Day 4 - Cycling through Galloway Forest Park

Heavy rain indeed it was. With thunder and lightning in full mode, we cheekily stayed in bed wrapped up until it stopped. Luckily for us it only last in the morning which meant that we were able to get our bikes out for the first time! We decided to do a loop starting from New Galloway to Clatteringshaws Loch, then across Galloway Forest Park through to Gatehouse Fleet and coming back up via Laurieston and along Loch Ken. We hadn’t really planned our distance and how long it’d take us. We ended up doing a 75km-ride in approx. 7hrs – it doesn’t seem that great, but there were a lot of uphills and different terrains through the forest.

Jamie coming to the viaduct at the bottom of Galloway Forest Park.

Although I enjoyed the ride very much, unfortunately Jamie didn’t so much. The landscapes and views were there, but his new bike failed him. One of the things Jamie wanted for our adventure was a new bike to replace his old Marin hybrid. He researched many different options for months lingering between whether getting another hybrid or a mountain bike. He’d wanted to have a good mountain bike for years. 

When you’ve been used to cycle and commute to work everyday in London on a hybrid for the past eight years, getting used to a new bike can be tricky, significantly so if the bike in question’s a different type. Approximately a third of our ride was on forest tracks and the rest on road uphill and downhill. None of it was properly off road biking. The last miles uphill were a struggle. And it dawned on him then that we would probably do more road biking than proper off roading as I have a hybrid. I felt really bad for him – it seemed that his dream and excitement of owning a mountain bike had been shattered in a few hours.

The thing is, he actually had to own it – if he hadn’t, he would have kept thinking about whether or not he’d really made the right choice. The “bad” choice or “failure” he says he’s made are not so. It’s part of experiences and making decisions – part of life is to take risks, test different things and make new discoveries – without them we wouldn’t be able to make final decisions.

After discussing it together, we may end up dropping the bike back to Wakefield and pick up his hybrid whilst on our way down to get a ferry across to Danmark – Scandinavia is our next stop after Scotland.