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Welcome to my website

I started cycle touring on a complete whim. I've always had a lust for the outdoors and have backpacked many times over the years, mainly on the beautiful remote desolate island of Jura, one of the last areas of unspoilt wilderness in the UK. I enjoy the solitude, the challenge, the dramatic scenery and wildlife together with the knowledge that you're a boat ride away from civilisation.

Gazing at the map in Calmac's 'Explore' brochure on the Claonaig to Lochranza ferry rekindled my desire to visit the Outer Hebrides. I was reminded of my parents' epic tale concerning their voyage to Barra in the 1950s during their courting days, on 'a flat bottomed boat' in mountainous seas where everyone on board including the crew were sick apart from them. Then when queuing for the boat at Brodick, I watched as a procession of pannier clad bicycles disembarked for journeys around Arran.

So here were the seeds of an idea to explore the Hebridean Islands on a touring bike. I'm not getting any younger and the rucksack no lighter so a bike seemed the best way to carry the load whilst sparing my vertebra. These pages explain how I started, bought & equipped a touring bike and prepared for a new experience.

There are illustrated accounts of bike rides to the Outer Hebrides, a tour around Mull & Ardnamurchan, trips to the Shetland Islands and an epic journey from Land's End to John O'Groats. I cycled coast to coast, then last year around Lake Siljan in Sweden with Team Tollco.

This year, I booked to go back to the Shetland Islands. The place really got under my skin and I wanted to visit more islands. I watched the weather forecast with interest and kept my fingers crossed for late June.

In the beginning though, I needed a bike.

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