Tour of Scotland. Day 1. Paisley.

With many people stuck at home at the moment and looking for things to do, the famous cyclist and historian Giles Ripwell has kindly shared some of his work so you can try and fill out your days.

While some might prefer spending time looking at funny videos of puffins, Giles has provided more serious material.

He has opened up his dairy from his epic cycle tour of Scotland five years ago. It is full of amazing facts about Scotland, both past and present but also tells a human story of pain and triumph. After reading I am sure you will be adding the name of Ripwell next to the legends that are Chaucer and Homer.

Day 1

St Mirren training for their next match of football.

Today I arrived in historic Paisley to begin an epic cycle tour of Scotland. This beautiful town, named after the famous Paisley Pattern which is grown locally, was first discovered by an Irish monk called Barry Mirren quite some time ago. This Barry fellow later gained the title Saint and is part of a long line of humans to be honoured with this appellation with Saint Greavsie and then Saint David Miller being the most recent.

The local football team St (which is short for Saint (and also street, but not in this case) ) Mirren were named after Barry and play in black and white stripes in honor of the local cycling legend Brian Smith and his involvement with the MTN Quebeka cycling team.

There are many historic buildings in Paisley but the oldest erection is the Abbey and this is where I met my old chums Sidney Otter-House, Toby Cavery and Hans Fruhstuck who would be joining me on my trip.

We spent the evening chatting about the old days when we were in a travelling table tennis team, about all the wizard japes and barmy situations we found ourselves in. Hans inevitably has too much to drink but I, thinking of the days ahead, sensibly stuck to the soda and limes.

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