It was the Saturday before Christmas and the day dawned bright crisp cool and dry! At that point El Parrot awoke and on looking from his perch towards the Black isle was aware of the onset of the Dingers monsoon season! Rain wind and double digit temperatures made what to wear a challenge. He breakfasted in shorts but incessant rain lead to a covering of the legs. Down to the roundabout to find a barelegged Blackisler! (A special breed on the Black Isle, and not just the sheep). The Old Master bike sported an array of coloured lights, they plainly needed some battery power. The explanation was obvious…… MERIDA in mandarin means “Electric bike-jolly nice” Certainly explains why El parrot has been finding it ever more difficult keeping up with all their owners.
We shall head north in search of better weather, announced the Old master, and so we did. As we all know, breakdownman has many bikes, and nothing wrong with that, but he does not seem to own many mudguards, or it seems any mudguards. The result of this was that El parrots plumage became ever darker as we headed north. He was tempted to head to the front of the peloton but restrained himself. On we went and Thurso was getting gradually closer when the rain abated and we turned off at Ardross and onwards to Kildary and turned towards Tomich, into the tempest. As we fought our way onwards boatman decided to sacrifice himself in true Captain Oat’s style, and headed off alone into that wind. He parting words “I may be some time”, judging by his strava that was an understatement or perhaps his Electric bike –jolly fine, suffered from a flat battery with 20 miles to go. The Old master and Just off up the Ben had bacon rolls and the blackisler rejoined us following an Auntie diversion.( Well that’s his story). Back uphill then into that wind. El parrot cursed boatman’s absence as he had been planning some serious wheelsucking. To make matters worse the Old master remembered his whistle! Despite years of practice El parrot could not avoid a spell at the front. He was soon joined by the Old master, who then announced “my legs are dead” or maybe it was “my battery is dead”. As El parrot was by this stage braindead it mattered little. He did however know that such a pronouncement from the Old master meant the pace was about to increase significantly! A speeding Aladdin was glimpsed heading in the other direction. As Mrs El Parrot had dropped back a mile or so, the noble thing to do it seemed to El parrot would be to wait for her. At least El Parrots legs decided that was a noble thing to do. As he cruised along he watched the flickering tail lights race up the final climb before Dingwall. The winner was definitely someone with a red light. Soon El parrot was in his bath and a look at the forecast showed the monsoon season was to end .Tomorrow would not be wet, windy and warm but wet windy and cold!