UK 2014: beginnings, meetings and family

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We’re spending some important family time this week, before heading north for a potentially over-ambitious bike trip in the west of Scotland.

There's been a laminated map of Scotland sitting on our kitchen table for weeks,  with a scrawled route.  Some last minute wheel building and attempts to minimise airline-induced frame damage crowd my final days at home.

There’s been a laminated map of Scotland sitting on our kitchen table for weeks with an increasing route scrawled across it. There was also some last minute wheel building and attempts to minimise airline-induced frame damage crowd my final days at home.

We arrive in the UK in the middle of heavy rain.  Much to Dad's surprise we fit both bike bags in the back of the car and wrap ourselves around the remainder in our seats.

We arrive in the UK in the middle of standard British rain. Much to Dad’s surprise we fit both bike bags in the back of the car and wrap ourselves around the remainder in our seats.

Getting everything out again is slightly nerve racking - wondering what you'll find

Getting everything out again is slightly nerve racking – wondering what you’ll find (or not)

The centre of the house - a place of warmth, coffee and food

The centre of the house – a place of warmth, coffee and food

There are a few really quite early mornings spent wondering down the road to the harbour

There are a few really quite early mornings spent wandering down the road to the harbour

Mostly spent allowing a certain jet-lagged small person to explore to his heart's content

Mostly to allow a certain jet-lagged small person to explore to his heart’s content

There are some windy days, with others out to build the team.  We're quite content to align ourselves with the time-zone and discover that being on holiday from 'work' has coincided with the predictable viral bug.

There are some blustery days, with others out to build their team. We’re quite content to align ourselves with the time-zone and discover that being on holiday from ‘work’ has coincided with the predictable viral bug.

There's some beach riding.  Actually not something we've done much of despite plenty of inland sand experience.  We've been leant a Tout Terrain Singletrailer for this UK trip.  We use a trip to Traeth Harlech to give it some testing

There’s some beach riding. Actually not something we’ve done much of despite plenty of inland sand experience. We’ve been leant a Tout Terrain Singletrailer for this UK trip. We use a trip to Traeth Harlech to give it some testing

Bryn pick his own patch of beach to occupy

Bryn picks his own patch of beach to occupy

and my brother Ben and I (with Bryn in tow) make it all the way out to the Bar and the notoriously treacherous estuary mouth before turning back with the incoming tide

and my brother Ben and I (with Bryn in tow) make it all the way out to the Bar and the notoriously treacherous estuary mouth before turning back with the incoming tide

Dad's got a full house with my niece Martha (only 2 weeks old)  meeting some of us for the first time.

Dad’s got a full house, with my niece Martha (only 2 weeks old) meeting some of us for the first time.

With my lurgy abating, and Sarah and Bryn's worsening we head out to Coed y Brenin for some trail riding.  The bike's sporting a new chainring (the only damage in transport), and rattling the bike over the rocky singletrack gives the wheel-builds a good testing

With my lurgy abating, and Sarah and Bryn’s worsening we head out to Coed y Brenin for some trail riding. The bike’s sporting a new chainring (the only damage in transport), and rattling the bike over the rocky singletrack gives the wheel-builds a good testing

Josh keeps me company while Sarah's taking life a bit easier in an attempt to encourage a more rapid recovery.

Josh keeps me company while Sarah’s taking life a bit easier in an attempt to encourage a more rapid recovery.

Emerging onto the final fire-road and not too far from a well deserved cafe stop

and Josh emerges onto the final fire-road and not too far from a well deserved cafe stop

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