Monday, June 29, 2009

Loch Ewe/Poolewe

Just spoken to Dad. He's had an "easy" day today and knocked off at 2.00 ish. He'd found a really nice campsite at Poolewe so decided to call it a day. Tent is pitched with a view of the Loch and he's even got his own table - a luxury when you are camping!! Not bad for £4.45. There is a pub close by with live music tonight so I can understand why he didn't ride on!

Loch Ewe was used during the second world war for many submarines to gain access to the Atlantic so Dad has been reading up on the history.

The hostel last night in Torridon was very good. This morning he set off out on the A896 towards Kinlochewe. From there he picked up the A832 and stopped off for tea and a bacon buttie in Kinlochewe. He then headed toward Gairloch Harbour and as the weather has been great he sat and watched the boats for a while.

Tomorrow he is heading onto Ullapool. Not sure if I'll get chance to update tomorrow as I'm out but will update on Wednesday if not.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 4 Summary

Well I've done the weekly calculations .. I've had "big" light on and my glasses and the cat had to help!!!

Day 22 Lochgilphead - Oban 40 miles
Day 23 Oban - Duror 30 miles
Day 24 Duror (we are not counting miles he did in the car!)
Day 25 Duror - Loch Eilt 45 miles
Day 26 Loch Eilt - Invergarry 30 miles
Day 27 Invergarry - Kyle of Lochalsh 65 miles
Day 28 Lochalsh - Torridon 48 miles

Which I make to be around 258 miles. Added to the total mileage so far I make that 1129 miles covered. Dad has cracked the 1,000 mile mark in 28 days!!


Just spoke to Dad. He is in Torridon YHA for the night. He did stop off at the Torridon Hotel (how posh is that!!) but fish and chips were £12.00 so he had a pint and cycled on! There are great views from the hostel.

Today has been a hike/bike day as it's been very hilly. From Balmacara he took "B" roads through Duirnish and Plockton and onto Stormferry. From there he headed on the A890 to Strathcarron and around Loch Carron. He stopped off for cup tea and a bacon buttie at the Wee Tee Shop at the Lochcarron Golf club. He also did a shop and found a bank in Lochcarron as well - that's probably why he is staying in the YHA as he has some cash! He then headed off along the A896 towards Kishorn. Met up with another couple of bikers Joe and Ally Marsh from Hexham. Then it was on through Shieldaig and into Torridon.

Weather has been great today and he is still enjoying it.

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks his path will cross with the guy from the Observer (Mike Carter). Will keep you posted on that.

I might not have time tonight to do a weekly summary ....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kyle of Lochalsh

Just been speaking to Dad. He is camping at Balmacara. He had cycled on to Kyle of Lochalsh but could not find anywhere camp so had to double back to Balmacara to a campsite he had cycled past. Nice campsite with a hotel opposite so he's off for a pint later!

He had to pack up his tent this morning in the rain but once he got going on the bike the weather picked up and the rest of the day has been really good. From Invergarry he took the A87 and had to cycle up hill for one hour to a view point at Glen Garry. However after every uphill there is always a downhill and Dad coasted down to Loch Cluanie and cycled along to the length of the Loch and stopped off at the Claunie Inn for carrot cake and coffee but at £4.75 Dad is glad he wasn't staying for lunch! Again yet more downhill, all the way to Shiel Bridge were he stopped off to get some shopping. Dad stopped off for lunch a Eilean Donan Castle. Thankfully he took some photos as the Castle is "world" famous!! It's a pity I didn't know he was going as I could have kept an eye on the webcam

Dad has been chatting to a guy on the campsite from Mansfield who is touring on his Harley Davidson! I did ask Dad if he had asked for a ride!

Well he has cooked up and is off for a well earned beer tonight.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Spoke to Dad earlier. The first question I asked "Have you heard any news? Do you know who has died?" The answer was no. He must be the only person in the world not to know that Michael Jackson has died! on a hill! However Dad did say it was a lovely campsite.

