AJoG – Day 4 – Lockerbie to Dunoon – 150km

Plan: https://www.routeyou.com/en-gb/route/view/6385414/race-cycle-route/ajog04-lockerbie-dunoon-short

Actual: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3847318044

Woke up to mist and rain over the lake outside and went into the service station next door for several McDonalds breakfast muffins.

The forecast was for rain, but fairly muggy, so I went for shorts with leg warmers rather than thermal trousers. This turned out to be a mistake because the temperature never made it above 15 degrees and the rain was much heavier than forecast.

My original plan had a route over the hills to Kilmarnock https://www.routeyou.com/en-gb/route/view/6308663/race-cycle-route/ajog04-lockerbie-to-dunoon, but I had late on, planned the slightly more direct route that cut close to Glasgow in case I felt really tired after the previous three 200k+ days. I did feel tired, but I held this as an option until I reached the turn-off and saw that the hills to the West were completely hidden in cloud, which would have made the scenic road to Leadhills rather pointless. So, instead I continued the steady grind up the B7078 in the ever increasing rain.

Rain 1

Rain 2

The B7076 became the A702, then the B7078. All along thing stretch (since Carlisle), there were an intermittent collection of cycle paths. Sometimes nothing, sometimes a lane at the side of the road, sometimes a segregated ditch and sometimes a rather nice looking segregated path. You wonder why they went to the effort on a road that is pretty much deserted anyway. I avoided most of these paths because they looked dreadful. Finally, there was a section that looked ok and it was up-hill, so I wouldn’t lose so much time jumping on and off.

Mainly the video shows how much it was raining!

The clouds did lift enough at one point for me to get a good view of the Clyde valley.

Finally I was away from the M74 and on fast, rolling B roads towards Strathaven. This included another immaculate piece of segregated cycle path for a few km.

Path

In Strathaven, it was getting towards mid-day and I spotted a chip shop (Cafe Q?) I could wheel my bike into. I felt like I was really in Scotland when I ordered a deep fried pizza supper. Fortunately, the owners let me sit in a corner to eat out of the rain.

Powered up with the chips, I enjoyed the country lanes to Newton Mearns. After this, it seemed like an age of fiddly navigation through slightly grim suburbia. It was less than 20km but seemed to take hours as there were no stretches to get a rhythm and I took wrong turns quite a few times. I did get a picture towards Glasgow from Barrhead. It looked better in real life when you could ignore the houses in the foreground.

During this bit of urban navigation, there were about 5 closed roads, all of which I ignored. The most significant was the road past the Balgray reservoir. There were alot of “road closed” signs on the way in, but I didn’t notice any reason for the closure while I enjoyed my peaceful ride around the reservoir. The far end of the closure looked abit more substantial, with a fence across the road under a bridge. Fortunately, there was a small gap that I managed to squeeze through. I see now on Google maps, that there is a cycle path around the reservoir the other side, which could have been an alternative.

I finally ended up on a great cycle path out of Elderslie towards Greenock. It must have been an old railway line to be so wide and smooth. It was at this point that the steady drizzle became torrential rain.

The end of the cycle path looked abit fiddly on the map and I’d had enough of “navigation”, so I dived off onto the B788 which was a nice road over the hills to Greenock. This ended with a long decent in a strong crosswind (also not forecast).

It was amazing to have a view of the Firth of Clyde on the way down, but by the time I got to the bottom, I was really cold. I had then planned in some more faffy navigation off and back onto A roads to get a ride along the promenade when I really could have done with just blasting along.

Greenock Promenade

It felt good to get to the ferry terminal and get a cup of tea from a vending machine. This didn’t really warm me up and my temperature wasn’t helped by having to wait in the wind while the ferry was delayed by police having to deal with a drunk standing on the edge of the harbour.

Taking a ferry trip as part of a ride felt like a true adventure as it’s not something I usually do.

I hadn’t really researched the location of the ferry port in Dunoon (the ferry on the other version of the ride coming in a few miles further North) and I managed to set off in the wrong direction, up a hill on freshly ripped up road before stopping to check my phone with shivering fingers.

Finally into the Argyll Hotel and straight into the shower! I was extremely glad to find that the room had a heated towel rail AND a radiator, so I could actually dry everything (and even wash some).

I had a small wander around the town before an excellent curry in a deserted restaurant. Chatting to the proprietor, I found out that he commuted from Glasgow every day (kind of an inversion of London).

For a “short” day, it hadn’t felt particularly easy, so I was glad the days were a little shorter from here on in.

Day 5: https://cyclingcoder.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/day-5-dunoon-to-fort-william-173km/

  1. August 2nd, 2019
  2. August 2nd, 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: