Summer, what summer? – Jogle forever 13

 Day 3 – 9th August

Locks at Fort Augustus

Locks at Fort Augustus

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle


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!

Caladonian Canal

Caladonian Canal

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.

Bob on the slow

Bob on the slow

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.

The Commando Memorial

The Commando Memorial

Commando Memorial

Commando Memorial

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!

Fort Augustus - no rain is going to dampen our spirit!

Fort Augustus – no rain is going to dampen our spirit!

Stats for the day

Miles 51.6 mph

Av speed 10.65

Max speed 31.41

Ascent 634m

Total miles to date 189.9 (810.1 miles to go)


About Oval Balls

Middle aged and sport loving who loves his wife, children, granddaughters, and family. Other joys include the theatre, travel, reading, writing, walking, good food, great wine, fun friends and life generally. I never thought that I would embrace the "social network" to the extent of reading other peoples blogs, let alone writing one myself. Twitter too. But as you can see, or read, I have been converted.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Charity fund raising, Family and Friends, John O'Groats/Lands End 2015. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Summer, what summer? – Jogle forever 13

  1. Dave says:

    Well done, I shall know where not to go on my Hols next year !
    Dave Rivers

  2. J says:

    ….my heart goes out to you both – cycling into the wind and rain; I hope frequent coffee stops will help….thinking of you…….Jx

  3. sianie27 says:

    Well done so far Chris. Here’s hoping the weather improves as you head south. Enjoying Massugas but missing your and Julie’s company this year. Just had two days of solid rain here. Courage mon brave, good luck and stay safe. Sian

  4. holibobwilson says:

    Can we sort out who this character Bob is cos its not me? I did say go South to North and have that lovely wind on your back!!!!!!!!!!!!Bob Wilson PS Keep pedaling

    • Oval Balls says:

      Bob (aka Pinochio) Paterson! He has promised me good weather tomorrow. After today’s effort he owes me – weather today has been the worst yet. Now safely at Luss our stop for the night.

  5. Anton says:

    You have to have used up all your bad luck for weather. Amazing. Mind you when I went for Job interview in Glasgow in 1983 the Head of Dept who was English said ‘for God’s sake don’t come here if we offer it to you. It rained 301 days here last year…’ On,on Anton

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