He is now camping in a place called Invergarry Weather has been lovely ... but a bit windy this evening. Possibly due to the campsite being up

Today Dad has cycled through Glenfinnan. He stopped off at the monument which is where Bonnie Prince Charlie gathered together his army. Dad then carried onto into Corpach (or as I thought he said on the phone car park!). Dad didn't go into Fort William. Instead he cycled along the towpath of Caledonian Canal and past the Neptune's Staircase which comprises 8 locks. It is the longest staircase lock in Britain. Dad was telling me a tale when he was a teenager he and group of friends had been cycling in the area had hitched a ride on a boat down to Inverness. He is obviously made of tougher stuff now!

At Gairlochy Dad cycled along part of the Great Glen Way through to Laggan A bit of a rough track through the forest and Dad had his second puncture. This time it was on the front wheel so not as tricky to change! The rest of the route was on the A 82 through to Invergarry.

Dad was just about to start cooking up his meal ... cup a soup, meatballs followed by banana and custard!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Camping in the wild ...

Spoken to Dad. He was sitting on the edge of the Loch Eilt and I could hear the waves lapping. Tonight that's were he is camping out in the wild. It's been a lovely day weather wise and Dad was just about to start cooking tea! What a setting .... apparently the Loch has been used in Harry Potter films!

Dad left Culi Bay around 9.15 am. He cycled over the Ballachulish Bridge and then took the Corran ferry. It was free for bikers! He then cycled around the Moirdark peninsular. He stopped off in Strotian to buy food supplies. Dad then found car park to stop for lunch. It turned out to be a car park for a bird hide so Dad headed off there to eat his lunch. He sat and watched seals and their pups and a couple of otters playing. In the end he spent a good hour watching them. From there he headed off on the A861 through Salen and Glenuig. He has probably covered about 60 miles today.

Found out that Dad has had a read of his blog so I had better watch what I write in future!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Just managed to speak to Dad. He has been in Duror since yesterday. He met up with his friend eventually. Dad went cycling past his house! Weather really picked up yesterday and Dad is back wearing his shorts! Dad left Oban and cycled along the A828 and over the Connell Bridge. He stopped off in Appin and got into Culi for about 1.00 ish.

Last night Dad and Bill had a walk down to the bay and watched all the shoals of fish. Dad reckons if he had got a net he could have caught loads!

Today they have been by car to Ardnamurchan and to the most westerly point in Scotland.

Tonight Dad has been playing on Bill's flight simulator. They have been trying to land planes in Manchester airport. Heaven help us if Dad wants one of those putting on his computer!

Well that's just about caught up ... oh and Take That last night were BRILLIANT!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Well Dad is now in Oban and in luxury. He has a bed in the Youth Hostel ... not only a bed but his own room! He has cycling stuff on the radiator drying because yet again it's been a wet day! It's a great hostel in Oban (stayed there myself) right on the sea front with views of the ferries coming in and out. He has just met up with a guy from Macclesfield who is on a walking holiday so they are going out for a meal and a pint tonight. That should make up for last night as the pub excursion got rained off!

Today he has cycled along the towpath of Crinan Canal which was a nice picturesque ride. Dad was telling me it had 15 locks and I did wonder if he had counted them, but no he'd read up on the facts. From there he took the B8025 and stopped off at the Nether Largie Cairn (try googling that when you can't spell it!!!) He then took the A816 along the coast. He didn't find anywhere for lunch so stopped off in a bus shelter for cheese and oatcakes. My ears pricked up at this until I realised he was talking Scottish Oatcakes and not the Staffordshire ones! He also bumped into a couple of Irish cyclists who he had met a few days previous and stopped and chatted about what they had done these last few days.

Tomorrow he will head off to Duror and Cuil bay where he was stop with an old biker pal for a couple of nights. Dad has had 19 consecutive nights in his tent ... and now has a run of a proper bed for a few nights!

I've managed to get in touch with the guy that is cycling around Britain and writing a blog for the Observer. Hopefully their paths will cross at some point and they can meet up.

