

    Isgro Free ranging...

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    At the time I didn't ride. I was 18 and it was part of a school trip. 12 years later and I'm riding and I have a lot of friends in the UK, so I'm kicking around the idea of riding around the UK and Europe. I need to start saving, haha.
    #24
  5. larrycole

    larrycole n00b

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    Wonderful pictures - I want to visit again. My wife and I made it as far as Edinburgh (in a rental car) and got lost for an hour in the city. We want to do the Whiskey Trail next time, probably in a car again.
    #25
  6. JED

    JED Been here awhile

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    Keep posting, and you will shuck the L plate soon!
    #26
  7. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    I was reading up on the Forth Bridge and found some items to be interesting...
    63 men died building that bridge
    190-200 trains cross that bridge every day. If my math is right, that's approximately one train every 7 1/2 minutes.
    75 people previously died in the Tay bridge disaster over the (Firth of Tay) which resulted in the over engineering of the Forth Bridge.
    #27
  8. mickman

    mickman Adventurer

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    Janice and I rode around Scotland in 2011 at a bit slower than 45mph. On an R55 BMW outfit. Your report has us wanting to go back. Great photos bring back great memories of Scotland. Thanks.:clap:clap:clap
    #28
  9. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Glad you guys are enjoying the photos.


    Woke up today to find glorious sunshine so grabbed my gear and warmed up the bike. After a quick look at a map a route was chosen. I like going new places (at least new on the bike) so Inveraray was to be my target before heading north to swing back round and home.

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    The first leg of the journey was to take me up past Loch Lomond. The road has always been a bit of a disappointment to me if I'm being honest. I went up there not long after I first got the bike, almost as a pilgrimage to see one of Scotland's most beautiful natural sights. The loch itself did not disappoint but the road, or at least parts of the road did. The northern half is great and keeps you close to the water but the bottom half is just a long, straight and busy road that keeps you 50/100 yards away from the water with trees and various other landscape features blocking your view. Since my journey today would see me miss the good half, I stopped off at a picnic area for a juice, a piss, a chat with some French students ('Ou et la Chateux?' was my attempt at asking them where they were from) and a few photos.

    Loch Lomond:

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    So I left the A82 and moved up one to the A83. I have no photos of this road for you which is a terrible shame as it is quite stunning. I will stop for pictures next time but I'm afraid I was too mesmerised to stop. The road take you round the end of Loch Long before weaving its way through forests, past streams and waterfalls all surrounded by rocky mountains. It's great.

    This takes you to 'Rest and Be Thankful'. I think the name comes from a stage in a race of some sort but I'm not sure. It's not much more than a car park with a food and drink van selling tea and coffee. But there are worse places to have tea and coffee.


    Rest and Be Thankful view south:*

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    Rest and Be Thankful view north:

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    *That road you can see in the first picture there is of Scotland's Old Military Roads. These roads date back to 1720.

    From there it was on to Inveraray. It's a nice wee town which seems to have been built to give the local aristocracy something to rule. It's the kind of place where sweetie shops can give people a sufficient income. Almost like it's stuck in a time warp. If you ever find yourself here, the old jail and the castle are the big attractions.

    Inveraray:

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    After lunch I started the journey home. It was to be the long way round (!!) as I was heading north and then east before turning back round. I have no photos from here either as I was concentrating on not dying. While it was a sunny day, it was also incredibly windy. On more than one occasion I was hit by a gust of wind powerful enough to shift me from my position on the road. So as lovely as this road was, I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have done on another day.

    The wind died down as I reached more familiar roads though. I came back down through Glen Ogle and past Loch Lubnaig, which you'll see photos of in the first post of this thread. I took a back road out of Callander (a personal favourite) and grabbed a couple more photos before heading home.

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    On the way home a cyclist got a bit distracted by something happening on the other side of the road and swerved out in front of me. I gave the horn a quick toot to wake him up a bit. Apparently he doesn't like horns. 'Are you peeping at me, ya c***?' was his response. Maybe next time I'll just run him down. Tit.

    Forecast is good for the weekend so hopefully some more to come on the next few days.
    #29
  10. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    2 updates coming up. First one's a wee one, second is a big one.

    These pics are from a few days ago. Decided to take another trip towards the forth bridges but this time from the north side. Strangely enough the bridges look much the same but the area around the north side isn't as good. It's just not as easy to navigate around as it is on the south bank. After I took these photos I made my way back towards more familiar roads.

    Forth Bridge, north side:

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    North Queensferry:

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    On the way back I noticed some nice colours in distant fields. It's the sight that gives every hay fever sufferer nightmares (though Wikipedia tells me it's not a proven cause). Rapeseed. In the UK we don't use it that much, but as our climate is perfect for it we grow it here and sell it to EU countries. You find it all over the place these days. It makes for pretty pictures.

    Rapeseed field:

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    I headed for Loch Lubnaig. This is a road familiar to most Scottish bikers. Not only is it a road that leads to many beautiful places, it's also beautiful itself. And fun :evil If I continue with this thread into the future and you continue reading it, you're likely to see a shed load of pictures of Loch Lubnaig. The Loch looked especially beautiful on this day. The water was like glass.

    Loch Lubnaig:

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    So I was heading south and home. By the time I reached Stirling the weather had picked up a bit so I decided to grab a few pictures of the Wallace Monument. It, as the name suggests, is a monument built to commemorate William Wallace. It was after taking this first picture however that I realised that I had left my camera memory card back at the house and since the in-built memory is feeble, I had used it all up with these few pictures. So I have one solitary photo of the Wallace Monument. It's not even a good one.

