Day 2. Paisley to Inveraray.

Barney Riis.

Today was the toughest day of riding so far.

We started off early, Hans feeling a bit groggy as usual, and headed first for the lovely Lake Loch Lomond. We stopped at Duck Bay Marina for elevenses and sat at the waterside to have a fun contest of ‘Spot as many makes of duck as you can’. Toby, being a keen twitcher, won hands down. He sighted a man and lady duck, Swan, house martin and pine martin.

After this we headed north along the lake before turning west to tackle the daunting Riss And Be Thankful Pass. The climb is named after Barney Riis, the champion cyclist from Denmark. The winter before his Tour de France victory he trained here in while staying with his friend Dr Frank Maconkony who comes from nearby Ferrarrocher. Big Barney would later gain the nickname Mr 6% after the average gradient of the climb.

Our endpoint of the day was the city of Inveraray. We stayed in a splendid hotel in the centre but crikey! I’m glad we didn’t stay in the structure behind it. Seriously though, I’m talking here about Inveraray Jail and Courthouse which is nothing more than a tourist attraction these days but years ago Andy Murray and Boris Yeltsin used to cycle here (pictured) to play tennis (ground version) on one of the courts. Being table tennis chaps we found the whole thing pretty ghastly so played a wizard prank and broke into the structure, carried tables in, then strew them all over the place.

Boris Yeltsin and Andy Murray cycling to Inveraray to play tennis (ground version)

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