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Old 26-07-2017, 01:06 PM   #14
two wheels are best
twowheeler's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Patch, Vic
Posts: 963
Default Re: Slow Road to Muckle Flugga

Originally Posted by glitch View Post
I bet....big day, too.
Quite a few miles, considering the ferries/ waiting times etc.
When playing with Gmaps, the amount of tiny single-laners (most paved to some degree at least) is quite a surprise.
How did you go with bookings for accom, what's a typical meal worth, are the local folks happy to talk with strangers?
Getting around on credit cards?...or mainly cash?

I've heard a few times that m'cyclists aren't the most welcome in many places, but I guess that much depends on the attitude one displays, too.
Yeah you’re spot on. I’d anticipated delays here and there with ferries and knew I’d be stopping a fair bit to poke around or take pics, so none of my days were long in terms of miles, but almost all of them took all day ! Single-track roads, even empty ones, are definitely slower than A roads, even though they’re all paved, some badly. Maybe I’m just cautious, but you need to balance your speed with your ability to slow/stop in the next passing place combined with how much forward vision you have of oncoming traffic. Locals have it down pat, everyone just co-ordinates their speed (which is not slow) so they don’t need to stop but just arrive at the next passing place at the same time. Tourists unwittingly screw it up by either stopping too early, or barging on regardless (read, some motorhomes).

Food costs were good. Everywhere I stayed (pubs, B+Bs) included breakfasts, cooked ones if you wanted. And I quickly fell into the habit of having them make me a brown-bag lunch. They all offered it, about 5 quid for a sandwich, cake, chocolate, fruit, drink, etc, so if I was walking it was obviously a good choice but also riding, it meant I could just stop anywhere. Dinners varied from cheap and cheerful, 10 quid or so, up to around 30 quid but that was for a magnificent multi-course meal and beer in Applecross.

I’d booked some accommodation well in advance and others only days/weeks earlier. I didn’t have any issues, but noticed that wherever I went, most places had no-vacancy signs up.

I used my credit card usually, some un-manned pump stations for example are card only, but there were a couple of joints that only took cash. Probably a similar ratio to Oz.

Bike friendly, I really enjoyed riding here. Some of it comes down to your own attitude but I found courteous drivers and a generally welcoming vibe. Bikes are very common in Britain so more people ‘get’ them I guess. The speed limits are sensible and the roads aren’t saturated with nanny-state double lines.

Friendliness ? Dangerous to generalise, but I reckon most Scots love a good chat. I met so many interesting people. A guy who sticks in my mind was an old shepherd on Skye. I was walking along a public right-of-way near Ullinish; he was in the next field and walked across to open a gate for me. He had a long crook (I kid you not) and a neurotic border collie who tried its best to round me up. We talked for ages about dogs (mine is neurotic too), weather, kids and the stupendous view he had from his nearby cottage, where he’d lived all his life farming sheep.
.... Peter.

Last edited by twowheeler; 26-07-2017 at 02:28 PM.
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