We both woke up in Callander in slightly cranky moods and feeling the miles in our legs. We had too much breakfast and started the ride out bloated and irritable. To make matters more annoying, our saddlebags kept flying off. It happened at least 6 times with no end in sight.
We got a bit lost but started to find our rhythm as we arrived at Loch Katrine. Loch Katrine has one ferry to the other side leaving at 10:30… we missed it by 30 minutes but I was pleased as it meant more biking. We stopped at the ferry point and luckily a bike rental place was stationed right there so we filled the tires and got a garbage bag and stole a spare bit of rope to tie around the bags to keep them from flying loose. Also, they had one of those strange old timey bikes with a giant front wheel and a tiny back wheel. I have never tried one and thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. He gave me the thumbs up so I hopped on… Caitlin said I was an idiot but some small child told everyone who would listen that I should be in the circus… to which Caitlin said, “You have no idea, kid”. Check out some pics of me in action.
The sun was now out in full force, we had each had a Snickers bar, and the bags weren’t budging so we were much happier as we skirted Loch Katrine.
It was amazing and we stopped for a bit at a gravesite of the Gregor Clan, which was on a man made peninsula. We rounded the Loch and got hit full force with a head wind and storm clouds moving in. 5 minutes later we stopped to change into rain gear. On cue, we got hammered with some seriously cold rain.
I promptly steered us in the wrong direction and hammered down a path to nowhere. Caitlin gave the halt command and consulted the map…proving yet again that I am a bit of a meat head when it comes to the bike. I don’t really care where I’m going as long as I am going fast… it resulted in us getting lost very fast multiple times. Props to Caitlin for righting the ship every time. This time was no exception and we were back on track.
We came into the town of Aberfoyle and had some more snacks before we started the tough climbing portion of the route into Drymen. The first pitch was about 12-15% and one of the tougher climbs we have done but it was over pretty quickly. We spent the next 5 miles of rolling terrain discussing whether or not we had done the 2nd and final climb as it was rolling a bit and trending a bit towards climbing. We rounded a bend and the verdict was in: we most certainly were NOT finished climbing. The road pitched up with no end in sight. Usually that isn’t an issue as it wasn’t insanely steep but a long 10% climb on a loaded down tandem was basically a recipe for blowing our legs to shreds. We breathed very hard and I snotted all over my nice bike jersey for the next couple miles and finally hit the top, which marked the start of a nice long descent into Drymen, our stop for the day. We rolled into town very pleased with ourselves and happy to be done with our final big day on the bike.