My virtual bike ride takes me alongside Loch Ness in Scotland for the next couple of days.
To inhale fresh, clean air and bicycle around my area with a purpose, I signed up for a virtual mission last spring to walk the Camino de Santiago with a friend. We both tracked our progress when we walked or bicycled in our neighborhoods on an app with the My Virtual Mission organization. It was a good way to combat the frustrations of not being able to travel during our Covid shutdown. I found myself bicycling more and more and felt so uplifted by the experience. The organization planted trees every time we hit the milestones of 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%. We could even log on and see the street view of where we were in our progress and find out what the weather was like! The experience helped combat stress and frustrated wanderlust, so I signed up for another mission when I completed the Camino de Santiago.
Today I am bicycling alongside Loch Ness in Scotland as I approach John O’Groats at the northern tip of the country. I’ve come 928 miles and have 156 miles to go. The weather is rainy and it is 33º F (1º C). A big change from the 54º F (12º C) in my town in California!
The organization sends me a postcard when I go through areas of interest and history. Here is my postcard from Loch Ness.
Almost 30 years ago I bicycled this same route, but on the other side of the Loch! Here is an excerpt from my book, Bicycle Odyssey, about that day.
We stopped at Loch Ness but didn’t see Nessie, the famous Loch Ness Monster—a creature locals consider to be more than a myth. We looked out over the still loch waters and talked with a man working by the side of the road.
“Hello! Have you come to see Nessie then? She hasn’t shown herself today,” the friendly man said.
“Have you ever seen Nessie?” I asked.
He took off his cap and scratched his head. “Aye, many times I’ve caught a glimpse of her. You should have been here yesterday. My neighbor looked out the window as she was cleaning,” he said as he pointed to the house by the loch. “She said she saw a hump of Nessie’s back come right up out of the water.”
Loch Ness, with a depth that surpasses the oceans surrounding the United Kingdom, was connected to the ocean at one time. Over the years, scientific investigations using sonar in the dark mysterious loch have yielded large animate objects. Not a single ripple disturbed the surface for us, though.
I would love to go back and bicycle through Scotland. Until then, cycling through the country virtually will have to do. The experience helps satisfy my desire for travel.
What have you been doing to combat stress and open up in your world? If you are interested in trying a virtual adventure of your own, check out My Virtual Mission. Maybe I’ll see you on my next planned experience, trekking to the top of Mt. Fuji!
You can read about my life-changing around-the-world bicycle odyssey in my book.
Bicycle Odyssey An Around-the-World Journey of Inner and Outer Discovery