Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Day 12, Kirkintilloch to Crianlarich - 68 miles

Cumulative 888 miles. Bum ratings - these are now discontinued as both Paul and Miles have developed "Iron Arses" as Stalin famously said about Molotov.

Started out the day from Miles's brother Richard's house outside Glasgow. We have been honoured by a bright yellow "highvis" cavalcade motorcycle escort. Paul reckons it is because we are taking exercise in Scotland and thus need to be protected from the natives. More mundanely Rick needs to get his farting, Chinese 125hp beast to his second home in Oban.

Nevertheless going down Kirkintilloch high street we are confronted just after 8am with a man running across us in trainers looking like he is one a morning run. Paul is so cynical that he immediately comments "the only reason he is running is the pub has probably opened on the dot at eight and he doesn't want to miss any valuable drinking time".

No more about low Scottish life expectancies - although it does seem to both of us that everyone has a fag on the go. Cycling through the streets of urban Scotland is counterproductive as there is more passive smoking taken in by all the folk crowded round pub entrances.

Fantasctic day's cycling along three bespoke cycle ways - Strathkelvin Walkway old railway line above from Kirkintilloch to Strathblane, then onto part of the West Highland Way - where my road bike set up faltered as I immediately careered into a mud hole whilst Paul just floated by on his tractor tyres (I got him back later on straight flat roads - well nearly flat - the road surface still awful). Lastly we went round three inland lochs after Aberfoyle on the wonderfully named "Loch Venachar InverTrossachs Trail".

Above one of the lochs to be cycled round.

Motorbike escort at the pass to Lochearnhead and the run into Crianlarich across more dreadful road surfaces. The full glory of what Richard's wife Fiona calls the "putt-putt machine" is seen above. We went faster than it on several descents but you can't argue with 148mpg.

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