Posted by: paulgilders | September 7, 2012

South West Scotland

After about 4 weeks off the bikes, we had mixed feeling about cycling again – well Poppy had fallen in love with the van! We decided to take an easy progression back into cycling by travelling through Sustrans route 7 through Dumfries and Galloway, which starts on flat roads and gets gradually more hardcore over a week of riding.

We started out of Carlisle and were soon across the Scottish border. We met another tandem couple doing a 600mile audax ride over two days – they were slightly faster than us and had already ridden 120 miles by 11am. Our tandem was sporting flash new paintwork – hammerite is great!

20120906-220001.jpg

Our first stop was at a coastal campsite at Powfoot. You will notice that once in Scotland the blue skies appeared!

20120906-220026.jpg

We passed a few highland cattle along the road.

20120906-220038.jpg

Further west, we cycled through Dumfries – a beautiful river flowing through town.

20120906-220258.jpg

We pass through the small village of Blackcraig after descending a scary 20% gradient road.

20120906-220202.jpg

After Newton Stewart, we headed away from the coast and towards some wilder landscapes. We cycle over two major passes in wonderful conditions.

20120906-220309.jpg

20120906-220142.jpg

20120906-220319.jpg

After a big day of climbing we finally get over the last hill of the day to see the Isle of Arran in the distance.

20120906-220351.jpg

20120906-220407.jpg

We camp close to the west coast at “Heads of Ayr” with great views over to the Isle of Arran.

20120906-220420.jpg

20120906-220435.jpg

The following day we reached the coast near Saltcoats. Route 73 goes by the coast, but with a strong southerly blowing salt water over the coastal road, we decided to detour inland.

20120906-220509.jpg

In the town of Saltcoats, I get some more fuel for our camping stove in a hardware store. When I come out, I find Gill and Poppy talking to Graeme Obree in the street. They don’t know it’s him. We have a good chat with him about cycle touring before heading off to find lodging.

20120906-220451.jpg

Next stop – Isle of Arran.

Posted by: paulgilders | September 7, 2012

England by Van

After two weeks of waiting for a replacement rim to arrive from the US, we decided we could wait no longer. I ordered a replacement wheel from JD Tandems in Yorkshire and we decided to hire a van to travel up there to collect and continue our tour. On the way, we would have a week to stop at a few select places.

Our first stop was at Ledbury near the Malvern Hills. I had plans to walk along the Malvern ridge, but bad weather put an end to that ambition.

20120906-211032.jpg

20120906-211044.jpg

20120906-211102.jpg

The following day, we made our way to Ludlow and stayed on a great campsite overlooking the town.

20120906-211251.jpg

20120906-211303.jpg

20120906-211316.jpg

An extra day in Ludlow allowed me to use Gill’s bike to ride up to the Welsh border. It is fantastic cycling country.

20120906-214633.jpg

20120906-211501.jpg

The following day, we proceeded to head up to the Peak District and stayed at a campsite opposite where Gill and I had our wedding reception. The area had received heavy rain and the ground was soggy – much the same as 14 years ago!

20120906-211955.jpg

20120906-212010.jpg

20120906-212029.jpg

20120906-212050.jpg

After two nights in the Peak district, concerns about getting the van stuck in the campsite mud caused an early departure. We stopped at Chatsworth house under grey skies, but still fantastically beautiful.

20120906-212652.jpg

20120906-212706.jpg

20120906-212723.jpg

We camped on a farm just south of Skipton surrounded by goats, donkeys and a lovely horse.

20120906-212742.jpg

20120906-212758.jpg

At Gargrave, we met Ruth and John at JD Tandems to collect and fit the new wheel as well as replace both bottom brackets. Once tested, we loaded the tandem back in the van and progressed north again to drop off our van at Carlisle passing by the edge of the Lake District.

20120906-212815.jpg

Posted by: paulgilders | September 7, 2012

Stuck in the Cotswolds

After our rear wheel problems, we decided to squat at my sisters apartment in the Cotswolds until a replacement rim could be sent from the US. There are much worse places to be marooned! As well as relaxing with family and friends, we walked out to local villages and even did some local bike rides (thankyou brother-in-law for the bike loan!). The countryside and pretty villages are picturebook perfect.

20120906-181531.jpg

20120906-181549.jpg

20120906-181602.jpg

20120906-181621.jpg

20120906-181637.jpg

20120906-181657.jpg

20120906-181711.jpg

20120906-181726.jpg

20120906-181744.jpg

Thankyou Maria and Paul for letting us stay for so long!

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories