Day 4 – 10th August
Monsoon, hurricane, thunder, lightning, sunshine, blue skies. All in the space of one hour. Yep, you heard it here first. But you couldn’t make it up.
We set off at 7.15 this morning knowing that we had 80 miles ahead of us and two very long climbs up Glencoe and Rannock Moor and then through the Trossachs. It was a lovely morning, overcast, but dry, and a wind that you would term a breeze really. So promising. As a consequence we made good time, making the Bridge at Ballachulish 16 miles away inside an hour and avoiding most of the busy traffic on the narrow A82.
The climb up Glencoe lay ahead and as we gained altitude the mist set in and by 9.00 it had started to rain and the breeze had turned into a wind. That was the pattern for the rest of the morning, mist, rain and wind. But Glencoe is famous for good reason and despite the weather the scenery was breath taking, and I suspect the 6 mile climb up to Rannock Moor is hard work in any weather conditions. Besides, it was simply a privilege to cycle up it.
From there we climbed through the Trossachs, a 5 mile pull into Tyndrum where we stopped at the Green Wellie for lunch. By now we were as wet as drowned rats but a change of clothes and a hot meal soon picked us up. Then the 6 mile drop into Crianlarich. What a treat. I have never been on such a long downhill run before and with the zips pulled down and a strong wind in our faces it felt good to be alive (and dry). But not dry for long.
We could see a storm brewing in the distance and by the time we reached the start of Loch Lomond it was throwing it down. In no time we were drenched again. Then came the thunder and lightning, blowing a gale and torrential rain. We could see cars aquaplaning on the bends ahead and decided it was time to get off the road. Of course we then started to get cold and when for Bob that turned to shivers it was time to set off again. Within minutes we were bathed in brilliant sunshine under beautiful blue skies. As I say you couldn’t make it up.
But you know what, today was fun. We got soaked, we had a laugh, we made reasonable time when we were on the road and we cycled up Glencoe. It does not get much better than that.
Before we go, we must mention Ben. We bumped into him in the middle of Fort William. He was clearly a man on a mission and he asked us what we were doing. So am I he said. The only difference, he is walking from JO’Gs to L’sE!! Bob wanted to suggest to him that he did it walking backwards, make it a proper challenge! I’m glad you didn’t Bob.
Stats for the day
Av. speed 9.05 (incl. stops)
Max speed 29.70
Climb 1,873 m
Total distance to date 268.6 miles (731.4)
Please do encourage your families and friends to sponsor us, this is proving a hard slog!