Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

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radek
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Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby radek » 4 Aug 2017, 12:19pm

Hello,

I am new to this forum and bicycle touring. For many years I have been dreaming about bike touring. I am 32 now and I said to myself, it is time to do it now or never!!! For the past few months I have been researching equipment and now I have a new touring bike that I love and equipment for camping. The bicycle is great but I had to cost cut on other equipment which means that I will be traveling heavy :) I have been cycling almost every day for the past 3 weeks, but I still feel that my physical condition needs working on...

In a weeks time my wife and daughter are away to grandparents for few days. This gives me an opportunity to have my first bicycle touring trip with wild camping somewhere on the way.

I am based in Edinburgh.

Since it will be my first trip, I want to take it easy - I am looking to get away for one night somewhere in Scotland, including journey by train if needed. I think that 30 miles one way would be max for me just now.

Does any of you have any suggestions where I could go for my first trip ?

irc
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby irc » 4 Aug 2017, 6:59pm

Edinburgh to Bowling by train. No requirement to book bike spaces. Ride the Forth and Clyde canal to Falkirk. Overnight of your choice then ride back to Edinburgh on the Union Canal.

irc
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby irc » 4 Aug 2017, 7:37pm

Or for a bit more rural - train to Ardrossan, ferry to Arran, and round the island over 2 days.

bogmyrtle
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby bogmyrtle » 4 Aug 2017, 10:21pm

irc wrote:Or for a bit more rural - train to Ardrossan, ferry to Arran, and round the island over 2 days.

That would need train changes.
Train to Tweedbank then tootle round the borders.
If you are away over the weekend of 18/20th head for Innerleithen and get tickets for the music festival.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby Wanlock Dod » 7 Aug 2017, 6:59pm

Eskdalemuir, if it's not too far

radek
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby radek » 8 Aug 2017, 9:12pm

Thanks a lot for all of your suggestions.

I think that I will follow IRC’s idea, namely starting from Bowling on Saturday + Forth and Clyde canal. I will aim to camp in Carron Valley - my first ever wild camp !!! On Sunday, I will cycle back to Edinburgh.

Wife and daughter are away to grandmother this weekend. The bike and equipment are ready. I just needed a map because I decided not to take any electronic devices with me. I will only have an old brick mobile-phone for safety reasons. I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

captain offensive
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby captain offensive » 9 Aug 2017, 7:35pm

Have fun :-)

radek
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby radek » 13 Aug 2017, 10:57pm

I did it – my first bike tour !!! :D

I loved every aspect of it. Even washing with a damp cloth and being eaten by midges.

I felt a bit anxious to start with. There were many questions running in my head. Do I have everything I need ? - yes, I had even too much :) Will I make this distance ? - no problem, just a little bit sore Will I be Ok to wild camp on my own ?

There was no need to worry. Everything worked out perfect! I have enjoyed every moment. Even the crazy hills of Carron Valley. Meanwhile, in the forest, I I found a perfect place to sleep. The night was peaceful. No light, No city sounds, Beautiful darkness and relaxing smell of nature.. Deeper in the forest there was very little wind. The was this occasional small branch snapping off the tree and dropping on my tent. I love my sleeping bag and mat. Inside the tent wast warm and conformable throughout the night. I slept literary like a baby. Honestly, I do not remember the last time I slept so well. At 7.30 I woke up and felt so refreshed. I cooked some porridge. Added nuts. Food tasted excellent.

Yet, the best part is my bicycle. It felt so comfortable. Like on a magical carpet (yes I have a experience of flying on a magical carpet) :)

I felt free. Cycling allowed me to be hear and now, and away from day-to-day.

I met some interesting people on the way. Some were bicycle touring. The other guy was walking across United Kingdom and blogging. I also met a whole family with dogs. They were walking through the forest and they asked me about cycling and camping. Throughout the whole way people were passing friendly smiles and were saying hello. I did not feel alone at all :)

Then, I got back to Edinburgh and I felt such a sense of achievement! Hence, I am sharing my experience :D

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LollyKat
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby LollyKat » 13 Aug 2017, 11:20pm

Thanks for the write-up - I've been thinking of you this weekend and wondering how you were getting on. I'm so glad it was such a success and am sure it is just the first of many adventures to come. Welcome to our wonderful world of cycling! :)

irc
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby irc » 14 Aug 2017, 6:12am

Glad it went well. There is something about a bike tour that is hard to define. a feeling of freedom, carrying all your needs with you, independence, not knowing exactly where you will sleep that night. It's hard to define but you know it when you get there.

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pjclinch
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby pjclinch » 14 Aug 2017, 9:52am

Glad it all went well. Another fairly easy option from Embra would be the Fife coast or down in to the Borders.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

radek
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby radek » 16 Aug 2017, 12:41pm

Indeed, I cannot wait to do it again. It happens that I have one more weekend until wife is back :D . I am only hopping for good enough weather. I do not mind a little bit of rain now and then, but not the whole day.

Could you please tell me more about the Fife Coast or are there any other good routes?

I still would like it to be fairly easy and mostly flat cycle, and around same distance I did last time. Also as much as possible away from cars - I really like nature.

Again I would like to start with a train ride from Edinburgh. Then, at the end of the first day, I would like to wild camp preferably in a quiet forest. I do not feel confident enough to wild camp next to roads, busy cycle paths and urban areas. I really liked camping in the Carron Valley because it was super quiet and my camp was 100% stealth. I have thicker tires and my bike handles OK some cycling on gravel roads.

Just now I am looking at this:
http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home ... n-scotland hoping to find something interesting here

Thanks a lot to you all for your help!!!

andy_scot_uk
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby andy_scot_uk » 3 Sep 2017, 5:59am

take a train to Berwick-upon-tweed ( you can book a bike on) and then do route 1 back to Edinburgh?

see https://www.opencyclemap.org/ for routes

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Sweep
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby Sweep » 3 Sep 2017, 9:05am

Wonderful report. Thank you.
Sweep

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Cunobelin
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Re: Scotland - ideas for the 1st tour from Edinburgh ???

Postby Cunobelin » 3 Sep 2017, 9:19am

You could simply continue alongtheu Sutrans Clyde and Forth Route through Glasgow to the coast,

Your first Coast to Coast!

There is also the South bound Coast and Castles that (as above) goes to Berwick, but if you are brave (and can face the English) then this route extends via the White Rose and Hull and Harwich routes, and onwards

THis map from Cycle-Sleep gives an idea of the Sustrans routes available

As you become more experienced you can then use these as a guide and start altering routes, before designing your own from scratch

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