Scottish weather has me freaked out!

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Jimstar79
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby Jimstar79 » 5 Aug 2015, 10:10am

Sounds as if you are suffering from "pre-match nerves", just get on with it, the most difficult part of any tour is getting to the end of your local street/road. :D


Your post made me smile! I think you are absolutely right. It is pre-match nerves. Part of me thinks it would be more rational to just go for a one or two nighter somewhere in the Lakes to see how things go, plus, I wouldn't need to carry quite so much gear, which weighs in at 14kg distributed between 4 panniers. Is that already too much? I am carrying quite a lot of dry food.
Last edited by Vorpal on 5 Aug 2015, 2:37pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paulatic
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby Paulatic » 5 Aug 2015, 12:26pm

I can confirm that here in S W Scotland it's been cold wet and windy virtually every day this summer. July usually is a wet showery month but I don't recall such a persistent wind and such low temperatures. On a number of rides this year I just end up dreaming of getting home and lighting the fire.

However I firmly believe there is always an average every year and surely the law of averages says we are going to be in for some sunny dry days very soon. Id get out on the bike and hope they come. Forecasts can change.

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largeallan
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby largeallan » 5 Aug 2015, 1:37pm

I did the Western isles at the beginning of June......soaked and bedraggled, with headwinds no matter which way we pointed. Same recently on the Tweed cycleway, but as has been said before, if you sit waiting for the right weather then you'll never go anywhere....the weather just is what it is in Scotland....get out there!! :)

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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby Vorpal » 5 Aug 2015, 2:39pm

Jimstar79 wrote: I am carrying quite a lot of dry food.

Carry a couple of meals worth in case you get caught out somewhere, and buy the rest as you go. It's harder on the pocketbook, but easier on the legs. :D
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby PDQ Mobile » 5 Aug 2015, 2:48pm

Paulatic wrote:I can confirm that here in S W Scotland it's been cold wet and windy virtually every day this summer. July usually is a wet showery month but I don't recall such a persistent wind and such low temperatures. On a number of rides this year I just end up dreaming of getting home and lighting the fire.

However I firmly believe there is always an average every year and surely the law of averages says we are going to be in for some sunny dry days very soon. Id get out on the bike and hope they come. Forecasts can change.

My OH always says I'm an optimist


One eighteenth century traveller wrote " the weather is exactly the same summer or winter but in winter they may give you a fire"
My OH wont go up any more after three soaked hols but get the weather and it's a fine good place to be.

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stephenjubb
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby stephenjubb » 6 Aug 2015, 12:27am

Jimstar79 wrote:Since February I have been plotting a route throughout Scotland. Ever since I have been checking out the weather forecasts for the west and north west coast and it looks like it is getting battered by some very strong and persistent weather systems. I have always expected that a cycle tour around Scotland would result in a few wet days here and there but this summer looks like a really wet one coupled with very high winds.

I keep putting back the day of departure and am itching to leave - I was hoping to set off from the south Lakes tomorrow but if I do I will be heading into a whole world of trouble by the look of things. Now it looks like I may have to wait until the weekend or even further ahead. My panniers are all packed, my bike has been tweaked and I am ready!

I am just wondering what other people make of this dilemma. This will be my first tour and it is very important to me for many personal and spiritual reasons. I know that the ride and the solitude will be mentally challenging and in many ways I want it to be hard, I just don't think I want to be wet every day, all day! I used to be a cycling courier so I know what riding in wet weather is about - it is grim but doable and I always had my home and a hot shower to go home to! On this tour I will be wild camping nearly every night.

The question is: shall I turn my attention towards a continental tour and head for Germany, France or Spain? Or all three? Or wait and see if the weather changes?

Looking forward to some words of wisdom :)


I've spent months touring up in Scotland in all sorts of weathernd if you do get stuck somewhere for over a week with nothing to do (i.e. north west in durness) due to weather it can get depressing. With Scotland it is simple as adapting to the changes, if it is raining or windy one day you take a rest. Having said that given the current conditions I'd go but somewhere say a circuar tour around somewhere with scenery but a train station, then if the weather does not change you can get the train with a day or two rides and head south to better weather.

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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby PDQ Mobile » 6 Aug 2015, 8:27am

Just as an afterthought. The East is often much better than the West. This was the case recently.

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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby eileithyia » 6 Aug 2015, 8:47am

On 2 occasions in the 80's i have spent a full day holed up in Durness waiting for the weather to clear so the ferry could run........ Durness is not the most exciting place to spend a wind and rain lashed day.... :lol:
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby irc » 6 Aug 2015, 10:23am

This year is the coldest summer in Scotland since 1998 and also far wetter than average in many areas.. I'd run to warmer climes and try Scotland another year.

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpre ... more-16237

july-rainfall.gif

iviehoff
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby iviehoff » 6 Aug 2015, 11:06am

irc wrote:This year is the coldest summer in Scotland since 1998 and also far wetter than average in many areas.

What that graphic actually shows is that the west and north of Scotland has had fairly normal rainfall, the additional rain has been in the lowland belt and the east.

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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby irc » 6 Aug 2015, 11:16am

iviehoff wrote:
irc wrote:This year is the coldest summer in Scotland since 1998 and also far wetter than average in many areas.

What that graphic actually shows is that the west and north of Scotland has had fairly normal rainfall, the additional rain has been in the lowland belt and the east.


Which is why I said "far wetter than average in many areas". Which part of that is wrong?

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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby hamster » 6 Aug 2015, 11:17am

Generally I reckon Scotland is a good bet in May, June and September. July and August are less so.

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Jimstar79
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby Jimstar79 » 6 Aug 2015, 11:52am

Thanks everyone for chipping in with some ideas and encouragement. I'm currently sat in Kendal ready to go but there is a lot of rain coming down already, which is supposed to lift later today. There was torrential rain across the Lakes yesterday evening so I am glad I didn't set off when planned. I think I am just going to go for it, I don't mind cycling in the rain (really?) so long as I have dry clothes to get into once my tent is up. My panniers are full and I have checked to see if I can do some stuff but everything looks 'essential'. Do I really need so many clothes - 4 short sleeve cycling/running tops, 2 long sleeve, 2 thicker long sleeves (one for emergencies!), a fleece body warmer (that I love cycling in!), a thinish lightweight windstopper, a light raincoat, 5 or 6 pairs of socks and sealskinz, +warm socks? EDIT: I've decided to ditch a pair of all terrain trainers and just use my mountain bike cycling shoes. Is this a good idea? Also, I have ditched one of the long sleaves.

I really dislike the idea of getting stuck somewhere - like Durness - for a whole day just because it's raining - I think I would rather ride on. A rest day to me is relaxing in nice weather, hopefully/wishfully sunbathing, sitting around drinking coffee and reading a good book, whilst swatting midgies! I don't even particularly mind if it is cold as I am taking ample gear to cover all kinds of weather - unless it snows! What the heck does one do if there is a thunder and lightning storm and stuck in the middle of nowhere?

As I type the clouds are lifting and the sky is slowly clearing. Right now it's hard to believe that I am going anywhere!
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Jimstar79
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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby Jimstar79 » 6 Aug 2015, 3:49pm

Ok guys, just a quick message to say that I am finally setting off!!

Wish me luck :)
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
H. G. Wells quotes

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Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

Postby Vorpal » 6 Aug 2015, 3:51pm

Luck & enjoy!
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom