Idly twiddling thumbs through the winter evening has you thinking all the harder on summer trips and tours. Had me coming up with a plan of perhaps dubious cunningness. Although based in the deep south, well – Essex; I have a daughter who lives on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Ho, thinks I – what I could do for this coming year is get Blue parked up at her gaff for the season and then fly in and out for whenever I fancied a weekend touring that way.
Then I was watching a program on the box presented by a bloke called Paul Merton (or was it Murton? – anyway, it clearly wasn’t) who was up in the Highlands and he was talking of them pesky midges. Best missed all round?
Midges look like what we call darn sarf thunderbugs. Very very wee black things, what my mum would like to describe as “a fullstop with wings.” But yes the Scottish ones do bite. Tends to be late summer so June is best bet to avoid. So I’ve been told and seems to be correct. You can also take some repellant with you.
I have been out that way once - on the western isles. Flew into Stornoway, hired some bicycles and then pedaled around for a week. Mostly enjoyed some glorious weather, and it was all mighty spectacular. Last day was more cloudy and although it was warm enough to sit out and read in the evening the bugs were bad enough that I had to retire to my tent. I guess this would have been May June time. I was disappointed to find that my pipe seemed to be no deterrent all.
What others said - June onwards you can get bitten but they’re patchy. Mostly west coast. Only bite if it’s still as their flying is a bit crap. I heard skin so softly has had the magic ingredient removed - industrial strength DEET is an alternative. There’s a midge map that grades Scotland and shows the worst areas - don’t camp there and you’ll be fine. Avoid bogs and marshes! Towns are usually midge free.
More serious are ticks, usually jsut a problem if you’re going off piste. If you go strolling in heather or bracken and find a tick attached, remove it with a tick hook and freeze it. If you feel like you’ve flu soon after see a doctor, take the tick and say you may have Lymes disease and demand a blood test. I know people who have it and its a long and debilitating disease. If caught early and clobbered with many drugs prognosis is better.
Finest roads and biggest landscapes in the UK though
19 Feb 2017 - 20 posts
Our Ref 3563141 / Avon Hi Jennifer Thanks for getting in touch regarding our Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Spray. I can confirm that we have repackaged and reformulated our Skin So Soft Dry Oil Spray, but it still contains ‘Citronellol’ which, our customers have informed us, keeps the bugs away. I hope this helps.
If you are leaving /parking your bike in Edinburgh be aware there is a bike theft epidemic going on which the police seems powerless to stop, bloody ridiculous, I’ve lost count of the number of tourists who have woken up in the capital bikeless and with holidays ruined. Keep it out of sight! , Midges are the least of your problems!
That said it is a most wonderful country to motorcycle in
Thanks for the tip Gino but I think you will find that goes for most cities in the UK. Sadly London is full of scumbags that know the police are not allowed to chase them so they can do what when they want. Bristol sounds no better maybe worse after the so called “ransome” incident. Law and order seems broken down as far as bike thefts and twats using “scooters” and bikes for crime, how long before there is a backlash?
I usually go twice a year. Yes the midge can be a problem. Late May and mid September can be the best time to go to avoid the dreaded midge.
The west coast is without a doubt the best, but another reason for not going at peak times is the now very busy NC500 route. Although there are many great roads that do not encompass the NC500.
If you’ve never been, you’re missing some of the best roads in Europe.