Day 24, 10th June 2011, Ayr to Glasgow

I was feeling fairly chipper as we left our B&B this morning.  It was quite a bit warmer, and the day looked much less threatening.  A fellow guest asked about our intentions.  We said that we were headed for the Isle of Skye. “Och Aye, it is very beautiful”, she said cheerfully. “The weather on Sunday will be truly horrrrendous.”  This dampened my spirits somewhat.

We had another good breakfast, and generally have been eating remarkably well, and at a reasonable price.  This probably reflects the relative values of our currencies more than anything else.

Of course, the food here promotes heart disease, and there is very little in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables, so scurvy also is perhaps a problem.

We left around 9.45, as we nearly always do.  It is something of a puzzle to us as to why it takes so long to get going.  Talking to people is at least part of the problem.

I usually find the first 5 to 10km go slowly, as I warm up, but then am always amazed at how quickly the day goes.  We stopped today at around 2.00pm for my coffee and a snack, and this is part of our normal pattern.  We then rode through to around 4.30 when we stopped at the Tourist Information Centre in downtown Glasgow.  On a good day, it is often the case that the latter part of the ride is the most enjoyable. 90km for the day, somewhat more than we expected.

It was in part a frustrating day.  We followed the National Cycle Route 7 fairly closely.  For the first 40km or so, I doubt that we rode as much as 1km before a turn, a gate, an overpass or underpass or some other route change.  A lot of the chopping and changing was in an obsessive attempt by the route designers to avoid roads with traffic, when it would have been much more sensible and even safer to allow some short sections.  A lot of the route was on trafficked roads anyway.  As part of the effort to avoid traffic, the route passes through quite a lot of trashed old industrial infrastructure and boring old suburban streets.

We then popped onto another rail trail, beautifully converted to a bike path, with a high quality sealed surface.  This took us most of the rest of the way into Glasgow.  Unfortunately this trail was mostly set in a cutting, so it was very difficult to see.  This is a problem we have seen before with some rail trails. Somewhere in the last 5km or so, we fell off the route and used TomTom to get to the centre.  This was not a pretty ride through busy streets.

We are in a cheap and ordinary B&B, as Glasgow is pretty well booked out due to a summer festival and an Elton John concert tonight.  This is the first B&B, which like the Travelodge and Ibis hotels, does not have free internet, so this will be posted a day late.

We are now a bit over half way through this trip, and I have found in the past that the second half of the trip seems to disappear very quickly.

Form Glasgow, there is no really obvious way in which to explore the western islands.  All of the options have quite severe compromises of one form or another for touring cyclists, so we haven’t yet quite made a decision as to what we will do tomorrow.

Same Google zoom problem.  Zoom in to see the route.

View 10 6 2011 Ayr to Glasgow in a larger map


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