I was talking this morning to someone I met on the cycle route to Powderham Castle in Devon about cycle touring. He was loaded up with bags and was riding a Thorn, a bike created in Bridgewater; just up the road from me. I told him about when I took my Bullitt to Scotland and he said I should have written about that adventure, let alone the one I am about to take into Europe. He is right. So if I can find the time I intend to do just that and have put some of the photos on this blog for you all to enjoy.
This earlier trip, not the one when I cycled from Devon to Scotland, involved going up by van and then testing out this Golden Eagle bike engine kit. It was OK on mild rises but failed to help me up the steep gradients. Its extra 7kg plus fuel was more a burden than a help. This is the same engine that I will be using on the front of the bike for Europe to help me get up the mountains but this time it will run through a gearbox and then into the hub gears on the back wheel. Testing to take place soon to see if it works. Where the engine is seen on this photo, there are saddle bags now. As you can see, the cargo area is filled with kit needed for weeks in the saddle. This was my early days of testing out what worked and what did not. The photo below is an action shot going down hill with Max watching sheep on the hills. Every so often he would jump off but was tied to the bike so I did not loose him. He learnt that jumping off was not a good idea.
Camping in your very own castle. No problems. No angry guards. No police. Just being able to live and be free. Wild camping in Scotland is such a pleasure. The tent is a Vango Spirit and it is brilliant. This time I have bought a Vango Blade tent because it is lighter and also a DD Hammock to test out. The steps behind the tent lead up to the tower which is all open and leads to the roof giving impressive views to Arron. I could have slept in the tower if the weather had been bad. Stunning place that I could only reach on a bicycle.