That annual irresistible of Islay’s many irresistibles, the serendipitous Ride of the Falling Rain, a sociable cycle around what they describe as ’100 miles or less’ of Islay’s roads – starting around 10.00 from the legendary and award-winning Debbie’s Cafe at Bruichladdich, is this Sunday – 5th August.
It has the good sense to finish back at the same place – a welcome notion – whenever it finishes – ‘several hours later.
This is a ‘join us for a Sunday ride’ event – with no organised food stations, so everyone looks after themselves (with assistance from Debbie’s Cafe). The object is an enjoyable ride-in-company, making friends, swopping stories as you go and riding with different groups as the mood – or the legs, dictate.
This is as much of a gathering as a cycle ride, with devotees arriving in the days beforehand and families taking part on a shorter section.
Those arriving early can take part in a short hill climb to Conisby on Saturday afternoon – starting at 2.00pm from Debbie’s, with most collecting there for coffee in the hour beforehand.
This hill climb is actually fine for children too. In 2010 several youngsters did the Ride itself, or the first half of it – a mighty achievement – from Debbie’s to Ardbeg (under parental supervision). This sort of family participation alongside the main event is welcomed by the organisers.
The Ride of the Falling Rain website has all the information. Islay tends to be full at this time of the year so if you’re interested in the experience of this quite unique event, hit the web and the phones and see what you can do.
The CalMac ferry from Kennacraig should be able to fit in passengers and bikes (the best option from Mid Argyll and Knapdale) – and another option for Kintyre wheelers is to talk to Kintyre Express who would look at taking a charter group direct from Campbeltown into Port Ellen.
With Campbeltown going into the second year of its MOKBIKE event on 14th October, there is every fun in building a cycling community with communal events in the triangle of Islay, Kintyre and Mid Argyll.