I would never ever attempt any of this and have no desire to do so – awesome video all the same though – enjoy – People Are Awesome
Sunday 21st May – Stirling Marathon – got a PB – 4hr.26min.44sec – a whopping 11+ minutes off my previous PB – well pleased. Incredible atmosphere from the spectators and loads of jelly babies from the kiddies.
Great weekend catching up with friends who were also running.
Now done 16 marathons – bring on the next one!
Getting to the start point of my America trip is going to be the hardest bit – the bit I don’t have a lot of control over. Once the bike is unpacked and the panniers loaded I am back in charge – I can go where, when, and how I want (kind of).
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy getting to Cape Blanco Lighthouse from Portland Airport – but some quick research indicated that it looked as if I could get to Bandon by a mix of train and bus, and from there a 28 mile bike ride to the lighthouse. I posted on one of the cycle touring forums looking for advice – I got lots of friendly replies back but not what I wanted to hear – basically put it in the too hard to do box and lots of alternative suggestions as to start points that were more easily got to from Portland Airport – I didn’t mention that I had a stubborn streak and that come hell or high water me and Bertie would be getting to Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
So a wee bit more research was needed – Bandon was abandoned – the train doesn’t go this far and the connecting bus only takes carry-on luggage – Bertie aint going to fit under my feet or on the overhead luggage rack! So different train and bus stations were investigated and I now have a Greyhound Bus ticket from Portland to Coos Bay – an extra 30 miles further away from my start point than planned – but whats a wee extra 30 miles in the grand scheme of things??
Just need to keep my fingers cross that when I arrive at Portland Airport, that Bertie does too.!
Bertie and I got the chance of a lift to Skye on Friday and the forecast was looking fantastic. I’ve been to Skye a number of times over the last 15 or so years, but I’m never sure if I actually liked Skye or not – there are certain aspects I’ve thoroughly enjoyed but it’s never been my favourite island – at the same time, though, I don’t think I’ve ever given it a fair chance, and the reason for this – well, I’ve nearly always arrived on a Friday night in the dark and left late afternoon / early evening on the Sunday in the dark and have nearly always gone to The Cuillin’s – now without a doubt the The Cuillin Ridge has to been one of the, if not, the most stunning and dramatic mountain ridges in the UK – but to someone like me who doesn’t really enjoy scrambling the mountains are really quite intimidating – having said that I did have fantastic day on the In Pinn (Inaccessible Pinnacle) some years ago, and a few others beside. Other than this though I’ve not really explored the rest of Skye.
On Saturday, though I fell in love with Skye – well the bit I saw anyway. Bertie and I set off from the YHA carpark in Glen Brittle 8am on Saturday with the aim of cycling to Neist Point Lighthouse – hills, wind direction and my legs would determine what route I would take back to the rendezvous point with my lift on the way back. Cycling out of Glen Brittle was beautiful but tough and we had a number of take in the views stops (aka my lungs need a breather stops). Bertie got abandoned for a wee while when I went to investigate the Dun Beag Broch (The Small Fort) – definitely a Broch with a view.
My next stop was at St John’s Chapel – if I’d been in a car I probably would have zipped past it and not thought any more of it – but the sign had caught my eye but the Chapel hadn’t – where was it? Time to abandon Bertie again and go for a wee wander and investigation. The Chapel is a wee old ruin, below the road, hidden by trees and on the shore of Loch Caroy and has to be the most gorgeous and tranquil grave yard and church I have seen – peace and quiet except for the birdies singing – and lots of bluebells and primroses and other flowers – think I might like my ashes scattered here.
My next stop was unplanned too – I’d missed the turn off to Glendale and Neist Point and accidentally carried on to Dunvegan – now I reckon most people drive right through Dunvegan to visit the Castle, and don’t stop in the village itself – well you should stop and visit the Giant Angus MacAskill Museum – it’s just a little museum, with a big heart, dedicated to the world’s tallest giant – “The 1981 Guinness Book of World Records posits Angus as the tallest non-pathological giant in recorded history (7 ft 9 in, or 2.36 m), as well as being the man with the largest chest measurements of any non-obese man (80 inches, or 200 cm).” The museum is run by the very friendly Mr Peter MacAskill, who turns out to be the father of the world famous stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill. Glad I made my wee accidental detour to Dunvegan.
Finally made it to Neist Point Lighthouse – the wind was mostly with me on the way but oh my word it was hard going on the way back and I had to admit defeat and push Bertie up one wee short section. Bertie was abandoned again while I walked the last mile and a bit to get to the lighthouse – and what can I say – I love lighthouses – the architecture, the history, the ruggedness and scenery where they are (mostly) built.
I returned mostly by the same route as I had come but instead of heading back to Glen Brittle I went to The Slig (Sligachan Hotel) for a wee 1/2 pint before myself and Bertie were loaded in and on the van for our return journey to the mainland. Great day out – must go back for another visit – and this is why I love cycle touring – you see stuff that you might miss if you are in a car.
69.4 miles when the Garmin battery had enough – reckon I did another 4 or 5 miles on top of this.