Touring Scotland

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  • We survived our An Turas Mor trip. It was great fun, challenging, fucking wet at times, sunny and nice and all the inbetween stuff at others. Broke some stuff, found a lot of limiters in our kit choice, still don't understand how it's warmer the further north we went, drank some beer and whisky, cooked with camping stove borrowed from @owl, slept in a tent maybe 4 of the nights (2 of them pissed it down so we definitely tested the waterproofness of the Big Agnes!)


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  • The big question tho - Midges vs Ozzie mossies?

  • it's been such a dry summer too - poor you chose the wettest recent week in memory. (I was on holiday last week too - love me some miserable pissy rain.)

  • What midges?

    There wasn't a fucking thing out there. I fucking told yaz! #midgesarefakenews

    I had two ticks to remove and plenty of spiders when we camped in Contin forest but that was it.

  • Driest summer in 150 years or something and we chose the week when it fucked it down. Yeah, I don't refer to myself as a Storm Magnet for no reason. I have form.

    It did get sunny or at least dry for most of the ride though and was often pretty (relatively) toasty.

  • See, blue skies...


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  • Gurt lush. Would you post the .gpx?

  • I got them off their website, as well as donating to get a digital copy of their guidebook:

    https://www.anturasmor.co.uk/

  • Looks reyt good that.

  • I still don't understand how it got warmer the further north we went. Perhaps it was just weather timings. I've not looked at the forecasts since we got back to see what it normally is. Suffice to say, we didn't have enough warm shit for camping, given that it was about 10C colder than forecasts we looked at.
    My race bag didn't cut it and we had a pad puncture (fixed with a patch).

  • Met another cycle tourist on the train home (the guy behind https://barrettsafricansafari.blogspot.c­om/) and he'd just done the Five Ferries ride:

    https://www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk/2020/06/­five-ferries-cycle-tour-on-scotlands-wes­t-coast-islands.html

    It's a lot shorter and road based but sounds like a neat little loop of some of the isles. Might be a nice option for a Glasgow jump off. I'm also looking into the Wild About Argyll loop for another time, now I know it's not a pile of shit getting to Scotland on trains.

  • there's also http://www.albannach.cc/thefaultlinetrai­l/ though this might be trickier with trains

  • Yes, that one I've had in my RWGPS list for some time now. I need to create a RWGPS group so I can see where all these go in relation to each other. Like, the Badger Divide is very similar to An Turas Mor - it would've actually been our bailout option if we didn't get on a train at Corrour (or finish like we did)

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33316802

  • Just looking at this and it covers a lot of Scotland that we didn't do on ATM. We almost rode to Dunnetts head on this trip but it worked out better for trains if we left the day after we arrived in Durness, since Wrath was off the cards.
    It's quite a bit longer though so the missus might need more convincing. I think her confidence should be pretty high now though having smashed ATM.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  • I've done the section from mull of galloway to glasgow - it was fairly brutal. I would recommend following komoot's schedule, rather than the original FLT schedule (which includes BIG days) - https://www.komoot.com/collection/911096­/scotland-tip-to-tip-the-faultline-trail­

  • When did you ride it and how much were you getting done each day? We managed to drop a day or more off the ATM's schedule because we had some nice days that let us ride longer, but we were still limited by the light (no point touring/sightseeing in the dark!).
    If we did it in summer we could probably do it in half the time if pushed. Faultline is 3x longer though so much more scope for fatigue and breaking stuff. Mind you, we could cut the middle section we've already done and swap it for road or something else that might be more direct or even jump it with trains. In summer, trains would be a pain though.

    River crossings out of season won't work. We had to detour the ATM one. We crossed some pretty crazy streams on the ride into Ossian - they were flowing hard with all the rain.

  • late-august/september - we rode c.60-70 miles per day. this was our first time touring on gravel and that was too many miles, especially with the surfaces and elevation. I would go for c.35-40 miles per day next time I think (especially with the gravel.) I did a couple of days north of glasgow too (solo) and rode c.90 miles on one of those - I'm still living with some of the effects of the shoulder injury I got from that ride three years later : /

    does have some amazing sections on the FLT


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  • I just had a look and we did 92k/day average on the ATM route. That was pretty comfortable with a fair bit of the usual walking, stopping for pics, stopping for food, laying in a tent coz it's pissing down, chilling at places that sold beer and working with limited daylight.
    For a tour I wouldn't want to do much longer but if there was more daylight, then I guess we could push it out a bit to more like 120k/day so it becomes a 10 day ride, leaving some time in a 2 week block to get to/from.

    Could use the limited days I have left this year and add them to xmas and do a very cold version of it... hmm...

  • Great write ups! The YHA at Loch Ossian is a real treat - there was no room inside, but we managed to dry out our stuff thanks to the folks inside. Jan sold us a few Zebra KitKats - sorted me right out.

  • Nice one, enjoyed reading this.

  • Cheers, guess I'll have to write the rest then.

    Hangover begone!

  • should have had a (legendary) pie at the butchers in aberfoyle. macaroni pie is my tip for next time...

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Touring Scotland

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