    The Wallace Monument:

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    Obviously there aren't any more from that trip. I did a fairly substantial trip today though and have a load of photos to show you. Which will be coming up soon.
    #30
  11. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Ok so yesterday I decided to take a trip to Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula. Not because there's anything there (there isn't) but simply because I was looking at a map and saw it was fairly easy to get to and because I'd never been there before.

    It was going to be a pretty long journey. It's 160 miles there and obviously the same distance back. My previous longest trip was the first featured in this thread and it was 200 miles so I'm trumping that by quite a distance. I like that I'm getting more used to longer trips. If I didn't need to return home at the end of a trip, today's 320 miles could have seen me go to anywhere in Scotland, with miles to spare.

    The Route:

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    So I headed up my new found favourite road, the A83. The last time I was up this way I didn't take any pictures until I found a viewing area. This time I just found somewhere to stop at the side of the road.

    Loch Long:

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    Glen Croe:

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    Last time I was at Inveraray the loch was pretty choppy. Today it was like glass. An English tourist obviously thought to anyway as he kept repeating that fact over and over again to his wife.

    Loch Fyne:

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    We were now in an area of Scotland where I was riding through villages that I'd never heard of. Here was the view from Furnace.

    Furnace:

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    I then moved on from places I'd never heard of to 'places I'd never heard of and couldn't pronounce even if I had'. I'll get some pictures of the town welcome signs if I'm ever through again. They give you the name of the town in English and Gaelic but it's not always clear which is which.

    The next port of call was Tarbert. It is the epitome of fishing village. Seriously, if you were to try picture a quaint, Scottish fishing village you would picture Tarbert. In fact, when it first came into view I burst out laughing at how it fits the stereotype. It was a nice place but everything was closed. In small, out of the way places you tend to find that shops don't share the same opening times as shops back in the cities. Maybe everything shuts on a Wednesday. I wasn't staying about to find out as I had to press on.

    Tarbert:

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    At the far side of Tarbert is West Loch Tarbert (a sea loch) and on West Loch Tarbert are numerous ferry ports. They take you to various islands (including Ireland). I noticed that one of the ferry terminals had a right good view so I stopped in the no parking zone and grabbed a few pictures.

    West Loch Tarbert:

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    View of West Loch Tarbert from above:

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    After this, the road follows the coast before cutting across the peninsula into Campbeltown. The weather I got here was the best I got all day. It was so bright and sunny that you could be forgiven for thinking these pictures are of some mediterranean island. Few things are better for the soul than some fresh sea air and glorious sunshine!

    Coastal Road:

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    Note: The land in the far distance is Ireland
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    The road after this wasn't great. There was resurfacing and various other work going on so I spent a lot of time on gravel and waiting for green lights. So it wasn't too exciting and Campbeltown itself was pretty drab from what I could see though it had a nice harbour. Still, today's trip was all about the journey and not about the destination. So a few quick photos and I was heading back to do it all again.

    Campbeltown:

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    It's always amazing how simply going the other way along a road makes it seem brand new. What made me laugh was how I noticed things like mountains that I hadn't noticed previously. How the hell do you miss a mountain? Anyway, the A83 is a pretty spectacular road when going north, but I think it might just be more special heading south.

    So that's me til next week probably as I'm busy for the next few days. Hopefully the weather will stay dry again and I'll find somewhere new to play.
    #31
  12. Victor52

    Victor52 Taciturn

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    Brilliant stuff! Thanks.
    #32
  13. X11-MAN

    X11-MAN Adventurer

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    Great to see some more photo's of my back yard !!!!! :clap:clap:clap

    Thanks for posting

    Andrew
    #33
  14. snakeears

    snakeears What did you say?

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    Wow just discovered this thread, great pics:clap
    #34
  15. Starkmojo

    Starkmojo Chief Totberry

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    Great photos! my family originated from the area of Stirling Castle and Stirling (also Sterling) has been a common name in my family since they emigrated in the 1750's... family lore says that we were kicked out after the 1745 rebellion but I have no proof of that. I have never made it their yet but the pictures gave me something to think about!
    :clap
    #35
  16. camit34-1

    camit34-1 Been here awhile

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    FANTASTIC...!!! Keep it coming! :ricky
    #36
  17. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys. Had some storms here the last couple of days but should get back out soon.
    #37
  18. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    You tend not to hear too many kind words said about Fife when you live in Falkirk :evil but it's a cracking part of the country.

    Nice! You probably have more heritage here than me then. My family came over from Ireland at the tail end of the 19th century. If you can find out about your family I'd recommend a visit. There are countless historical buildings and towns here that it would blow your mind if you found out you were walking in the footsteps of a distant relative.
    #38
  19. ullukk

    ullukk Been here awhile

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    Great thread this mate, excellent photo's. I love these scottish ride reports on here, the likes of yourself and kamchat really get me chomping at the bit to get up north, been visiting scotland at least once or twice a year for the last 20 years or so and the place just grows and grows on me with every visit, all been well got a week planned for late june/ early july time, last time up in bonnie scotland was last august so i'm ready for it to say the least!!
    #39
  20. BeemerBoy

    BeemerBoy Adventurer

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    Great pics & commentary. Tourism Scotland should have you on a retainer. Many of your pics remind me of the Cabot Trail and the fishing villages of Nova Scotia.
    #40