Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Day 3 - Kinlochleven to Irvine - 103 miles. TOTAL: 303 miles.

Day 3!

For the third consecutive day, possibly a Scottish record, the sun beat down. We left the Clachaig Inn on time at 0830hrs and headed south along the A9. Immediately we hit the largest, longest, slowest hill of the day. It just went on forever. Luckily, everyone is starting to 'feel it' now and it was kept to a slow tempo.

The first stop was at the Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum where almost straight away members of the public walked up to donate cash to the cause. We can't thank them enough! We didn't stay long though and melted in to the distance, heading to Tarbet on the eastern shore of Long Lomond where we stopped for lunch at a lovely little cafe there. I don't think they'd ever been so busy but coped exceptionally well - certainly much better than the prison escapee who served us last night in Kinlochleven! Again, we were deluged with generous donations. The cafe themselves also gave us donations, thank you!

From there we took a west bearing and made it to Arrochar before heading south along a 'rippled' road (quote, Si Gair) to Garelochead before all the teams joined up and migrated en masse to the boat pickup point on the pier at Kilcreggan.  John made it very clear that the route was quite dangerous and that the sharp downhill to Garelochead had to be carefully navigated to avoid missing the turning and running in to oncoming traffic - only to miss the junction and head towards oncoming traffic! Luckily, Scanny was on-hand to record the whole thing on video.

At the pier we were joined by RM brothers from Fleet Protection Group, based a short distance across the loch in Faslane. It is worth thanking Rob's mate, Pinky, who travelled all the way from Edinburgh just to say hello. The 5 of them were to join us for the final 34 miles from Greenock through to our Irvine destination. We were almost without any bikes at one point, however, when a very suspect local decided to 'help' us get the bikes from the boats in Greenock. Clearly utterly plastered, he wouldn't take no for an answer....well, he had to in the end when we turned about to see him on his arse and Col Pete looking down at him! Noone saw what happened - honest, guv!

From Greenock Harbour we negotiated the rush hour traffic and took the A78 round the peninsula and south, via Largs, to Irvine. As we passed Largs, we came across a small village called Fairlie. The support crew were there already and had everything setup. Even better, however, were the kiddies funfair rides that we just had to test out. Squashing in to a plastic car designed for someone a third your size when your legs are screaming with lactic acid is no mean feat - but clearly worth it for the photo opportunities.

And so we made to Irvine train station on time and in good form.

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