Scotland at 45mph

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

  1. fraser2312

    fraser2312 Been here awhile

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    Hey Matt,

    Great photos, I ride these roads too, it doesn't matter how many pictures you take you never get bored of the views! I'm from Falkirk also, I'll keep an eye out for you :evil. G-luck with you test. :clap
    #61
  2. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    I met a Scottish guy under the St Louis Missouri Arch, gave him a tour around SE Missouri. Forgot his name. Any one know a Lourdis? I like your pics too. I too hate litter and erosion caused by mineral and logging companies. They don't understand the drinking water quality is degrading fast. They get it. Just rather get drunk and forget it.
    #62
  3. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Hope you get better weather this time. It was nice today (hence the photos shortly) but it's been pretty bad of late. Which is nothing new of course.

    Thanks for your offer there, I will keep it in mind. Good luck with your 3 Peaks Challenge! Feel free to share some of your photos when you finish btw.

    Falkirk is far from perfect but it is handy for access to some amazing roads. Thanks man. Looking at start of July for my test. CBT runs out on the20th so I need to pass 1st time or I'll have to sit that again.


    His name is Lourdis? There won't be many of them around here.

    You don't see much pollution from companies here, certainly not out of the big cities anyway. Maybe they just got good at hiding it. It's worse when it's by ordinary people. They can't even claim that the money made them do it.
    #63
  4. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Finally, a break from the rain!

    We'd had a dry day last week but I was having my first lesson on a 'big bike'. It was a Suzuki Bandit I think. It went well and I really enjoyed it. The difference between the Bandit and my Marauder is crazy. Moving from 40mph to 60mph took seconds rather than minutes!

    Anyway my next lesson is at the end of the month. I wasn't sure if I'd even go out on my own bike between now and my next lesson as I didn't want it to interfere with my adjustment to the bigger bike. But the sun was out so that idea got dropped as quickly as I'd thought of it.

    I left the house with absolutely no idea where I was headed. I would decide on the way.

    I wondered if my bike would now feel slow and sluggish compared to the Bandit but in all honesty it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. If anything I was relieved I was on a bike that I could stretch out my legs a bit. The Bandit was comfy enough but the legs-tucked-underneath seating position made my knees stiff after a while.

    There were no dramas on the way up. The road up past Loch Lubnaig was quiet which was nice. I usually either have a caravan in front of me that I can't get round or a massive lorry that's going too fast for me to move away from.

    Stopped in a lay-by that I don't normally use to get some different photos of Loch Lubnaig. You're allowed campervans etc in the local lay-bys and car parks as long as you don't stay in them overnight, though I'm not sure if cops patrol them to check. There was a family by the loch that looked like they'd been there for a month. Their crap was all over the place as well. I'm guessing it'll still be there after they're away.

    This is the southern tip of the loch.

    Loch Lubnaig:

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    I consulted a map and it turns out the water you see in these photos is slowly making its way out of Loch Lubnaig and towards the Forth Bridge. I'd love to know how long it takes to get there. It's the kind of useless trivia I find fascinating.

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    It was while I was taking these photos that I decided that my destination was Killin. It really is my favourite place to sit down and have my lunch. I was going to stop on the way there to take some photos but I decided to take advantage of the quiet roads and just ride.

    Got to Killin, sat on the rocks and had my lunch with the sun shining and the water flowing. Bliss.

    Killin:

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    I slipped on the rocks as I was getting this photo and came pretty close to taking a swim. It looks pretty wild here but this flows into a calm pool so while I wouldn't have drowned, the ride home would have been a misery.

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    I sat for half an hour or so and headed home. Seemed like the country's biking population had managed to get an early finish from work to take advantage of the weather (a week of rain is now forecast) as having passed only a handful of bikes on the way out, I was now passing countless bikes on my way home.

    I seemed to be on my own heading south which was great. Having a road to yourself really is special.

    I also had to dodge some old woman who walked out in front of me at the top of my street. She seemed none the wiser.
    #64
  5. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Looks great(hope that weather holds for me in 10 days:wink:)
    #65
  6. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Fingers crossed. Our 1 day of sunshine has become 3 (assuming the forecast for tomorrow doesn't change again). That gives us a full week of rain before you arrive. We don't usually get more than a week of rain so I'm confident you'll get blue skies.
    #66
  7. M1tch

    M1tch Been here awhile

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    Loving this thread. i haven't been to Scotland for 3 years now, before that I did a few trips by car. Must get back some day. Thanks for the ride.
    #67
  8. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Yesterday the weather man told us it would be raining today but he apparently changed his tune. It was going to be sunny and cloudy. Well that's pretty much as good as it gets here so I set off.

