Day 3 – 9th August
This was a tough day. Ironic really when it was our shortest day distance wise of the entire trip. But wind and driving rain in your face is not the stuff of happy cycling. That and the fact that the A82 is narrow and busy meant that we had to pay attention all the time. But apart from being hard work it was a shame because the countryside is just gorgeous. Down the length of Loch Ness into Fort Augustus crossing over the Caledonian Canal several times past the Commando memorial at Spean Bridge and then into Fort William. On any other day a pure delight but not today. In fact on any summers day ……… oh, it is the summer. Really!
We decided we would leave early to avoid some of the traffic and to get to Fort William in good time to relax, sort ourselves out for the next day and wash and dry some clothes without being rushed. The weather forecast said rain first thing easing off in the afternoon.
We ignored it. The forecasters were right …… for once.
For a 20 minute spell the wind and the rain was such that you could not see where you were going the driving rain biting into your face and eyes. But stop and you would be a lump of ice in no time. As it was by the time we finished my feet were frozen and my hands were barely any warmer. I won’t even start to describe the state my unmentionables were in!!
The highlight of the day though was undoubtedly the Commando monument. We stopped and paid our respects. It is a truly awesome monument and the dreak weather made the stark reality of what it commemorates all the more real. And all the more beautiful. To read some of the tributes brought tears to the eyes and they made me think about Bob and what he has been through losing Dale. It brought this trip into very real perspective. A timely reminder of what we were doing and why.
These first three days have been the phoney war, the warm up act because the hard work begins tomorrow. In the next four days we will cycle 370 miles. Please, someone, anyone for that matter, can we have some decent weather just for once. Remember, Bob told me it isn’t windy in August, but you want to see the size of his nose!
Stats for the day
Miles 51.6 mph
Av speed 10.65
Max speed 31.41
Total miles to date 189.9 (810.1 miles to go)