Imagine this. You decide to go cycling to a beautiful location with your friend, buy a train ticket there, while mentally preparing for all the fantastic sceneries you are going to see, except that you forgot to book a ticket for your bicycle and remember it only when it’s too late. Plans ruined? Not if you are James Owers from London!

Last week James found himself in a bit of a pickle when he realized it was too late to book a spot for his bike. “I realised the day before, it was all my fault really,” Owers told Bored Panda, “but it appears the number of bike spaces on this route is now limited to just 3 (used to be 6 or more)”.  So instead, he decided to wake up at 6 am and go to Inverness on a bicycle.

Wouldn’t be much of a problem, of course, if Inverness wasn’t 271 km (168 miles) away. Good thing James likes challenges! “This adventure was particularly fun though” he recalled and shared that he ended up winning a bet and a pizza. It took him over 12 hours to get from Edinburgh to Inverness, but he did it (and even beat the train)! “I left my house in Edinburgh at about 6.15am and arrived in Inverness at exactly 19.30 so the journey took 13 hours and 15 minutes” Owers explained. After the arduous expedition, James revealed that while it was fun, he has some regrets. “My knee is injured, had to cycle the last bit yesterday using only one leg!” he added. Scroll down below to read his full story and see Owers’ adventures.

More info: Twitter | Strava

Meet James Owers, a 28-year-old PhD student and cycling enthusiast from London

Last week he found himself in a tough situation when he forgot to book a spot for his bike on a train to Inverness


His girlfriend managed to grab the last spot on Virgin Trains, but James did not give up

He decided to wake up at 6 am, hop on his bike and cycle all 271 km there

“The scenery was ok I guess, if you like incredibly scenic landscapes, I suppose”

“You can’t go anywhere in Scotland without passing a distillery. This is Dalwhinnie”

“It would be rude not to pick up a lil summan summan for later”


He then arrived to Tomatin, “It’s a distillery in the middle of nowhere,” he said

“Unfortunately it was 18.30 when I arrived, their shop closed at 17.00…”

But as James himself described, a magical moment happened

“I asked an old man walking along the road to the village where to buy some whisky. He directed me to “the last house on the right”. The village looked specifically designed to serve the distillery. I did as he said, knocked at said house, and was greeted by a friendly Scottish lady. I explained my situation and she popped inside the house. Returning moments later, she produced a bottle and steadfastly refused to take my money… So I got some free whisky thanks to the kindness of strangers. I love this country.”

“This tiny, but very good boy greeted me at Tomatin. He was doing a protect on his owner, the lovely lady who have me free whisky”


He arrived at 7:30pm which means it took him 13 hours and 15 minutes to complete the journey

“And here I am brandishing my unused ticket”

“I actually beat the train (I may have had a liiiiiittle bit of a head start)”

He met his girlfriend there. “[She] did get a bike space on the train. She is wise,” he addmited

“Not sure if pleased to see me, or my whisky”

People on the internet quickly responded to Owers’ adventure