    I would be taking the long way to Inveraray. I would head up past Loch Lubnaig as I usually do and keep going until I reached Tyndrum (home of the Green Welly Stop). There I would swing west and the south to Inveraray before heading home via Loch Lomond.



    I had a small moment when I slowed and moved over on the road to allow an ambulance to pass. Some tit thought that that was his cue and zoomed passed me just as I was moving back to the centre of my lane. Good thing I do my lifesavers. I gave him a blast of the horn but got no acknowledgement. Sigh.

    The rest of the trip was uneventful thankfully.

    I spotted a bit of Glen Ogle that I hadn't stopped at and looked like it would provide some nice photos so I pulled over. After slipping down a load of loose stones I started taking photos.

    Glen Ogle:

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    On the road into Crianlarich there are two lochs; Loch Lubhair and Loch Dochart. They're right next to each other and one flows into the next. From the road it looks like one loch. A while ago I noticed through the trees that there was some sort of ruin on an island on the loch. Turns out it was Loch Dochart Castle. I decided I'd get some photos today. Unfortunately I wasn't 100% on the exact location of the castle so I ended up looking at the wrong loch! By the time I did pass it the view was blocked by a load of lorries so I missed it and I couldn't be bothered turning round to go find it. I'll get it next time.

    Loch Lubhair was quite nice though.

    Loch Lubhair:

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    Normally I stop in Tyndrum to stretch my legs but I was feeling good so kept going. I would be heading onto the A85. I had been on this road once before but not in this direction. I wasn't on it long when I spotted a good place to take some more photos.

    A85:

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    The road was empty. I only saw 2 cars the whole time I was on it. It really was great. I saw signs for Inveraray and turned south. I was barely round the corner when I saw a castle. Having lost a castle earlier, I wasn't going to miss out on this one so pulled in. Kilchurn Castle sits by Loch Awe. To get close enough to get decent photos I had to cross a field. This was fine and good at first but the closer I got to the loch the more marshy things got. After negotiating a path through I got to the beach. Was a nice spot. And seemingly a popular one because as well as a dozen or so anglers, there were also remnants of numerous campsites dotted about. I can see why you'd want to spend time here mind you.

    Loch Awe:

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    The road from here to Inveraray was quiet. Sadly, it was also being resurfaced. When I say resurfaced I mean a load of gravel had been spread out all over the road and the cars would press them into the tarmac as they drove over them. This sucked any enjoyment I would have had from the road.

    So I arrived in Inveraray and made my way to the car park by the water. I don't think I've seen that car park without a few bikes in it. I sat for about 20 minutes and had my lunch.

    Inveraray:

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    I was heading home along my favourite road. But it wouldn't be a summers day in Scotland without rain. So I got a downpour from Inveraray to the south end of Loch Lomond. Was pretty heavy for a while.

    A83 in the rain:

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    And that's that.
    #68
  9. windmills

    windmills Gnearly Adventurer

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    Hey Matt,
    thanks for the photos, its a few years since I was last up in your beautiful country on a bike, but I keep seeing places that make me remember. Great stuff!

    Best of luck with your test man, you already have the spirit of a proper biker, hope you get to hop on whatever your dream bike is soon.

    Thanks again!
    mick
    #69
  10. lemovice

    lemovice Been here awhile

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    #70
  11. M1tch

    M1tch Been here awhile

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    I camped at the site just along from Inveraray. Got there in the evening in pouring rain, but in the morning it was sunshine and that carried on for a week riding around Scotland. The good weather more than makes up for the bad.
    #71
  12. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Lets hope your weather prediction is right:lol3
    #72
  13. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    Great photos and report!

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #73
  14. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Thanks you. Dream bike would probably be an Africa Twin. Not sure if they're too tall for me though. I'm always on the lookout for one at rest stops to see if I can sling my leg over to see if I will fit. Just missed out yesterday as I saw one heading out of a car park just as I was heading in! So close but yet so far. I'll need to watch for him next time!

    Heh, funnily enough we played that music at my Dad's funeral. If he could look through these photos he'd probably have that track playing too.

    Nice. Glad you got the weather. You're spot on about the sunshine making up for the rain as well. A few days every now and then keeps me happy!

    I'm absolutely, 100% confident that I am right! :rofl It's rain the next few days but then Monday becomes rain with sunshine. That's a sign that the weather will take a turn for the better.

    Thank you very much. Is that McG in your name a remnant of a Scottish heritage?
    #74
  15. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

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    It is indeed.

    I lived in the UK as a child but never visited Scotland.

    That's why I enjoy your reports.

    I look forward to visiting one day.

    Cheers,

    JM.
    #75
  16. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Yesterday was the last in the trilogy of sunny days. Today is what we call dreich. And it's to stay like that for the next few days at least. Ah well.


