P.J.'s bicycle tour in Scotland


About this document

These pages are about my bicycle tour in Scotland from May 25, 1996 to June 16, 1996. I wrote them as an information for all those who would like to do what I did and are trying to get some information about cycling in Scotland. (At least I hope there will be some useful information in these pages -- if not, just have fun!)

I don't want to give any advice to people who are going to Scotland with their bicycles and I don't say that the way I spent my holidays is the best. But if I could give somebody an idea what to do in his/her next holiday than I'll be more than glad.

These pages originally were written back in 1997. Now (in the meantime, my calendar tells me it's 2009), I have changed the tools and scripts that deliver these pages and have changed the layout. As some of my work is involved with web design, I sometimes feel like changing the backend scripts or the layout. But the text and the images of my tour report are still the same as I wrote them back in 1997, and I won't ever change them.

Concerning language

As you will have noticed, these pages are written in english. This is not quite natural, 'cause I'm German and I still live in Germany. I know that there may be german readers who'll say "why didn't he write these pages in german?". The reason for this decision is that the most people who will ever access these pages will not be speaking german but at least will be able to understand english. And as my english is about as good as my german, well, I made the decision to write in english --- sorry my dear countrymen.


I would be more than glad if I get a response from people who are reading these pages and I'm quite willing to answer questions about whatever problems may arise. Just feel free to send me an email by using the 'Contact' menu in the upper navigation, I'll surely answer it. And if you like these pages why not telling me? If you want to put a link to these pages or to my homepage on your page, please do so and be so kind as to tell me about it. Another reason why I'd like to get some response to these pages is the fact that I'd like to know how many people read these pages. So be free to tell me you been here. If there should be a link on these pages that is not working please tell me.

Organization of these pages

To keep the loading times down, I split the whole report into several pages. Besides this introduction there is a page with a clickable map and one more page about tour preparation and things like that. The rest is just one page a day. This seemed to me a quite natural splitting of the report. You find these pages under the top menu "The Tour"

I've put in a couple of pictures in the pages for every day; the pictures are of a moderate size (about 15k) so I don't think that the loading will take too long. As I wrote this in times when broadband internet couldn't even be dreamed of, they are smaller than I would make them today, I hope you'll enjoy them anyway.

At the end of the report is a page with some statistics, conclusions and things like that.

The author and main actor

My full name is Peter-Josef Meisch, but everybody calls me P.J. I was born in June 1965 in Rastatt, a small town in south-west Germany. After studying computer science at the university of Karlsruhe, I found a job right here in my hometown. After working here for about 4 years I moved to the Cologne area, but in late 1998 I moved back to my old place. Now since 2007 I am living in Karlsruhe.

When I'm not in the office I like to play music (acoustic and electric guitar, tin whistle, mostly standard rock and blues but also some folk and funk). Despite my trip to Scotland I am not someone who rides a lot on his bicycle. All I normally used to do before I went on that tour was to ride to the office in the morning, about 2 miles, and ride back in the evening. Sometimes I'll do a weekend trip, but usually not more than 35 miles and only once in about two months.

Why did I go to Scotland and why with my bicycle? I never had been to Scotland before, but I had been to Ireland and really enjoyed that holiday. I was even thinking about going there a second time. Then, in October 1995, my boss was asking me about possibilities for spending holidays in Ireland, because he or some friends of him wanted to go over there. While talking he mentioned that some of his friends had been on a bicycle tour in Scotland. First I picked up the idea of making a bicycle tour in my holidays. Then I thought about where to go. The only two places I had in mind from the beginning on were Ireland and Scotland. In the end there were two reasons why I chose Scotland: First, I had already been to Ireland and second, Scotland seemed to be a greater challenge for doing what I wanted to do.

A question many people asked me before my holidays was "You're going there all alone?". Perhaps I would have liked to travel with somebody else, but when you're on the road for three weeks with a bicycle and a tent, you need somebody you can rely on, no matter what happens. I only know one guy with whom I'd would have made this trip, but he was planning to go on a bicycle trip to France later that year and so he had no time to join me.

So I went all on my own. (Hey, that sounds really dramatic!)