Not every day on a cycling tour is great. Some are downright tough. But every so often you get one that is just amazing. Today was that day. I can picture the exact moment when I knew.
We had cycled through woods and and along lochs at the start of the day. The lush countryside was enhanced by the flowering bushes adorning the roadsides. Mildly rolling terrains made the going easy. And everything showed to perfection in the brilliant sunshine. But in fact, that was only the prelude.
A long two mile climb took us inland and into a different world. There we cycled along a road carved into the mountainside, then through the shallow valley between the mountain ridges. There were no towns, no houses, no services. We barely saw a car on the narrow road. Sheep were the only other creatures in sight. For miles and miles we pedaled under deep blue skies surrounded by the majesty of God's creation. I felt no need to hurry. I just wanted to drink it all in.
That's when I said it. “Can you believe we are doing this?” That's when I felt it. The awe. The good fortune. The privilege to be cycling through this vast scene of quiet splendor.
The feeling was enhanced by the fact that we were they by complete happenstance. It was pure whim that prompted us to head from Skye to the Isle of Mull. This route, on a single-track road through the Morvern area looked to be the best way to get there. It wasn't a bike route. It wasn't in any tourist guides. It wasn't even the most impressive scenery I've seen. It was just extensive natural beauty. And we were lucky enough to happen upon it.
It was only 15 miles out of 50. But that defined the day. None of my photos do justice to the landscape. But I don't know how they could. It was a feeling more than a view. An experience not a destination. I could hardly believe I was there. On my bicycle.