    So yesterday I decided to go to Aberfoyle. It's a small village that's popular with hikers (due to its location in the Trossachs), with old folk (due to the Scottish Wool Centre) and with Bikers (due to the road in). There's not much to Aberfoyle at all. It's essentially a street with a car park at one end, a petrol garage at the other with some cafes and outdoor shops inbetween. It's never too busy because unless you're visiting Aberfoyle or the surrounding areas, there's no reason you'd be there. Unlike Callander (one of the many 'Gateway to the Highlands' we have in Scotland) that can get very crowded at times due to through-traffic from folk heading further north.

    When I first got my bike I was there a load of times as it's not too far away but since I started doing longer trips it's been largely forgotten about. Since I was on a time limit due to a trip to the cinema I decided that I'd re-visit the roads that I learned to ride my bike on.

    To get there you head through Callander and hang a left a mile afterwards. The road in is phenomenal. I'd almost forgotten just how good it was. When I was last on it there were a few segments where the tarmac quality was poor but I was happy to see that huge swathes of it have been resurfaced. It's as close to a tarmac roller coaster as you'll ever see. Once you're passed the 2 lochs you are met with a road that winds its way up a hill with twists and turns and sees you lose your stomach as you crest hills and then swoop down again on the other side. Did the whole thing with a grin on my face.

    The first section takes you along Loch Venacher. I pulled in at a rest stop that I camped at when I was a teenager. I remember setting up the tent and then diving onto the sleeping bags only to discover the hard way that we'd pitched the tent on top of a huge boulder. A think layer of moss disguised it. No camping and thankfully no cracked ribs today though.

    Loch Venacher:

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    The road beside the loch, while lacking the up and downyness (to erm, coin a phrase) of the latter stages of the road is still fantastic.

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    My next stop was at Loch Achray. Just a wee loch but the carpark that I stopped in is a relatively busy one as it's where people park up when they want to climb up Ben Venue.

    Loch Achray:

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    There's nothing pretty in this next one. I took it to illustrate my observational skills. I climbed my way down that pile of rocks you see on the left only to take 3 steps, turn round and notice a perfectly good set of stairs had been provided. D'oh!

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    Taking those photos, I was standing next to fresh water on marshy ground. As some of you may know, that put me right in the killzone of Scotland's most fearsome predator. The Midge. I managed to get only a few photos before I had to make a run for it. By the time I got back to the bike they were everywhere. Never got my gear on so quick in my life.

    The next part of the road is the spectacular bit. It's called the Duke's Pass. Unlike a lot of roads in Scotland it's not the views that make it so fantastic but the road itself. Like I said earlier; it's a tarmac roller coaster. I couldn't really get any photos of it though as the nature of it makes it disappear round corners or over a peak. I did stop to get a photo of Ben Venue though but I apparently stopped in the middle of a swarm of flies. Which was nice. That meant it was another super quick stop and away.

    Duke's Pass:

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    This is the view of Loch Drunkie from the road.

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    After fleeing the insects I was heading into Aberfoyle. Duke's pass takes you over the top of some hills and the very final stretch is coming down the side of one. It sees you going round several hairpin bends as you gradually descend down the hill. The road here is not great quality so I was taking it easy.

    Into Aberfoyle car park and I sat down with some juice and burger from the van and relaxed. The road that I was taking out of the village is almost straight and certainly lacks the fun factor of the road in. Got me home quicker than if I'd retraced my steps though.

    Aberfoyle:

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    I debated with myself whether I should go over and rip that pole out of the ground to get it out of my way. C'mon Aberfoyle, I'm trying to take pictures here.

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    And that's another trip done for the day. I'm already looking forward to getting back on that road. Anyway the weather here is to be pretty poor until at least Monday so next lot of photos will have to wait.
    #76
  17. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    Well I hope the weather fairies are on standby, just checked the live webcam feed from Nevis, overcast but dry it looked like(better than Scafell-Mist and Snowdon-rain), just a shame im not coming by bike:cry
    #77
  18. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    What day are you coming up? We have rain for a week here in the central belt (including for my lesson. Joy) starting from this afternoon apparently. It's pretty sunny now though. Of course that means nothing here...
    #78
  19. Matt 82

    Matt 82 Been here awhile

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    Well I'm glad you enjoy them and I hope you get to come over.
    #79
  20. kwakbiker

    kwakbiker Been here awhile

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    We leave Birmingham tomorrow morning mate, wont be up to Fort William till early evening and staying in a B&B.....the joy of minibus travel means slow progress:rofl, over night in FW and the challenge kicks off midday thursday:clapor:cry :D
    #80