Doubtful I will post tomorrow night (Tuesday) as I'm off to see Take That so probably will not get to speak to Dad. Normal service will be resumed on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week 3 Summary

It's getting a bit tricky to try and calculate how far Dad has gone as the west coast of Scotland is all nooks and crannies!
So its best guesstimate time

Day 15 Dunoon - Dunoon 54 miles
Day 16 Dunoon - Glendaruel 38 miles
Day 17 Glendaruel (wash day) - Colintravie and back to Glendaruel 16 miles
Day 18 Glendaruel - Lochgilphead 58 miles
Day 19 Lochgilphead - Southend 65 miles
Day 20 Southend - Gigha 35 miles
Day 21 Gigha - Lochgilphead 33 miles

Which I make that to be around 300 miles this week. Added to the mileage so far I make that 871 miles covered!

Lochgilphead - Fathers Day!

Dad is back on the campsite at Lochgilphead. He left Gigha on the ferry and rode back up the A83 into Tarbert. He stopped for his Father's Day lunch - actually it was a hearty Scottish breakfast. Today it has rained/drizzled ALL day. It also rained ALL last night so Dad had to pack up he tent in the rain. When he got to the campsite about 3.00 ish Dad had a hot shower and all his cycling gear went into the driers so at least it will be dry to wear tomorrow.

Dad met up with some Scottish bikers (from Glasgow) last night for a pint on Gigha. One of them is a Port Vale supporter and comes down and watches a couple of games a season. That must double Vale's attendance!

Tomorrow Dad will head to Oban. He is going to cycle along the Crinan Canal He might try and get a bed in the hostel but if he arrives in Oban earlish (and possibly in the rain) he might not hang on til it opens.

He then plans to meet up with a friend (Bill Cooper) where he will spend a couple of days.

Dinner tonight - tin of chicken curry and for pudding banana and rice pudding. If it stops raining he might go to pub if not he's got the Sunday papers to read in his tent with his tin of Guinness!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Isle of Gigha

Just spoke to Dad (he was lucky to catch me!). He is currently waiting for a ferry across to Gigha where he will stay overnight He is catching the 2.00 pm ferry and returning tomorrow on the 11.00 am ferry. £3 for Dad and the bike! Gigha is only 10 miles round so Dad will hopefully be able to see all of it. Gigha has been recommended as a place to visit. Dad is hoping he might get a bed in the bunkhouse as well!

Yesterday he cycled around 65 miles from Lochgilphead down the Kintyre peninsula to Southend. He is keeping to the west coast as the east coast looks a bit hilly or as Dad put it "there are lots of arrows on the map!!" Weather hasn't been good this last few days but it has picked up a bit now. In Lochgilphead Dad was getting kitted out in his wet weather gear in a bus shelter and a bloke got chatting to him asking what he was doing, etc. The bloke then nipped in to the shop and came out with a Yorkie bar for Dad! Yet more kindness by total strangers!

Scenery has been fantastic. Last few days he's either been cycling along a loch or along the coast. Seen lots of birds and wildlife. Not yet caught sight of any seals or sea lions.

Tomorrow once back on the mainland he will start heading towards Oban where he is hoping to meet up with friends.

Southend - Mull of Kintyre

Dad didn't ring last night .... was getting slightly concerned as I have either spoken to him or got a text every night but then I started thinking about how remote the places are getting now and that he probably had no phone signal. While I out this morning he rang and left a message and true enough he didn't have a signal last night and seeing where he was camping I know why! Dad had cycled down the Kintyre peninsula and had camped overnight at Southend, no not the one down south, but at Mull on Kintyre.

Everytime I mention Mull of Kintyre I get that annoying song by Paul McCartney & Wings going through my head. Anyone who is too young to know the song or who wants a listen it to again (surely there aren't people who really want to listen to it!!!) I found this on Youtube
Actually it's worth it to see some photos around Mull of Kintyre.

Hopefully will get to speak to Dad later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well this morning and last night have been WET! Dad was singing the praises of his Millets tent. Where others were wringing out this morning all Dad's stuff was fine. It rained most of last night and until about 2.00 pm today so Dad had to pack up his tent wet.

