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Sunday the 16th of July

The stunning Glencoe

This morning, I felt a little bit rough. I seemed nervy, lacked energy and had the mother of all headaches. I seriously thought Id over done it and wouldnt be able to complete today. But with Dan as my inspiration (if he was still going, and Im sure he would keep going should a couple of his limbs fall off, then I could keep going) I set off with the team.

To my relief, half an hour later I felt fine.

Dan, Edward and Matt at the 200 mile mark just before Glencoe

We hit the 200 mile mark shortly after setting off, taking pictures of us in our location at this milestone. After patting ourselves on the back we set off again and found ourselves in Glencoe.

Gary and Edward at the 200 mile mark just before Glencoe

The weather was darned fine and cycling through this wondrous country side left us all feeling a little awestruck. It is for these moments that we live. A religious man might find their god in the vistas presented to us. I found something less spiritual, but no less an epiphany. I was humbled. Looking at this wondrous countryside, I understood my place.

It took us a longer than expected to cycle through this country as we stopped several times just to soak in the views.

Leaving Glencoe we hit some road works and only one lane was accessible, controlled by temporary traffic lights. Because the lane was too narrow for us to cycle past the stationary traffic safely we waited in the queue with the motorised traffic. We made our way to through the queue and found ourselves at the front, waiting for the lights to turn to green. It was now that a road worker stopped us from going and instructed us to wait until the lights turned red as we might hold up the following traffic.

What?

Firstly, we are traffic, how can we hold up ourselves? We asked if he thought it was safe for us to cycle on a single track around a blind corner into on coming traffic and this was ignored. So he allowed us to travel and as predicted we cycled straight into oncoming traffic. They seemed to think that we had cheated, jumping a red light and let their feelings known by the use of their horn and some rather offensive gesticulation. Im afraid that in retaliation to one of these idiots I smacked the side window if his car with the palm of my hand. He jumped out of his skin! If hed stopped his ranting about us not obeying the law hed have found out wed been forced into this dangerous situation and we were not there by choice at all.

So thanks idiot road worker. Not only did you put our lives in mortal danger, you also helped reinforce a few motorists preconceptions that cyclists have no respect for road law, which I assure you good reader, is not the case.

So on we go!

The team in Glencoe

The cycling had been fairly easy going following the A82, taking us across beautiful undulating countryside. After lunch at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel in the Bridge of Orchy we set off on what turned out to be a 7 mile continuous climb. Not steep, but it did go on.

Towards the end of this we heard some commotion in a layby. As we got closer we recognised the Brummies we met in Fort William as they cheered us on taking video and photographs. I felt like Lance Armstrong. They must have passed us and decided to pass on their best wishes. As we had been climbing pretty much constantly for the day (though only seriously for the last 4 miles or so) it was just the moral boost we needed and that kind action spurred us on until we reached the plateau marked up at 1142 feet above sea level.

Looking around it looked downhill in any direction. We were wrong of course, but we only had a little climb to make before we hit a downhill stretch. A stretch that lasted for 13 miles! Get that, 13 miles for free! This set us up nicely for our digs in Luss.

Our B&B in Luss allowed 3 of us to pitch a tent in the Garden and 2 to sleep in the only available room (due to golf fans attending the Scottish Open taking up the other rooms). The landlady Kirsteen, cooked us all a darned fine breakfast the next morning and even washed our cycling gear. A very accommodating family indeed.

We went off in search of an evening meal, however we were in Luss at the time of the Scottish Open and every table in every restaurant was booked by golf fans. After a search that seemed to last all evening we ended up in Balloch at a Chinese Restaurant where we enjoyed a rather tasty meal.

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