Cycling Scotland - The Plan

After years of planning, saving, and finding the right time, Tom and I have officially booked our FIRST long haul cycle trip together! Tom has done several in the past, but we've talked for a while about doing one together. We've also not traveled internationally since we each spent separate times studying abroad during college. Its time and we're FINALLY GOING! TO SCOTLAND!

Cycling Scotland 2016

Why Scotland? I'd spent a few weekends there in college while studying abroad in London and just fell in love with the country. We first talked about planning a trip riding from London to Edinburgh, but our time constraints wouldn't allow us to make it in time without grinding through a lot of miles in the day. We knew we wanted to get to Scotland, so we eventually decided to just spend the entire trip there. 

FLIGHTS

We decided to take our bikes with us on this trip instead of renting bikes wherever we'd end up because we just love our bikes. There is also something about bringing our bikes all the way across the ocean and riding with them that just felt special. 

We both ride REI's Novara Randonee touring bike. Mine (obviously on the left) is from 2010 and Tom's is the 2011 version. Tom has ridden his bike on 4 long haul tours and mine's been through a season of triathlon training and countless commute trips to work, so we both feel great about taking them to Scotland with us.

We both ride REI's Novara Randonee touring bike. Mine (obviously on the left) is from 2010 and Tom's is the 2011 version. Tom has ridden his bike on 4 long haul tours and mine's been through a season of triathlon training and countless commute trips to work, so we both feel great about taking them to Scotland with us.

We're flying Virgin Atlantic because its the only airline I've found that will not charge any extra fees for bringing sports equipment - music to our ears! We'll be disassembling our bikes and packing them into travel bike cases surrounded by other gear and clothes.

Flying with bikes on Virgin Atlantic.

Flying with bikes on Virgin Atlantic.

We've booked our flights in and out of San Francisco Airport and are hoping our biggest concern will be taking BART down to the airport with our heavy duty gear.

THE PLAN

We'll be taking a train up to Inverness the day after we land and overnighting there before we begin our adventure. Then we'll ride east to Ullapool, taking a ferry over to the Isle of Lewis to see the Calanais Standing Stones. We'll continue south and take another ferry over to the Isle of Skye where we'll then ride through Skye before taking another ferry and then a train to Fort William. We'll hop back on the bikes in Fort William riding down through Oban and Inveraray and over to Arrochar & Tarbet before hopping on a train to Edinburgh. After a few days in Edinburgh we'll take a night train down to London for a few days stay before flying back to San Francisco. All in all it will be a 15 day trip.

The Route

The Route

If all goes according to plan - which I'm sure it won't - we'll spend 8 total days riding over 300 miles. We plan on camping most nights while riding, but will treat ourselves to a few hotels. The closer we get to traveling in August I'll update more with what we'll be packing and how the training has been going.