Start: Loch Lomond
End: Loch Lochy
Total Miles: 811.84
Time in saddle: 7h 31m
Average: 14.56 mph
Daily Miles: 108.5

Wed 16 June 2004

Today started out good. There was low cloud and drizzle hanging over Loch Lomond which meant waterproof top on, but it also meant NO WIND! I had a great ride northwards along the Loch shore. The roads were pretty flat for about 30 miles. I saw a peacock at Ardlui and even a man in a kilt. Its funny because for miles away you see signs for say, "Crainlarich" A82. When you arrive at this place it is tiny, yet it is a big destination on signposts. The real reason is both the railway and the main road split there. Crianlarich is also the place where I stopped to have elevenses. The Station Tea rooms are right on the platform and did me a nice plate of beans on toast with carrot cake to follow. I didnt have much of a breakfast.

Still felt strong so I pushed on through the rain towards Glencoe. I stopped for a breather at Bridge of Orchy and met another cyclist. His name was Keith, a real nice chap who was also doing the End to End and set off 2 days before me. His wife was his support team so Keith was on his Colnago road bike. He told me the ride was an old ambition and that it was an early present for his 70th birthday in November! This guy looked about 50! Inspired by Keith, I pushed on up the climb to Ranoch Moor, stopping briefly by the sign for the Highlands. Keith passed me and we played tag a bit until we both met again at the summit signpost.

The ride through Glencoe was awesome, even in the falling rain. You wind your way through the Glen feeling as small as an ant. The mountains are on both sides and it feels like they are great spirits watching over you as you pass through their domain. You can really feel energy coming from those giants. One last climb then a 3 mile descent to Glencoe village. I pass Keith in his support car for the last time, then stopped for tea at the village.

Moved on towards Spean Bridge alongside Loch Linnhe still averaging 14mph, it was the best way to keep warm in the rain! The Commandos used to train at Spean during WWII, there were tens of thousands of soldiers there then. Today there is a museum inthe town and a really striking memorial statue on top of the hill. There were fresh wreaths and crosses there, probably from the recent D Day 60th Commemoration. I changed into my waterproof socks to try and beat the rain but it didnt work. The road met with Loch Lochy shoreline and I cycled up to the top and to the hostel at Laggan.

I arrived the same time as Pedro, from Madrid. He had cycled off road for 50 miles coming from the North and had a pig of a day. Me, it was my best so far even though it was the wettest.

Good bits: Glencoe & those mountains! Meeting Keith, an inspiration.

Bad bits: The weather, the view would have been so different..