Someone on a forum that I read (and a good one at that) posted a reply to a recent post, which I think was a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ and suggested I might post something if I went to Tesco’s on my bike. That sort of got me thinking really and was a tremendous inspiration for my current ‘road trip’ of which today was day one.
I didn’t go to Tesco but did decide to nip to ASDA.
The ASDA store in Galashiels was a decent run out from my home in Manchester and I think was around 250 miles or so.
So armed with the inspiration of a shopping trip I took a pretty direct route for the first 50 miles or so to Skipton and then headed up across the moors to the Scottish Borders, on the way up I took in Kettlewell, Barnard Castle and Alston Moor.
Moffatt was an easy destination for me to choose as its a place I have visited a good few times – on various bikes with friends, on my own on the bike and with my wife when we drove up there a few years ago.
I had decided that after calling at ASDA I would stay in Selkirk, just a half dozen or so mikes away from the supermarket.
This is my second trip to Scotland this year, I was here for a few days on the bike in June when I did a few miles on the West Coast and went over to Bute.
This trip gave me the opportunity to ride one of my favourite roads again, the wonderful A708 that runs alongside St Mary’s Loch – if you haven’t done it then I can seriously recommend it to you.
The Loch is at the head of the Yarrow Valley and is actually in what would correctly be described as the Southern Uplands of Scotland.
Its a stunningly beautiful part of the world and has a fair bit of history to go with it.
The writer Walter Scott was from here and its from where William Wallace launched his raids against the English many years ago. And apparently its where the wizard Merlin fled to after a serious battle across the border at Carlisle … well that’s what the legend says.
Its quite simply one of those magnificent ribbons of tarmac that seems to have been laid for bikers.
Although to be fair you do have to watch out for one or two sheep on the road …
My journey up was wonderful – a bit of a chill start to the morning, but by around 11:00am I could feel the warmth of the sun and it turned into the most glorious of October days with an evening to match.
I booked my accommodation at the The Glen Hotel in Selkirk, which has turned out to be a decent stopover. Good parking for the bike and a decent evening meal – I”ll comment on breakfast in my next post about this trip but for £55 it seems decent enough with a pretty relaxed and chilled atmosphere and decent enough service.
Ive no set plans for the trip and it’s wholly weather dependent, but with the forecast looking decent and the tongue in cheek inspiration I’m probably off to find another supermarket tomorrow to do a bit of shopping.
Whats good for the soul?
Some people will say that music is good for the soul, and I reckon it probably is, but getting on your bike and finding empty roads that stretch off into the distance is a music all of its own.
Not everyone gets to hear it though – but I heard that music today and I had the volume turned up to 11.
I’ve posted some pictures from today (below) and clicking the first will bring up a scrolable gallery