They say a rolling stone gathers no moss. It seems I’d be the exception to that rule only amassing belongings between 3 house moves in the last few months. I’ve gone from a few cardboard boxes of clothes and emptied drawers to a sea of dry bags, cycle and camping equipment. Now living with my grandparents (I know, thug life) for the last few weeks prior to my trip, the ordeal of rifling through boxes to find a pair of clean socks is becoming tedious. At least I’ve got 3 months of the same coming up!
The chaps at Next Level Bikes in Castle Douglas sorted me out with a Cinelli Hobootleg touring bike which has been undergoing some fine tuning in the last few weeks. To avoid giving myself a perineum the size of the M1 I swapped the supplied seat with a more cushioning version which has a wee gap to relieve pressure from your pipework (not so keen to render myself infertile just yet). Next Level Bikes is a great wee shop; buckets of metal bike parts and well used tools scatter the workshop reassuring visitors that the employees practice their trade! It’s also got that great oily smell that makes you want to tinker with your bike.
I got out for a final mountain bike ride with the local lads on Wednesday which was brilliant. We rode a route which I had plotted out on a 1: 10K OS Map when I first moved down to the area. Riverside singletrack was followed by a section of road riding then back into techy single/no track riding through forest and moorland. The route finishes with a stupidly fast decent into the village of St John’s Town of Dalry (they like their brief place names around here) where after we raced back to the local for recovery pints!