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Day 5

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Day 5: Crianlarich - Balloch
Time: 2:20:54
Distance: 54.7km
Average Speed: 23.3km/h

Final day! We bought some food quickly in londis before the approach to Loch Lomond. We stopped for a great breakfast is the tea room in Tarbet. Soon after the West Loch Lomond bike path started again. While it's nice to be off the road the path is a real boneshaker and if you're not fully concentrating a man could lose his eye on the overgrown thornbushes that flank the trail. Once we arrived in Glasgow we had a victory lunch in the brewdog pub called the doghouse. Billy Bilsland (http://www.billybilslandcycles.co.uk) we're kind enough to give us some free boxes to bring our bikes on the plane.

Jerry's final thoughts:
1. We got very lucky with the weather and saw Scotland at it's best.
2. Luss, Inveraray and Oban are beautiful towns that I'd love to visit again.
3. In general the road surfaces in Scotland are great! Only 1 puncture in 5 days. After Romain made a rule that nobod…

Day 4

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Day 4: "Rest" Day (Ben Nevis)
Time: 4:16:30
Distance: 15km
Average Speed: Average km/h

Last night after dinner Paddy made the point that it's not often that you find yourself beside Ben Nevis so we may as well climb it. We decided to take a day off the bike and then catch a train in the evening to Crianlarich. Romain and Paddy set a relentless pace up the climb and reached the top far faster than the rest of us. The sun was blazing all the way up and the clear skies made for great panoramic views.
I found walking down the climb much tougher and was relieved to be back at sea level and on a bike again after the experience. Our train was set for 5:40 pm but some carriages were missing so we decided to wait for 2 hours for the next one. I called the rail company to see if we could reserve space for the bikes and they said that all 6 slots had been reserved so it would be best to take tomorrow's train. We asked the old men working at the station if there was there any ch…

Day 3

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Day 3: Oban - Corpach
Time: 3:48:41
Distance: 78.6km
Average Speed: 19.8km/h
The Thais sharing our room with us were up early rummaging through bags for well over an hour. Oban had been good to us yesterday. We arrived early enough to walk around the promenade and see the town a bit followed by a weatherspoons dinner where Paddy ordered 3 dinners (for himself). I sampled some great whisky that they make in the distillery of the town. Oban is a lot bigger than I expected and I'd love to come back again sometime.
One of the barmen from the pub below the hostel told us that there would be a bike path all the way to Fort William. I didn't believe him but we set off along the coast in a northerly direction. We reached the bike path soon after and stayed on it for around 50km until we reached Glencoe. This bike path has really been done well with a great surface, plenty of signposting and great scenery. I'd strongly recommend anyone (especially a first time cycle tourist) to gi…

Day 2

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Day 2: Inveraray - Oban
Time: 4:02:41
Distance: 100.2km
Average Speed: 24.8km/h

The hostel had posters on the wall saying breakfast at 7.45am. We woke on time and waited around until 8 before losing patience and going to londis. Leeroy asked the employee who didn't wake up in time (to literally carry out a few loafs and cereals) if there was any milk in the fridge and she responded "eh, pleeeze". Bad service.The road went upwards early. The road surface was much better than yesterday and we didn't find much traffic. We stopped for lunch at a pub in kilmeldford. Everyone had steak and ale pie and a few of us had pints from the cask. After lunch the wind was relentless. We battled into it on the flat for many miles. When the wind changed we started to go uphill for an uncalled for climb before the descent into Oban.  The University town is a lot bigger than I expected and had scenic views of the coast from our hostel and the pub downstairs. We stayed out a bit later tonig…

Day 1

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Day 1: Balloch - Inveraray
Time: 2:43:20
Distance: 66.3km
Average Speed: 24.4km/h
Our flight got into Glasgow at around 10pm. The Polish bus driver was nice enough to let us take 4 bike boxes into the city. We walked about 10 minutes to the hostel and my shoulders are in bits today from carrying the boxed bike. We had 15 minutes to get beers in the hostel bar. The elite of Scottish culture were walking around the pub causing rows and trying to find out who was in the RA.
The euro hostel did a fine breakfast before assembling the bikes. We took a train to Balloch to avoid the city traffic and began the Loch Lomond cycle path. The trail is narrow and mossy on parts. It's bumpy too and it was a relief to arrive in Tarbet and get on an actual road.
The scenery picked up to the level of the roads. Our long and steady 30 minute climb was followed by an equally gradual descent. As we passed Loch Long the rain fell down for a while but the roads were flat and smooth and we had a tailwin…