Beyond Spinoff 11: self-isolated in the Galloway Hills

Well beyond. Our Covid hideaway here in S Ayrshire, to which we decamped exactly on the equinox, is 400 miles NW from Luton Airport Parkway. There was just room for my bike, and goodness! I am grateful for the luxury of freedom it gives me.

The Bruce Stone above Loch Trool is the furthest I have ventured; a 32 mile round trip, mostly on an A-road. I encountered a mere handful of vehicles; nothing overtook me on the outbound leg. And despite the rugged terrain here, this is fine cycling country, rarely as testing as the steepest ascents in the Surrey Hills sections of the C25.

I am sticking to the letter and spirit of self-isolation rules here with ease, but surely the one-a-day exercise ride fulfils the remit best in even the most dense urban environments. I hope the lockdown measures continue to recognise this, that confinement rules don’t become draconian. Surely when this is over the benefits of cycling will be recognised by the more sceptical (sedentary, motorised – antagonistic even).

My rides will continue to be circumspect, not too challenging, as the last thing I want to do is trouble the emergency services and/or the NHS. But it’s the lambing season now, so I am not tempted out far. All the entertainment is on my doorstep!

Meanwhile, Londoners: get your maps-Garmin-Stravas out and check this site out for some inspiration for a safe self-isolated ride. To reach the C25 Spokes, off-peak rail services will be reduced to Oyster boundary stations – but also very empty. Here is the advice from London Cycling Campaign.



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