The Cape Wrath Fellowship 1968

Touring

Memories of The Cape Wrath Fellowship

It was the summer of 1968. I was a raw, 16-year-old youth awaiting the results of my “O” levels before becoming a sixth former at a local school in Derby.

It was in July that Anthony (a schoolmate) and I embarked on a hastily arranged cycling holiday, commencing in Scotland. Our equipment was basic; I had a steel-framed Dawes Realmrider bike with 5 gears, of which only 4 worked. Anthony had a Claude Butler with 10 Campagnolo gears. We had bags strapped to our bikes at front and rear, which were bursting with what proved to be mainly non-essential items!

Somehow, we had secured a lift from Derby to Inverness (Cape Wrath)in the back of a lorry which was full of tyres. I remember the journey was endless and uncomfortable, but it didn’t cost us a penny. This was where our cycling journey started.

On the first day of cycling, we set off across Sutherland on a single track road with passing places. The scenery was incredible and I saw my first golden eagle, soaring over a forested hillside. In the middle of nowhere, I recalled we stopped to allow a car towing a caravan to pass by. The car then stopped in front of us and a beaming driver stood in the middle of the road with his arms folded – would you believe, it was our woodwork teacher from school – what were the chances of that?! It later resulted in a rather “testing” evening at his house watching a slide show!

Jim Palin

Jim Palin is a retired social worker who never misses an opportunity to explore the great outdoors. He’s got a truly adventurous spirit and has been exploring the mountains, coasts and countryside of the UK and Europe for decades.

Excerpt from BIKE Magazine, click here to continue reading the full article

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