Today Dad's route took up around Loch Fyne which at 41 miles long is Scotland's longest loch . He stopped off for tea and a bacon bap in Strachur where he got chatting to a couple that were kind enough to offer Dad a bed when he passes through Stirling (thanks Frank & Ada Logan if you are reading this!). With the weather being so bad Dad was going to call it a day at Inverary where he had stopped for lunch. He thought he would get a bed for the night but when he called at the YHA he found it didn't open until 5.00 pm. So instead of hanging around wet clothes he carried on pedalling and the weather improved so he ploughed on for about 25 miles and is now in Lochgilphead.

Dad just managed to get his tent up and the rain has started again. There are few other bikers on the campsite (who are cooking up their evening meal in the toilets!). Dad has decided to go in town and get a meal and a pint. Apparently that will be his first pint in five days!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Glendaruel Day 2

Today has been wash day as well as a bit of a wash out! It rained last night and continued all morning. So Dad has done his washing. £4.00 for a wash and all the drying. He skipped on the ironing ... well he is on holiday! Yeah like he irons when he is at home :) He spent the morning nipping to the laundry and back to the tent dodging the rain. His plan for the day was to take the ferry from Colintravie over to Bute but rain stopped play so he made do with a cycle ride to Colintravie this afternoon when it cleared up a bit. He did have chance to stop for tea and scone in one of the hotels though. Dad said the area is really nice but it is bike/hike terrain (you have to get off your bike and push it up some of the hills).

Yesterday he met up with some fellow cyclists ... a Scottish and Russian champion but Dad never got their names! Also the four cyclists he met from Glasgow had for awhile been based down at the BT training place at Yarnfield and had heard of the likes of Les West and Brian Rourke!

Just watched the Tour Series on TV that I was out watching in Hanley last night. I'm sure I caught a fleeting glimpse of myself. Hard to tell with a camera in front of the face! My moment of fame and you can't see my face.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Sorry for late posting ... I've been watching the Tour Series in Hanley - might post some photos later once I've uploaded them! Now that's what I call cyclist legs ... not at all like Dad's :) You can catch all the action on ITV4 tomorrow night at 7.00 pm.

I did get chance to speak to Dad earlier. He is now in Glendaruel looking out towards Bute. He is planning on having two nights at the campsite. Tomorrow is laundry and chores day! Today he has cycled from Dunoon and around the peninsular. Not exactly sure from the map the route he took as some places don't appear to have roads. Mind you when has that ever stopped Dad! Weather has been good with no rain. He was chatting to four cyclists he had met from Glasgow and they had had rain and flooding. Luckily all that seemed to have missed Dad!

Edited to include a link to my FB which has photos from the Tour Series from Hanley earlier tonight

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dunoon Part II

Dad is still in Dunoon. It has been pointed out that it is the swine flu capital of the Britain. Dad said he was aware of it and that on the ferry you have to wash your hands when you get on and off which he said was a bit of a problem with his track mits on! Hopefully he has managed to miss any infected folk - well it's not like you'll sit next to someone infected when you are out riding your bike!

Well today Dad caught the ferry back to Gourock and then caught another ferry back across the Clyde to Kilcreggan. It was only a foot-passenger ferry and he had a bit of a struggle getting his bike on but got there in the end. Thankfully he was travelling light without panniers and tent as he had left them on the campsite in Dunoon. From Kilcreggan Dad cycled along Gare Lock and Lock Long which was a sub-marine base. He stopped for lunch in Arrochar and had a hearty Scottish breakfast, including hagis. His breakfast was fuel for the climb up the Rest and be Thankful which is on the A83 It took him an hour to climb the hill on his bike and just 12 minutes to cycle down the other side! The area is also known as Arrochar alps

From there he headed to Cairndow and Loch Fyne, then onto Strachur and down along Loch Eck and back to Lock Long and Dunoon. In total about 55 miles covered. He set out at 8.00 am and got back at 5.00 pm but not all of it was on the bike.

Dad was just cooking up his evening meal when I spoke to him - cup-a-soup, a tin of steak and ale followed by rice pudding and banana!

Weather has been good. The threatened thunder storm last night didn't materialise. A couple of times it has looked like rain but its held off. The midges are still biting and they have taken a liking to Dad's ears!

