When I left off, we were camping in Dunblane. We could say that we were the victims of our success here. Beforehand, it had been said that you are usually so uncomfortable where you sleep that getting up in the morning and riding on towards your destination seems the more appealing option. Well, not here. It was comfortable, it wasn’t cold, we had an awesome slide to play with (yes), a river, plenty of food for breakfast – and so we didn’t leave until about 11 in the morning. Given that our objective for the evening was Glen Croe, about 60-70 miles away, this seemed alright. However, we needed to make rendez-vous with other riders further up the road, and this meant time needed to be made. A joint decision was reached that B and D, the two less experienced riders in the group, would take a train part of the way, while the intrepid S, the vastly experienced C and the foolhardy yours truly would make the first leg of the journey to Balloch at donkey-transporting pace*.

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So here’s the thing; I’ve always wanted to go cycle touring. As soon as I knew I liked cycling I liked the idea of exploring, covering ground and visiting new places with the autonomy provided by the bicycle. Somehow, though, until a couple of weeks ago, it had never quite happened. I’ve done thousands of miles on all kinds of bikes, mass-participation events, road races, and time trials, but it was all supposed to be in aid of training and gaining experience to be able to go touring. So why haven’t I?

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