Abbots Lodge
Down for breakfast discovered another family were having a cycling weekend and were staying in the Abbots lodge. Graeme and me had our usual full Breakfast ,Colin went exotic and had pineapple toast, the couple were from Halifax and were interested in our trip, I gave them the web site address, so if you are reading this hope you had a good trip home.
We loaded up at the same time as this couple and the lady it had been her birthday and she was showing off her present a weather guide digital barometer I think, I was polite she said I don’t think your brothers are impressed, I later discovered Colin had said he uses seaweed.. When it’s wet its raining, when it’s Dry its fine?
And when it’s missing its windy!!
Anyway loaded up and on our way a great stop good hotel.

Our new found cycling friend takes our photo.

We went into Callander visited the Rob Roy shop bought gifts, and enjoyed the town.
Question the only vehicle parked on yellow lines was a Traffic Warden in a marked Police car when a car park nearby was nearly empty!
Something wrong there... Just an observation.
We were also to see more examples of front line policing today. We cycled out along the riverside and picked up the railway track we were to be off road most of the way to Killin.
It was a steady climb out of Killin along the riverside and the track with great views of the mountains through the trees, the weather was also kind cool but the sun was shining, as it was Bank Holiday Monday the track was quite busy with walkers and cyclists. 
We encountered some day walkers we’d seen them in Callander and then they were a few miles up the track the chap was attempting to balance on a bridge and take photos of his friends when the multidaymen swept by scared the life out of him.
We cycled up towards a village called Strathyre alongside Loch Lubnaig. 
We had to do a slight detour the track had to go from the old railway line due to Property owner’s access; this made it rough going and then off road Zig zag climb up to re join the railway track. Hell it was up the cliff side and Colin and Graeme managed quite well but as I plodded up (hill climber I am not) a family on mountain bikes came flying past downhill a small boy falling right in front of my front wheel. Good excuse for me to stop and push.

Colin & Graeme climbing

Mal Pushing

Into Strathyre and we made for Maggie’s tea room which had been well advertised along the track. Great stop and we met Maggie she was from Spennymoor born and bred. Spennymoor our Home town we chatted and reminisced. Small World?
We now followed the quiet roads to Balquidder the Home and grave of the famous Rob Roy Macgregor a very pretty village with the mountains as a backdrop. 
Loch Voil Rob Roy Grave

The Macfarlanes at Rob Roys Grave!!! Balquidderr

(our Scottish name on our Mothers side.)

We followed the road down the valley back to the cycle route towards Lochearnhead. 
We knew this would be a climb and it was we had to climb up to the Glen Ogle cycle track we climbed stopped for a photo stop with great views over Lochearnhead chatted to a family from Edinburgh cycling the track for the day, smiled at another couple where the lady saw the hill in front and refused to go any further. We pushed on well I did Colin and Graeme battled up the incline!
On the top it was level with the road far below we cycled steadily along to the Glen Ogle Viaduct where we enjoyed Graeme’s daily picnic of Hot Chocolate and Pork pies.

The Viaduct tea stop

We crested the summit and dropped to the main road where there was a snack bar with two Police officers parked up a back lane drinking mugs of tea. We saw these two later too. Busy Bank Holiday Monday why didn’t they park near the main road to influence driver behaviour while they refreshed?
It was then down hill for 3 miles to Killin absolutely a great downhill finish.
We were spit out through someone’s back garden and into Killin amazing the NCN goes right past your conservatory?
Into Killin we found the Guest House Drumfin. But we rode down to the village to get our stamp at the Outdoor shop, waiting patiently while the girl repaired or greased a walking pole. We then met our first traffic jam all the traffic held up in Killin because the two police officers we’d seen drinking tea pulled up in the road to chat to a colleague on a motor cycle going opposite direction, that was just before they went to collect the golf clubs out of another car. The things you see from a hotel window. 
Then back to the digs where we met Barry and Linda, even the stars and stripes were flying!! Graeme said she’s not here is she referring to Pat my American friend?
I said she would be crazy enough. We discovered it was for an American couple who were retracing their Scottish roots Killin is Mac nab country! The Americans were from Wisconsin.
Barry and Linda our hosts were southerners, We discovered that Killin is the East end of London, everyone was a southerner running businesses in the town. 
We got settled in after Barry finally decided where we could put our bikes.
Nice rooms with great views, we showered changed and hit the town, Graeme used to visit Killin in his Royal Marine training days so we wondered if he was still barred from the only pub.
The restaurant was full but the beer was good, Falls of Dochart Inn. 
We ate in the Capercaille Restaurant ran by a London family £10 for sausage and mash! Very poor.
We finished the night off with a couple of more beers at the Falls of Dochart drinking a guest beer called Harvester, it was ok. 
Falls of Dochart

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