Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Sent from my iPhone
Monday, 23 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Sent from my iPhone
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Again... I typed this up in Word at the time... just after I got back from the ride.
Photos from the trip are here.
Scenery so stunning that it’s hard to concentrate on the road. Which is interesting, as I have to dodge potholes, and oncoming cars along the singletrack roads.
Skye – Day 3… the biggie.
I can only think of one ride that beats this for scenery… which was a winter conditions descent from Corrie Lagan.
Head feels floaty now, although that might be due to the beer I had in lieu of a proper “recovery” drink. Tasted a damn sight better though.
Sligachan – Camasunary Bay and back tomorrow on the mountain bikes. Brilliant.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Thursday, 5 May 2011
I have an album of photos here.
Epic. My body hurts. My heart aches. My eyes are full, It’s silent, apart from the howling wind and crashing waves. And my deep, calm, tired breaths. I’m alive.
Skye – Day 1
The oroginal plan for today was the road loop I talked about last week. Hebridean weather doesn’t always play fair though. After a stunning travelling day yesterday, I woke at 5am to high winds and horizontal. Rain. Hmm… it might blow over. It didn’t by 9.30, so change of plan. Starting at Orbost, I ran out to Macleods maidens… pinnacles of rock standing proud of huge, imposing sea cliffs.
I stood standing closer to the edge than I probably should for quite some time. I can’t describe quite how I felt. Deeply sad. But not depressed. Alone, but stronger for the isolation. Very, very little. The weather had eventually broken, and the sea shone with the turquoise iridescence that I have only ever seen around the west coast of Scotland.
I skirted the edge of these huge cliffs for another couple of miles. No path to speak of, other than the occasional vague narrow ribbon of shorter grass or heather. I stopped, took photos, checked the map. Stopped thinking. Just was.
Eventually I turned my back to the sea, and branched off inland, I was surprised how quickly I was moving over pretty grotty ground. Bog, heather, tussocks. Typical mountain marathon country. Normally bloody frustrating. Of course I tripped over, of course my feet were sodden. But it was pretty good fun. The gradient picked up rapidly, and my run/trot pace turned into a walk, stop, walk, trot, stop kind of pace. Sweat stung my eyes. Really, really salty sweat.. After a wee, er, scenic detour (I did not misread the map), I hit the top of the first of Macleods tables (which on this particular loop was the southerly one). So called because of their strange, wide, flat summits. Few jelly babies and on to his second table, to dine on a flapjack.
Twinges of cramp kicked in on the descent. It was steep and technical and an over extended leg, was all it took for the initial shoots of pain to fire from calves and inside of my thighs. Hmm. Not great. Eat more jelly babies. Sip more drink.
I didn’t feel tired as such, just awkwardly stiff. No flowing rhythm to my footsteps any more. I reached into my rucksack, grabbed my ipod shuffle and pushed the earbuds deep into each ear hole. The last proper bit of ascent up to Macleods table (north). Steep, but no really chore, and the novelty of music kept me entertained.
Flapjack eaten, slurp of water, with that final gurgle and splutter as my camelbak empties. Clouds were starting to roll in, and the wind was picking up. My sweaty base layer cooled rapidly, so straight down… along a stepped, wide ridgeline. Again, the going isn’t easy. Long heather, tussocks, and the return of cramp. Proper killer twinges. Enough to bring me to pull me up, leave me helpless… trying to contort into a position that lessens the pain from one muscle, without triggering another to join in on the fun. Fuckety, fuckety, fuckety. I can see where the car is parked. It’s only 3 or 4 miles away. Somewhat frustrated, I start walking, slowly. The pain wears off. I pick up the pace. Then brave a little jog. OW FUCK. Start the process again. After a while, my body seems to get used to the idea that it’s probably not a good idea to piss about. And the sooner I get back to the car, the sooner it will have water and food.
The final few hundred metres along a farm track are heaven. I open my legs fully for the first time in four hours and power back to the car. Arriving gasping, rasping, sucking in air. I’d have smiled if it didn’t hurt so much.
Sorry to the sightseer I confused when I pulled up in the lay-by near her. I guess I probably did look a bit silly, falling out of the car, and trying to stretch out a spasming muscle…