Tarbert to Oban

Day 33: Fri 1 April.  Fools’ day? Probably. One of them was on a bike, pedalling for over 4 hours in non-stop heavy rain with gusts of 45mph. Not a problem. The wind was on my back, allowing a cruising speed in excess of 20mph on some stretches. Quite exhilarating. The first 20 miles were mostly flat but very rough along parts of the pretty Crinan Canal path. The next 23 included some lovely long, gentle ascents and fast descents between four good loch-side flats. It only hurt when I started pedalling again, having stopped for a coffee & MarsBar break with my very caring support team. Apologies to Neil & Kate for whizzing past you a couple of times when you’d pulled in to strategically placed lay-byes with Loch & Glen views. I was on a mission, with Oban in my sights. Only one scary moment today,  near the top of the last climb. The switchback turned me side on to a very powerful gust. Who is the God of Wind? Whoever it is, s/he certainly had complete control of Fondo for a moment. I was forced to get off and wrestle back control. I clearly hadn’t shown proper respect and appreciation for the wind assistance I’d been taking for granted. Thank you, your windiness. Same again tomorrow, please?

It must be 20 years since my last visit to Oban,  with family and trailer tent in tow.  I didn’t recognise the place. I’m sure it was neither as big nor busy.  The open aspect of the quay side has gone.  Couldn’t find the Lifeboat Station at first.  It hadn’t moved but it did have a few new neighbours.

Big thanks to David (Cox’n), Finlo  and Andrew for the welcome and the very special, unexpected and generous (secret) gift. I’ll make it last! Good luck with the year ahead. If it continues the way March has gone, this could be a record breaking year for Oban ALB “shouts”. Interesting to hear how Oban’s Trent Class Lifeboat has been the birth place of more than one child in recent years! I forgot to ask what was entered on the birth certificates as “place of birth”?

One thought on “Tarbert to Oban

  1. KEITH GRAHAM April 2, 2016 / 7:08 am

    ‘Who is the God of Wind?’ is a classic cycling rumination and you’ll find pages of them from various cultures on Windipedia…

    I rather like the Aztec God of the south wind – ‘Vitzlampaehecati’ which also roughly translates at 20 mph with an excessive consumption of gels as:
    ‘my legs as are strong as Wiggo’s so I’ll be in Oban by lunchtime…’

    This led on to the inevitable surfing for Scottish weather terms which rank as many as there are Eskimo names for snow…. but the following will be helpful in conversations

    ‘Blenter/ flaff/tousle’ are gusty/blustery winds & can be accompanied by ‘gandiegows’ – squalls of rain leaving you ‘droukit & draggled’ – drenched & bedraggled but you really don’t want it to be
    ‘raining’ auld wives & pipe staples’ !! – i.e. heavy rain… of a painful variety it would appear…!

    Every cyclist will be familiar with my favourite however – ‘lauchin’ rain – a long shower of rain from an apparently clear sky!

    As the saying goes – ‘If you don’t like the weather in Scotland wait half an hour and it will change’

    …and it will

    love – Keith x


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