An Epic Day
I knew I was going to go out on the bike, I never imagined I would do what I did. Today took the biscuit when it comes to random days out.
My plan was to head to Muir of Ord to check out some accommodation that I have ‘provisionally’ booked, so off I went on my wee trusty Beemer; heading up the Fort William road.
I thought, oh sod it, haven’t been on the Corran ferry with my bike yet, so on to the ferry I went. It took ages to leave, there was bad fog. All the traffic had headed to the main road, so I chose to go on the single track to Fort William. Good choice, apart from the loony bin-men who obviously feel they have the right to just keep driving!
I had looked at the map, and thought that I would go on a road I had never ridden before. At Drumnadrochit, I stopped for a pee and a drink, and turned left. I didn’t take the usual route to Beauly, instead went round the loop that takes you off that main road. What a fantastic decision that was. An awesome, quiet road. It makes you think more when you ride unfamiliar roads, it was just braw.
I got to Muir of Ord and checked out the hotel. It’s still remains a ‘provisional’ booking.
I had no ‘plan’ for the next part of my route. Then I saw it; a sign for Ullapool. Why not. I had only eaten gluten free cornflakes up to this point, so, sod it, off I went. For those of my readers who have driven / ridden this road, you can only imagine the size of my grin. It brought back lovely memories of driving with the Type R crew.
I fuelled up Smoggy and parked up in Ullapool enjoying a wee break of diet coke with fish and chips. Just what the doctor ordered. Back on the bike, and off down the coast road to Gairloch. What on earth was I thinking?
The roads were stunning and the views breathtaking.
The roads were really quiet, so I tried my very best to get some of the chicken strips off my back tyre. Must try harder! Cornering has recently reached new heights, and what perfect roads to practice. Every day is a school day and today was definitely a grand practice day!
I got to Gariloch and gave my arse a rest. It needed it. Who would have thought with the amount of padding I have. As for my facebook ‘friends’ wondering if I had ventured out in a bikini, well, no. Not in the slightest, however, I did have on my summer jacket (lots of vents) and my summer gloves, also with lots of vents. I was glad of them. It was cooler in Ullapool and Gairloch, thankfully!
As I stood there, drinking my apple juice I had a glance at Google Maps. ‘Oh FFS’ went through my head, what have I done. I did a mental calculation and realised it was going to take me 3 hours to get home. It was 6pm at that point. Hey ho, I was loving my day, and what option did I have? Yup, get back onto Smoggy and enjoy more of those delicious roads, Ed would have been proud of me with the difference in my riding / cornering from Eilean Donan Castle to home….
Off via Achnasheen to Fort William. It was awesome. The only thing missing was my man. I had sent him texts from Ullapool and he ‘reminded me’ that I need to remember to come home, I have work tomorrow! ROFL… Little did I know that I was going to consider a B&B later on!
I stopped for another break at Invergarry. Coffee (strong) and a chocolate bar (needed).
Got onto the Fort William road and come up against a queue of traffic. What queue? Went to the head of the traffic lights. It kind of explains the fire engine that I heard when I was having my coffee. A RTC just after the traffic lights. If I had not stopped for coffee, I would have been waiting probably about an hour and a half. Going up to Inverness and down the A9 wasn’t an option at that point. Had it been a fatality, then I would have found a B&B. No WAY was I going the even longer route home!
Passed the time chatting to people as you do. There were a few bikers up at the head of the traffic light queue, 3 were Russians. Not much conversation there then. What one of them did have was 2 cup holders on his bike. Whatever floats your boat.
Eventually we were on the go again. Ambulances, helicopter and recovery vehicles made a good job of sorting everything out.
Then I had the debate. Smoggy was slightly thirsty today. I had 60 miles in the tank. As I headed towards Fort William I had that debate in my head. 1) Keep going, having nipped through all the traffic and ‘hope’ I would get home on what I had left. 2) Stop in Fort William and fill up just to be sure. The thought of having to call Andy Brown Emergency Services wasn’t a good thought. Hi Andy, I’m in Glencoe and out of fuel…. Nah. I stopped, then I knew I would have plenty fuel to have an erm… um… progressive ride through Glencoe. It was 9pm. I was on the North of Fort William.
Good decision, I thought, getting caught behind a bunch of fannies on that really horrible stretch of road from Fort William to Onich. Then I got a clear run through Glencoe. When I got to Tyndrum, it was 10:02 and the Filling Station was still open. I think they were getting a humping from the traffic that had been in the queue.
So, I get home, and the first thing that happens is my phone rings. It was work. I hopped back on my bike; sorry, no helmet, no gloves – tut tut. They had got the safe stuck, couldn’t open it, couldn’t close it. What do they do? Yup, call me. Lucky I had got home. Could I sort it? Blimey…. brute force, nah. All I wanted to do was get out my breeks and boots and pour a glass of wine. So, being quite technically savvy, and thankfully still wearing my bike boots, I gave it what it deserved…. a fucking good kicking. There, sorted. Can I go home and have my wine now?
So here I am, eyeballs still jangling, having some wine and telling all of you lot what you missed. Yes, it would have been smashing to have had company, however, no-one was available today. Poor sods. On the other hand, it transpires my run wasn’t for the light hearted. I know a heap of folk that would have coped fine, others would turn pale at the thought. Me? I loved every minute; including the rest at the accident. As much as I had been fuelled by caffeine, and was raring to go, I know I enjoyed the last stretch home because of the wee break for an hour.
Gluten free corn flakes
2 x apple juice
200ml water (tut tut, should have had more)
1 x starbar (blast from the past)
1 x coffee (large)
Fish and chips (yummy)
2 x full tanks of fuel… must have been having fun in 3rd and 4th gear… normal range for a tank = 240 miles 🙂
Splattered with flies.
Day out: Priceless.