Six brave members of Walkers Cycling Club braved the recent poor weather to cover 200 miles in a weekend coast to coast trip across Scotland during which they pedalled from Oban to Burntisland.
Five of the hardy half-dozen even cycled from Ayrshire to the start point on the west coast, adding more than 70 miles to the total.
The sixth member of the team travelled by train to join the rest at Oban later on in the intrepid journey which took them three days.
Despite miserable weather, John Walker, Fiona Walker, Paul Nix, Drew Thomson, Bill Gerrie and Faye Murfet succeeded in their attempt to cover some 70 miles a day.
The original plan – one of several challenges Faye had set herself to coincide with a major birthday – was to pedal from Oban to Fife over two days but the challenge was extended to include a more scenic first leg on day one.
The riders set out from Ardrossan on Friday and took the ferry to Arran, cycling over the lofty Boguille Hill to Lochranza and arriving just in time to catch the boat to Claonaig. The rain started just as the group reached Tarbert, so they stopped for lunch until the showers eased. However the downpour worsened again after lunch and the last 30 miles were ridden in torrential rain. John, Fiona and Bill were relieved to have booked overnight accommodation in Oban. But Paul and Drew had to brave the elements at a campsite where they were joined by Faye after her rail trip up from Ayr.
It was dry when the six riders left Oban on Saturday morning, but the good weather didn’t last long. After an hour in the rain they found a welcoming café and stopped for coffee and scones until the rain eased. They set off in drizzle but before long it was chucking it down again. The group soldiered on and arrived in Tyndrum for lunch. Thankfully the rain stopped and it was dry and sunny for the rest of the ride.
The traffic had been quite heavy in the morning so routes expert John Walker decided to lead the group on one of a mystery detours. After a short “hike a bike” exercise over fallen trees they took the off-road cycle path up Glen Ogle. They re-joined the road for a fast descent to Lochearnhead, then progressed on a flat ride into Comrie. After a “chippy dinner” on a park bench the group watched a marching band perform before heading off to their campsite and B&Bs.
Sunday was the most enjoyable day of the trip weather wise – but there were still a few showers. The group stopped for chunky sandwiches at Glen Devon near Auchetrader and some of them even indulged in an early-celebratory shandy! Service was quite slow in the restaurant so they decided to spend the time planning next year’s trip – Land’s End to John O’ Groats being the favoured option.
The six riders made it to Burntisland on the Fife Coast where they were met by Susan Walker who was waiting with camera to record the achievement with a final “team” photo. A big well-done to all and especially to Faye for notching up yet another of her 40 birthday challenges.