Well tomorrow I'm off to watch cycling in Hanley but hopefully will get speak to Dad at some point.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Week 2 Summary

Just had a rough go at calculating Dad's weekly miles.

Day 7 Allonby to Annan 45 miles
Day 8 Annan to Dalbeatie 45 miles
Day 9 laundry and puncture repair day!
Day 10 Dalbeatie to Creetown 45 miles
Day 11 Creetown to Sandhead 60 miles
Day 12 Sandhead to Mull of Galloway (return) 32 miles
Day 13 Sandhead to Culzean Bay 42 miles
Day 14 Culzean Bay to Dunoon 55 miles

So that works out at a weekly totally at around 320 miles and the total mileage to date around 571 miles!


Just had a quick chat with Dad. He is now in Dunoon. He cut out Glasgow and caught the ferry across from Gourock to Dunoon. Apparently it's not a very nice ride into Glasgow with quite a bit of cycling on "A" roads. He is planning on having two nights in Dunoon and tomorrow he'll have a ride along the Clyde picking up some of the places he will have missed. He is camping at the end of Holy Lock. In the early 60's Holy Loch was the site of a US Navy Base - that sounds like my sort of campsite!!

Dad has just pitched his tent and is about to start getting his meal. Thunder has been forecast but he is hoping it stays off long enough for him to cook up and eat up as this campsite has table and chairs - a luxury when you are camping on your bike!

Today's route took him up through Ayr, Prestwick, Troon (where they are getting ready for some Golf tournament), Irvine and Largs. He enjoyed the ride today passing through the all the sea-side resorts.

Off now to tally up his weekly total.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Culzean Bay

Spoke to Dad earlier (we were sitting at Chester railway station). He is now in a place called Culzean Bay which is that small on the map I had to put my glasses on to read it! It's about 12 miles south of Ayr. He has done around 65 miles today as he had a tail wind! Weather has been great and at 5.00 pm he was still in his shorts sitting in the shade.

The ride from Sandhead took him through Stranraer, Ballantrae, Girvan.

Dad is camping in the grounds Culzean Castle - I just hope he hasn't pitched his tent too close to the Castle! Here are details of the campsite

He had a leisurely day yesterday when he cycled out to the Mull of Galloway. Far easier ride without the tent and panniers! The ride out and back was probably around 40 miles. He had a look around the Lighthouse (unfortunately he couldn't go in) but they had a museum to look around.

Tomorrow he is hoping to get up around to the Glasgow area.

Before I go it's been pointed out to me that there is a guy writing in the Observer about his cycle ride around Britain but he is going in the opposite direction to Dad. I found his blog on-line . Wouldn't it be great if they could meet-up for a beer at the mid-way point!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mull of Galloway

Got a text from Dad earlier. He has cycled out to the Mull of Galloway. I have been watching the Webcam on and off during the day but I never saw him! It's also been pointed out to me that the shape of the Mull of Galloway is quite phallic .... I must have missed that Geography lesson at school where we giggled at that!

He also had time to visit the Logan Botanic Gardens Perhaps he might have picked up a few tips for his own garden.

Normal service resumes tomorrow! Til then ....

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Today Dad is in Sandhead.

He is planning on staying there for two nights. Not that he is having a rest day tomorrow. He is going to use the campsite as a base and leave his tent and panniers and tomorrow cycle out to the Mull of Galloway - which is the most southernmost point of Scotland

Here is a webcam ... if you are very lucky you might see Dad cycling up to the lighthouse

Today's route has taken him through Wigtown, Garlieston, Isle of Whithorn, Monreath, Port William and Glenluce. Dad was telling me that Garlieston became part of the Mulberry Harbour project where they practicised the D.Day landings

Today has been quite windy and a lot of the riding was out along peninsulas. He had very clear views of the Isle of Man and he even tried telling me he could hear the bikes (not with his hearing he couldn't!!!).

Tonight he has been the pub for a roast beef dinner. He had to make up for the "light" lunch of Ryvita and cheese.

