What is the best method of transport to travel up north to the Isle of Arran? We had no clue so we used them all. Well, kind of. Car to Airport, plane to Glasgow, Bus and Train to the harbour, jumping on the ferry over to the island, shuttle to the event village and a bit of walking in between…all with bike boxes in tow.
It was an early morning start for us to catch the 7.10 am flight from Heathrow. That was quite brutal to me, since I had my birthday the night before which we celebrated with a bike ride and a long evening in the pub. I didn’t feel great in the morning but it was a price worth paying for this legendary night before.
BA has a great offer in terms that you can take your bike as part as your normal luggage but have a very tight weight restriction of just 23kg. That might work well for a road bike but traveling with a a slightly heavier off-road bike can become a bit of an issue. However, we were prepared for discussion and somehow it worked out in the end. Couple of hours later we landed safe and sound in Glasgow.
The next stage for us was to take the public bus to Paisley Gilmore Street. From here we had to catch the train to Ardrossan harbour. I have to say this part of the journey was much easier than anticipated. The train fare is reasonably cheap and we had lots of space in the train to store all our luggage safe.
From Ardrossan harbour station everything was marked nicely by the Grinduro people, which made it very easy to find the registration point for the ferry and where to drop the luggage.
Excitement increased immediately when we boarded the ferry. That was the last big step to get to the Isle of Arran. It was great to see other Grinduro participants boarding the ship with their bikes and photographers and camera teams were around to take some shots. We were even interviewed by BBC Scotland, which felt great. I have some doubts that our parts will be making the cut though, we just looked so incredibly tired.
From the other side, the harbour of Brodick on the island everything was very streamlined, we just had to jump on the shuttle bus, to arrive a tad bit later in the Grinduro village of Llamlash.
First things first. We went straight to registration to receive the starter package, opened the first beer and made sure that we pitched the tents in a quiet corner. Everything was set and ready for the next day. Race day!
(Race day photos soon to come)