After the BFBS interview at 0815hrs (to be heard on Freeview / Sky / DAB Radio), we set off from Dingwall in to headwind and with the sky very much overcast; a great relief from the heat of yesterday. The route was relatively uneventful until the first stop where as Team 2 departed, we turned to see Phil Reynolds piling in for his first crash of the day. He actually turfed in 3 times today, taking his total so far to 5! It may have had something to do with one of the the support crew (Rhys O'Leary) trying to make out with the local livestock! (genuinely, a pig!) We should congratulate him on the inbound birth of yet another member of the O'Leary clan though!
As we hit Loch Ness, the clouds departed and we were plunged in to 24C heat once again. The perfect straightline tans are coming along nicely now. After Loch Ness came Loch Oich and the most sublime lunch laid on by the crew again. Sitting on a calm loch-side, eating a spaghetti bolognese norgie-meal in the afternoon sun...it was all we could do to drag ourselves away and get back on the bikes instead of just dozing off. The crew are what make this possible and our thanks go out to each and every one of them.
Luckily, it was only 15 miles from there to the Commando Memorial in Spean Bridge where we stopped for the full issue of tourist photos as well as some personal ones; all taken with the professional hand of Nic Faulkes, our resident nurse. A short spin down the hill in to Spean Bridge village allowed us 5mins to check out the Commando Museum in Spean Bridge Hotel. From here it was a mere 30 miles to the Clachaig Inn, just outside of Glencoe. Never has a pint of OJ and lemonade been more welcome! The crew picked us up and brought us back to Kinlochleven for the usual post-cycle admin.
Technically, today was pretty good. Not a puncture or mechanical failure in sight. This left Si Gair a day pretty much free of speeding back and forth trying to solve the team's oil-covered ills. If only the same could be said of the physio, Mark Blenkinsop. He's putting in the miles, getting the same pains that we all are, and then dealing with everyone elses' ills with no thought to himself. I don't think we can thank the guy enough. The same goes for Nic Faulkes who is having to put up with all sorts of gripes as well as trying to make us look attractive in photos! Not only that but she's having to put with Rob making her wear matching his and hers red tops! Poor girl.
Tomorrow sees us wind our way to Kilcreggan (near Helensburgh, on Gareloch) where we will take boats across to Greenock before heading down to Irvine for our stop - another 103 miles.
As an addendum, we'd like to just 'thank' the complete and utter *!@$ driving the P&O Lorry for trying his hardest to knock every single one of the 12 rides from their bikes. Clearly an overweight truckie with a grudge against the military. We can only hope that he suffers from something painful and unpleasant. We should truly thank all the very supportive members of the public, however, who have stopped to give us donations throughout our trip so far.
Photos: Loch Oich lunch, the Corps Flag and the Team photo at the Memorial.
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