He was telling me that last night in the pub he was the only one watching the England game - well what can you expect in a Scottish pub! I was hoping Dad wasn't following his normal tradition of having a "nip" for each goal England scored as he needed to cycle back to the campsite. He said he left when England were 5-0 up!

Tomorrow will be a brief update as I'm off out so Dad will drop me a text.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Just spoken to Dad. He is now in a place called Creetown which is just south of Newton Stewart. Last night he gave Barend Holiday Village a miss and went for a pint in the Golf Club! Good on you Dad.

His route today took him through Kirkcudbright where he stopped for a bacon buttie. He then headed off to the Gatehouse of the Fleet and stopped in The Old Mill for lunch. He did say the coast road is a lovely ride with very little traffic. Weather has been good as well. However the bugs are bitting .... so it's either a case of riding a little faster or not washing his socks.

He got to the campsite about 3.00 ish and has pitched his tent again next to the toilet block! I wonder if he has to pay extra for the en-suite facilities!

Tonight he if off to the pub for a meal and to watch the England game (is that wise in a Scottish pub!!!).

Tomorrow is heading off towards Newton Stewart. He was telling me a tale that when I was younger he took me walking close to Newton Stewart and it rained all day and the only thing that kept me going was that there was a "cafe round the corner". He used to tell me that on all the walks and fool that I was I believed him.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We now have photos thanks to all Della's hardwork .... not helped by Dad giving her my old email address!!! These were taken on the Allonby to Carlisle stretch on the Solway coast.

The campsite ... Dad's tent is virtually en-suite. Yes that's the toliet block! A tent with a view!

Dad and Pete out on the road ... don't you just hate it when cyclists ride two a breast. You would think they owned the road!

They were riding with a head wind. Even Dad's coat looks all blown out!

Rest Day

Just had a quick chat with Dad. He is still in Dalbeattie. He hasn't been on the bike all day! Instead he's been making the most of his rest day and has been walking along the cliff-tops. He has also sorted out the slow puncture on his bike. He had a thorn in the tyre.

Last night he nipped around to the Barend Holiday village just down the road from the campsite for a pint. He asked them if while he was there if he could charge the phone. The barmaid said no, that will cost us electricity! Dad explained that he had just bought a pint and that he hadn't got anywhere else to charge the phone and she still said no. So Dad drank his pint, went back to her and said that he had intended to stay for a second pint and was going to come back tonight for a meal and a drink but because they wouldn't charge his phone he wasn't going to give them his business! So if you are ever in the Dalbeattie area ... keep on driving past the Barend Holiday Village - don't waste your money eating or drinking there!

This morning Dad was telling them in the campsite office and they offered to charge his phone! There are still some decent folk around!

Tomorrow he is back on the bike and heading off round the coast.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Spoke to Dad earlier. He's just south of Dumfries in a place called Dalbeattie. Found himself a good campsite with a laundrette and a pub round the corner ... what more could a biker want! Just googled the campsite and I think this is the one

Dad is having a rest day tomorrow (that's what they call it in the pro-tours!!). I bet the pros don't do their own washing on their rest days! There is also a Golf Course next door. Don't think he'll be trying his hand at a round of golf though ... crazy golf is more my Dad's game :)

He was just about to start cooking tea so I asked what was on the menu tonight, cup-a-soup, bread and cheese, noodles and some nuts! Well I suppose on just the one gas ring that's classed as a banquet :)

Today he has had his first puncture ... must have been a slow one cause he blew the tyre up and it lasted until he got to the campsite. Now sorted though.

He was telling me tonight that when he was cycling through the Lakes with his pal Pete they both went to visit an old biking veteran, Jim Longthorne. Jim had several trikes (three wheel bikes). I wonder if Dad test rode one of those!

Still hoping to get some photos. When/if I do will post them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Och aye de noo ..... Dad has made it to Scotland! Just had a phone call. He is now in Annan. Only just arrived (7.00 pm) as he has had a head wind all day! He's just put the tent up and no doubt the kettle on. There was no one to take his money and there are just a couple of camper vans on the site.

