Another sunny Sunday, another shoreline spin. From Kilmuirs to Largs, nice fast roads, (even though we went no faster than the speed limit.) Largs on a dry Sunday is always busy, and you have always got other keen bikers coming up to chat to you about your bike, bike clothing, bike trips, bike modifications and bike everything else, as long as it’s about bikes. While the bikes were parked up and being admired (not that my bike is special, it’s got two wheels, so it’s going to get looked at) thought we would go to get chips, it’s a biker tradition to get a local chippy. so tried “the fish works” and it was a decent portion, and hit the spot.
From Largs we went up the coast to Greenock, which was a non eventful journey. Over the Erskine bridge and up to Loch Lomond. Turning off the A82 to take the Haul Road to Garelochhead. The Haul Road is one of my favourite roads, it’s like a rollercoaster of tarmac, it is sometimes difficult to tell if you are going up or down hill. Stopping at a parking spot, you get an amazing view of the Faslane navil base, home if the imfamous Trident Missles, and Gare Loch. After looking at the view far to long, we headed down to ride past the rich areas of Helensburgh and then back over the Erskine Bridge.
Easter Sunday, haven’t been a good run all year, so decide to head south. I haven’t ventured south much on the bike, except for a run down to Stranraer. Started from McDonalds at the Bellfield Interchange, (eh! had a coffee, honest) Got onto the A76 and followed it all the way to Dumfries, for a single road, it wasn’t too bad. had some corners and passed through some interesting places. Would have went to the see the Crawick Multiverse, but it was shut. So headed south of Dumfries to Caerlaverock Castle, a twin tower, 17th century medieval stronghold, surrounded by a moat. very nice and different to typical castles in Scotland.
It’s winter, it’s cold, it’s dark, all the car drivers are forgetting the rules of the road because it’s cold and wet. Going out on your bike is not the problem, it’s what to do when you get to your destination, as it’s cold, wet and dark. How about just sit in put on the xbox or playstation and play Ride 2. This game has all your dream bikes, over 200 of them, (so if your dream bike is not in it, you have a unique (weird) taste). The game is set over 30 tracks all over the world, but don’t get too addicted, it’ll be spring time soon, and you can go out for real. See the website here
Must be nice to be Gotham City’s billionaire, with your own research and development department, head of your own company, have a mansion and be Batman. He famously got on this crazy looking “bike” in the Dark Knight, to battle the Joker and his goons. It looked the business. I think if he lived in a nice wet country like Scotland, the bike would have some kind of front and rear hugger to keep the spray from those tyres from covering you, the fund would be a nice touch though.
Yamaha have upgraded their flagship sports tourer to make it an even more outstanding way to see the world. It still has the comfort of a sports tourer but is now rocking the looks of a sports bike, including lot’s of extra stuff, like a new 6-speed transmission, assist and slipper clutch, front and rear Led Headlights, Fully adjustable screen, cowl, seat and handlebars, yamaha D-MODE, cruise control, traction control, 25ltr Tank, electronic adjustable suspension, upside-down forks, heated grips and 12v socket, these are just some of the features. The new FJR looks super cool in black, not to sure about the silver version. It also looks nice without the side luggage, which is a good thing, as the entry level model doesn’t come with them.
A wee late night run to Arrochar, decided to avoid the Loch Lomond route and headed up through Cardross, Helensburgh and Rhu. The road leads up the side of the “infamous” Faslane, where the subs dock with the trident missiles, but you don’t see much except lots of fence and barbed wire. Lucky that this road leads to the newly resurfaced road that follows the loch Long shore line, a twisty, hilly road that makes you think your racing, but not too fast, its a two way…. once you have done your best Rossi impression, you arrive at Arrochar, where you can enjoy the beautiful sights, whatever the weather. Here is the map
Alway at the front line of design, Ducati have brought out some stunning bikes over the years, the new Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario is no different. Every angle of this bike is exquisitely beautiful. This is the new anniversary edition of Ducati’s flagship super bike. weighing in at 162kg, this bike rocks 205 horsepower with Ducati’s Superquadro 1285 cc engine. They have put the latest technology thats on a bike with one of the best power to weight ratio in it’s class, make this a bike thats setting the benchmark for other super sports. This is the type of bike that makes you put a couch in your garage, so you can spend some time admiring the details.
After hitting the beaches on previous journeys, I thought I’d head for the Loch’s this time. Starting, by crossing the River Clyde, over the Erskine Bridge and heading for Dumbarton, Cutting up North on the West side of Loch Lomond. I don’t mind keeping in with the slow traffic on this road, as the views are stunning, but after Luss the trees take over, so overtaking on the wide roads is easy. Before you know it your at the Tarbet Hotel and heading left to Arrochar, that sits on the banks of Loch Long. Arrochar has a biker friendly cafe called the pit stop, but no time to stop here. I follow the road west, passing the rest and be thankful, another beauty spot where you have a choice of hot food and drinks curtsey of the burger van (well, it is Scotland). Keeping on the road you get to Loch Fyne, which has the amazing Fyne Ales brewery at the top end of the Loch. Further round and I arrive at Inverary. It’s a nice day, so I grab something to drink and look out on the Loch for a while, before starting my journey back. Heading back the same was is something I try to avoid, so I take the same road back…. Only until I reach Arrochar, where I take the cut off that goes down the side of Loch Long. The twisty single track road takes you down to Faslane and along the side of Gare Loch until it joins the Clyde estuary, through Helensburgh and onto the town centre of Dumbarton. A good 2 hours on the bike with amazing scenery and a good view of what Scotland has to offer. Here is the map.
Thought I’d abandon the obligatory bag of chips for this run. Apart from the fact it was warm, it was only 10 in the morning, so I went all continental and got myself a coffee. Drinking my coffee and sitting on a bench in Largs, watching the ferry leave and take people across to Great Cumbrae. I got on my bike and headed south along the coast. Although, most of the road is not coastal, some of it is, and it was such a nice Sunday, that it didn’t matter. The road takes you through the wee towns of Fairlie, West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Irvine before ending in Troon. This run can be done in 45 mins. This was where I stopped for some ice cream and admired the Mediterranean looking beach. It was a sight to behold, everyone had their summer clothes and i was sitting in my thick biker denims and a motorbike jacket…. Here is the map
You know the story, not a cloud in the sky, you get on your bike and 20 minutes into your journey, the sky clouds over and your in the middle of a mini monsoon. Here are some one-piece suits to keep you dry in those downpours.