Monday, November 11, 2013

From the MoZo bicycle tour archive

Three-month European tour ~ Summer 2009

Day 32 – August 20, 2009 (Thursday)

…pretty ride – sunny & mountainous up into Belfast. We cycle through a downpour to Larne, Ireland – the last half is on hilly, beautiful small roads through Whitehead – we stop to marvel the while – it’s our last trek through Ireland this tour.

~Aimee Zoe

Day 33 – August 21, 2009 (Friday)

Wake at 5am…then snooze til 5:30. We cycle through the chilly, foggy dawn to the Larne ferry. Get some cool pictures of us in line with all the other “two-wheelers”, get sweet seats on the ferry, where there’s an awful Dennis Quaid football movie playing.  Arrive in Troon by 9:30am and immediately hop on a bike trail! Scotland has the best network of trails…the BEST!

Our journey north to Largs is mostly an off-road, bicycle-only trail, weaving us through two different wildlife reserves, along the coast and through the hills…it’s awesome.
The weather is sunny, but cool. We get to a little B&B about five minutes before it starts pouring rain. Cool our heels playing cards and watching the rain.


Day 34 – August 22, 2009 (Saturday)

Beautiful and sunny…could be our first day without rain in almost a month! Eat an amazing Scottish breakfast (baked beans, eggs, toast, fried onion, tater farls) and have a short, hilly ride to Wemyss Bay. Hop on the ferry over to the Isle of Bute.

It just so happens that today is the Scottish Highland Games, the busiest day of the year! While cycling through town, we watch a 10K race & catch an awesome parade of pipe bands…magical.


Day 35 – August 23, 2009 (Sunday)

It dumps rain all day, so MoZo stays in and does a lot of map research, blogging and reading. Head to the Sunday Session gig at the Victoria Hotel around 3:30.  Play two sets to an enthusiastic packed room. Do an interview with a local paper in between sets.

Eat some amazing Indian food after the show and walk over to the Pavilion to catch  Eric Bogle (he wrote “Green Fields of France” and “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”) on his last UK tour ever! End up chatting with his guitar player John Munro after the show…super cool. Grab a beer with some locals before walking back “home”.


Day 36 – August 24, 2009 (Monday)

Today we bike to Glasgow! Catch the 9:30am ferry and run into John Munro in the ferry gift shop. He offers us some change to help buy some postcards…this is how nice everyone is here! We’ve been thinking a lot about Bobcat Bob Rice, our guitar player back home lately…

Our cycle journey leads us along the coast, where we get a friendly honk and wave from John as he passes us on the road.  Once in Greenock we meander up and down, then up up up up to try and hook up with bike trail #75. After taking the hard, but beautiful road less traveled, we find the trail. Then the bolt that holds Moe’s seat on her bike snaps! 
Fortunately we’re close to Paisley…time to hunt for a bolt. Nosh on some bread, get a FREE bolt from a spectacular fellow at the hardware store, and cycle onward to Glasgow. 

Have I mentioned how killer the trails and roads are in Scotland?! It’s downright fantastic here…Glasgow was a great city to cycle into.  Since we roll in a bit earlier than expected, we pop into the Odeon on the waterfront and take in the new Tarantino flick “Inglourious Basterds”.  Next up, a fairly quick cycle through the city to stay with a couch surfer named Paola.  She makes us a huge 3-course Italian dinner, and we dine with her friend from Mumbai and another couch surfer from Switzerland! 
MoZo plays a few songs for them all after dinner, and we all pass out. I’m so lucky...I can’t believe the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met today. 

Traveling is unbeatable. It makes the world smaller. Life is good.

~Aimee Zoe

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