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Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Writer's pictureAnnette Culshaw

Lejog: A Perfect Ride...

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Cycling the off road path from Dunkeld alongside the river Tay

Today was absolutely amazing! Riding throough spectacular scenery, beautiful weather and super roads.The course took us on minor back roads and passes, on some really lovely cycle tracks and up hills and down dales.

It was frosty when we left the hotel in Kinross so we layered up, both of us resembling those Michelin men when we set off. It soon warmed up so we kept stopping every few miles to peel off another layer. It ruined our overall speed but made life more comfortable.

The only minor issue was that when we had taken off most layers we had a massive descent. It is beyond cold on a descent as you are flying down but putting no effort in to keep you warm. The sun went in at this point and the cold wind meant we then had to keep stopping to layer up again. We did not make great progress for the first ten miles or so! Just when we got going again, out came the sun again..... yes, you have guessed it .... more stopping to adjust.

We came into Perth and our hearts sank when we realised that our course took us onto a cycle path to skirt the city. We neen not have worried. Without doubt, it was the most perfect cycle path of the route so far. It was paved and wide and ran alongside the river Tay. It was stunning. The only hazards were the golf balls flying across the path from a golf course next to the trail and the many dogs roaming free. Dogs and leads are clearly not a well understood concept in Perth! I found myself making up lymericks as I was cycling along...

"In Perth all the doggies run free

They frolic and poo and pee..

All over the ground

whilst running around

but luckily not on me..."

OK.. so I am never going to be nominated for poet laureate!

Note to self.. must take some photos of Bob! Far too many of me...

From there we cycled through many tiny back roads until Dunkeld where we followed the route to 'Dunkeld Off Road".... the most lovely path through a private estate running alongside the river.

Dunkeld path... fabulous!

The path rose to about 200ft above the river and became an off road track... pretty but hairy scary at that point too. We did not want to tumble into the crevasse below.

From that point it was tiny litte roads and single track passes into Pitlochry about 18 miles further on. It was stunning, tiring and altogether fabulous.

We arrived at our hotel to find John waiting outside to carry our many bags from the bike and car to our room. What a trooper he is.

Just an observation about cycling through Scotland.....(If any of you are born in Scotland or have a Scottish heritage, please jump straight to the map below and ignore the next paragraph )....

Apart from the staff at the inns and hotels at which we have been staying, we have not yet met a single Scot who smiles! Throughout the whole trip from Cornwall, every time we stop for a drink we have had people stop, take an interest and talk to us. Since arriving in Scotland, not one soul has spoken to us, shown an interest or smiled. It feels slightly disconcerting. Every single person we have come across has been dour beyond belief. I now have a bet with Bob, Shirley and John to see which one of us comes across the first Scot who has a smile. I think I am becoming Scottist!

We are staying tonight at Fishers Hotel in Pitlockerie. It confirms all our Scottist feelings in that it is, without doubt, the most uncaring and unfriendly place we have stayed so far. It is a huge hotel, but they were adamant that there was no room anywhere that we could store our bikes. It defied belief. We had to leave them in an unattended car park in heavy rain a good five minutes walk from the hotel. The staff were disinterested and unhelpful. Everywhere we have stayed so far has accomodated our bikes, but this, the largest of them all dod not give a toss. If anyof you ever go to Pitlockerie, do not stay here!

Tomorrow is another day, Because of the shortage of accommodation up here we have to cycle 62 miles, climb to the highest point of the whole trip so far and cope with heavy north westerly winds. We are both going to bed tonight feeling happy about today but very nervous about what tomorrow will bring.

You can see why we firstly got overheated when we left Kinross but froze on the massive descent down!

Day’s Mileage: 44.75m Total mileage to date: 778.69m

Day’s climbing: 2,024ft Total climbing to date 32,487ft

Goodnight dear friends...

Annette & Bob


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