Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Wheel trouble

For several days I've been concerned about the rear wheel on my bike. It had a bit of a buckle and several spokes were loose. Today, things got decidedly worse. The wheel had taken on more of a buckle, causing it to grind against the brakes on every revolution. Not a good idea when there are lots of hills to climb.

I had been very fortunate earlier in the ride when I had lost a filling. I happened to be close to Inverness, just about the only place in the north of Scotland where a dentist could have replaced the filling and sent me on my way with barely any delay. And so it was today. I was approaching Rothesay, a reasonably large town on the Isle of Bute. Sure enough, there on the main street, was a cycle repair shop, 'The Bike Shed'. This was the first I'd seen since leaving Oban. I showed them the problem and left the bike whilst I had some lunch. On my return they'd fitted a new wheel. The original one was way beyond repair, with several spokes tearing away from the rim. They reckoned the wheel wouldn't have lasted much more than the next pothole.

So, no more rough moorland tracks (I don't think there are any more planned) and I must avoid potholes - not easy when you're careering at 30 mph down a steep hill.

Whilst waiting for the ferry from Rothesay to Wemyss Bay, I visited the restored Victorian loos on Rothesay Pier - they're amazing! Well worth the 20p entrance fee.

Other than all that excitement, three (not four - I can't count) ferries today. I've reached Toward Point lighthouse, just beyond Innellan where I'd planned to stop. There was a caravan site there, but hard-standing only so no facility for tents.

Tomorrow I head north for a long way; I'm aiming to get as far as Inveraray. It seemed strange today, cycling between Wemyss Bay and Gourock, knowing I'll be doing the same section the other way in several days' time. But first I have a few more jetties to visit...

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