Tag: Scotland

‘Cycling Stuff’: Hostels In Scotland And Great British Gravel Rides

Having a presence online, as I do, can create a rather skewed image of the person writing this. The books, podcasts, films, social media etc… don’t help in this regard. I dare say some of you think I lead a rather different life to the one that I actually experience myself. Yesterday, a colleague in the school where I toil asked if my work as a teacher subsidised the ‘cycling stuff’ or the other way around. I broke the news gently that, without my income from cajoling the 11 to 18-year-olds of my small town in West Yorkshire into engaging with the educational process, I would be living on the streets. Perhaps one day the ‘cycling stuff’ will be the bread winner and the teaching a nice add-on. For the time being however…

Wild About Bikepacking: Mull, Jura, Islay And Bute

The new Bikepacking Argyll’s Islands route, created by Bikepacking Scotland and commissioned by CalMac Ferries and Wild About Argyll, maps a 496km-journey (308 miles) connecting the Isles of Mull, Jura, Islay and Bute on a mixture of gravel tracks, singletrail, cycle paths and roads. The route also makes great use of ScotRail’s Highland Explorer, which provides space for up to 20 bikes, including tandems. The newly introduced train carriage offers a bike-friendly train connection between Glasgow, host city of the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023, and Oban, where the new route begins. Bikes travel free on trains and all ferries along the route.

Explore Your Boundaries – Mark Beaumont / Markus Stitz

Explore Your Boundaries – a new documentary by Mark Beaumont and Markus Stitz – is all about gravel routes following the council boundaries of Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk and Glasgow in Scotland. Markus mentioned the film at the recent Cycle Touring Festival. It was inspired by the national lockdowns and the requirement to ‘stay local’ with our exercise. It’s difficult to comprehend that the first of those lockdowns was nearly two years ago. Life seems to have returned to normal for most people, but I’m still wearing my mask on public transport and in shops. Although it was clearly a terrible time for many, I do look back upon those months of relative peace and quiet with some nostalgia, although I readily admit that my reminiscences are probably very rose-tinted… Here’s the film:

white bicycle road sign

Revolution! The Hierarchy Is Changing…

And so is the Highway Code. It’s been interesting to see how the gammons, ‘kippers and Nigels (apologies if you are a Nigel who doesn’t adhere to the thoughts of the ridiculous Nigel Farage) of Britain have been reacting this week to the news that the updated Highway Code will (shock horror!) introduce a pyramid of hierarchy that sees those who are more likely (and able) to inflict death and destruction on the roads being assumed to have more responsibility that those who pose little danger to others.

WarmShowers Forums: Swedish Trains And Videos

Earlier this week I received an email from WarmShowers, the accommodation sharing website aimed at cycle tourists, about their ‘forums’. Whenever I think of forums my mind turns back to the early days of the Internet when things were a little more ‘clunky’ than they are now. But they must still be a ‘thing’ and the fact that WarmShowers have them on their website would suggest that, actually, they are still widely used.

NEW VIDEO: Cycling Stirling To Edinburgh… In 10 Minutes

I’ve been taking a break from the website and social media but before I return in early 2022, here’s a short video about a recent trip to Scotland. In late November 2021 I attended a Cycling UK event in Stirling, where I had been asked to give a talk about ‘Cycling Europe’. It was the perfect excuse to embark upon a wee bit of winter cycling – from Stirling to Edinburgh along the northern bank of the Firth of Forth – with a little time to explore the two cities at either end of the route…

The Outer Hebrides… On A Bike Called Wanda: The Film!

Britain offers some amazing places to explore on a bicycle, but there can be few locations within the UK that offer the remoteness, drama and sheer spectacle of the islands of The Outer Hebrides. The Hebridean Way takes cyclists from Vatersay in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the north: “10 islands, 6 causeways, 2 ferries and 1 unforgettable adventure”. The writer Andrew P. Sykes attempted the ride in the summer of 2021. This is his story.

The Cycling Europe Podcast: Episode 039 – Part 2 – The Hebridean Way… On A Bike Called Wanda (Harris And Lewis)

In episode 038 of The Cycling Europe Podcast, Andrew Sykes spoke to a number of travellers about their experiences of cycling The Hebridean Way. Now it’s his turn to get onto his bicycle, Wanda, and cycle from Vatersay in the south to Lewis in the north along one of Britain’s most spectacular rides. In part 1 of this episode of the podcast he travelled from the island of Vatersay to the island of Berneray. In this second part of the podcast we see him complete his journey across the Isles of Harris and Lewis to the Butt of Lewis and the end of the Hebridean Way.