There has been three of them out today. His pal Pete and his daughter. Don't be getting any ideas that THIS daughter will be joining Dad on the ride!! They cycled along the coast passing through Bowness, Port Carlisle. Head into Carlisle as this was where Pete and his daughter were leaving him. They should have been there at 3.00 but didn't get there til 5.00! Thankfully Pete's wife was meeting them on Asda car park and had a brew on for them! Dad left them and headed onto Gretna but the only camp site he found didn't take tents so he headed on his way.

It's been quite a hard day with the head wind but thankfully no rain. He reckons he has probably done around 60 miles so that takes his weekly mileage to just over 300 miles! Dad was telling me he calculates how far he has gone with a piece of string which he says is 50 miles long! I think what he means it's 50 miles on his map :)

He says he is going to have an "easy" day tomorrow and look for a campsite with a laundrette!

Week 1 Summary

Just been calculating out how far Dad has travelled so far around the coast on Britain. I tried working it out on google maps but it would never go on the roads I needed so armed with a good old fashioned map, a bit of string and a tape measure .... oh and a cat that was "helping" not .... I've worked out roughly as follows

Day 1 home to Liverpool 56 miles
Day 2 Liverpool to Southport 17 miles
Day 3 Southport to Morecambe 64 miles
Day 4 Morecambe to Barrow in Furness 50 miles
Day 5 Barrow in Furness to St Bees 40 miles
Day 6 St Bees to Allonby 24 miles

So that calculates out to a weekly ride of 251 miles which is bang on schedule!

Saying that not sure how far he will get today so we could be ahead of schedule by tonight.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Got a text from Dad tonight. Before he left I gave him a quick lesson and said if it was still readable he could drop some vowels. This is exactly what his text said ... "tanks for adrs we ar nrt of marypot at allonby dadx". Ok not your normal text speak but I could read it. Funny thing is I've been so careful when I text him not to use text speak in case he couldn't read it!

So as the text says they are north of Maryport at a place called Allonby. I've just checked the weather on the BBC. I love the fact that I can type my name and I can see what the weather is doing in north Cumbria, and it looks like the rain has stopped and possibily it's going to be a dry day tomorrow. Lets hope so.

Workington - lunch stop.

Just had a quick phone call from Dad. They were outside Wilkinsons in Workington (I wouldn't like trying to say that in a hurry!). He has just nipped in for a couple of brake blocks - apparently Wilkinson's brake blocks are a good price! - and his pal needs some sort of cable! Bike repairs on the go by the look of it.

They had a good night last night. Dad and his pal headed off to the pub and after a few pints had a good nights sleep. This campsite cost £10 a night but Dad reckons he got his monies worth standing under the hot shower to warm up! Yesterday had been cold and wet and they had even had snow up high on the mountains. Snow in June! Luckily no snow on the coastal roads.

They set off this morning and then had breakfast at Tesco in Whitehaven. Five items and a cup of tea for £2.40. Bargain. They have been cycling on cycle paths so have not been on the roads at all today. Dad doesn't even have to map read today as his pal knows the area.

I might get a text later letting me know where they end up today.

Friday, June 5, 2009

St Bees

Well Dad has made it to St. Bees which is a small place just below Whitehaven. St Bees is most famous for being the start of the Coast to Coast walk so Dad will know it well. It's the first day of rain and boy did it rain. At one point Dad nipped into a bus shelter to wring out his socks .... errrrrrrrrrrrrr the thought of putting wet socks back on!

He has probably clocked up around 40-50 miles. Weather was fine to Millom. Once it started raining Dad stopped off for elevenses (cup of tea and bacon bap!) hoping it would soon pass. However it didn't. So he headed off in the rain and then stopped off for lunch at Ravenglass - yet more tea but this time to warm up!! From Ravenglass he took the coastal road towards Seascale and Sellafield. For those not familiar Sellafield is the site of the first nuclear power station http://http//
I hope he didn't linger to long around Sellafield! He did say the coastal path was a lovely ride but I suppose it would have been even better in good weather.

Tent is pitched and he has just made something to eat while waiting for his pal to ride over and meet him. No doubt they will then be off to the pub later.

Edited to say just got a text to say pal has turned up and they are just off to pub :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Barrow in Furness

Sorry for late posting ... been of out watching the new housemates enter Big Brother house. Anyway enough about that.

Spoke to Dad earlier. He is now just north of Barrow in Furness (Askham in Furness to be precise). He was going to stay in Barrow in Furness but could not find a camp site. Stopped and asked a policemen but he had no idea where the nearest camp site was. That's the second time he has asked a policeman for directions and they couldn't help! In the end stopped off in garage for fuel (a can of coke!) and asked them and they told him of farm just up the road where he could camp. £2.00 a night and that included a shower!

Today was quite a long day (around 50-60 miles). He has passed through Carnforth, Silverdale, Arnside, Grange over Sands and Ulverston.

Tomorrow he is hoping to meet up with friends in St Bees.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Had a text and quick phone call with Dad tonight (I was in the pub!!). He's made it to Morecambe. Today the weather was a bit cooler. In fact he rode most of the day with his coat on ... well when I say coat I don't mean his Duffel but his cycling jacket. From Southport he headed off towards Preston and Lytham St Annes and then on towards Blackpool. He did cycle along the "golden mile". He even had his photo taken with the Blackpool Tower in the background! Not sure how many miles he has done today but on the map it looks quite a long way!

He has managed to blag yet another night with a bed and no doubt evening meal and breakfast thrown in for good measures!

Tomorrow he will be heading off towards Barrow in Furness but may stop off if he finds a good campsite en-route. Tomorrow will be the first night he's had to camp. Hope the rain holds off!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Just had a phone call from Dad. So much for leaving his mobile on between 7.00 and 8.00 pm in case folk want to get in touch. It was 7.25 when he remembered to turn it on!

He was impressed with the Hostel in Liverpool. Had a good nights sleep .... I think this was helped by visiting a few pubs in Liverpool. He got chatting to a bloke in one of the pubs who had a narrow boat moored in Albert Docks.

Today he has had a leisurely ride to Southport. He was there for 12.30. He'd got a contact and somewhere to stay for the night so when he arrived in Southport he gave them a call. He is at a place called Rufford (which I've just googled and found it is a bit off the coast).

He's had a lovely day. Lunch in the garden followed by a walk and they've just had an evening meal in the garden. What a life!

Tomorrow is heading off to Morecambe via Blackpool. I wonder if he will cycle along the "golden mile" !

Monday, June 1, 2009

Liverpool Part II

Just had a phone call from Dad as well ... he's really getting into this mobile communication lark! He cycled with Simon as far as Winsford (20 plus miles) and then they stopped and had a pint of lemonade and lime in Weatherspoons. Dad then headed off onto Frodsham where he stopped for a pub lunch. Most of it through lanes so it was a leisurely ride.

The tricky bit came when he got to the Runcorn bridge. He couldn't find how to get onto the cycle/footpath. He even asked a policeman who couldn't really help! Eventually he managed to find it and cycled across the bridge. I don't suppose it was as exciting as cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge! Once off the bridge he then had to cross two roads to get onto the road he needed. From there he headed off into Liverpool cycling the last six miles along the sea front. What a glorious day to be cycling along the sea front.

He just had a pint and pie and chips and when he rang me was heading off for a walk along the Docks. Bike is safely locked up in the store at the hostel.

He thanked everyone for the lovely send off - he had no idea so many people were turning up!

So day 1 has turned out well ... lets hope for many more of the same.


Got a text from Dad (yes a text!) to say he'd made it to Liverpool. Got there at 4.30 p.m. He'd booked himself into the YHA for tonight so at least he'll get a good nights sleep. He'd better lock the bike up tonight or he might come to it in the morning to find it jacked up and the wheels missing !

Anyone interested this is the hostel

Looks quite a posh hostel.

If I get speak to Dad later will update.

More photos from the start ....

I've uploaded some more photos to my FB (it's such a pain adding them on here!). Hopefully you should be able to see them.

A few more to follow at some point.

The Start ....

Well he's off on his way ...