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.
A long time being talked about, finally got the ferry booked to go to Arran. It didn’t disappoint, it turned our to be a nice sunny day, and because it was during the week, it was pretty quiet too. Once off the ferry we headed south to Lamlash, a small village that has beautiful views of Holy Isle. On the south of the Island everywhere you look has spectacular views like (above) the lighthouse on the island of Pladda looking onto Aisla Craig. We could have stopped everywhere for photos, but we didn’t have all day, so we battered on to Blackwaterfoot for a spot of lunch by the sea. On to the North of the Island where the Isle of Arran distillery is situated. But that’s for another time, when I don’t have the motorbike with me. Heading south from Lochranza gives you amazing views of Goatfell, and Brodick Castle. Before getting back to the ferry, a must stop location, the Arran Brewery, to pick up some beers for “feet up time” later. Can’t wait to go back.
It’s coming into winter time, long gone are the long sunny days and dry roads, now comes the cold dark nights and hazardous mother nature, here are some things to look out for.
Ice on shaded roads It might feel like the sun has heated the day up to an acceptable level, but the nights are a lot colder and brings frost. With the short days and low sun, some parts of the road don’t see light at all, so the frosty parts stay there.
Leaves on corners All the lovely colours on the trees, eventually they fall off and cover the roads, and they are slippy too.
Thicker gloves Yeah, it’s still warm enough, just take the bike out, but it’s cold enough to freeze you fingers off at 70 mph, get the winter gloves looked out again, your fingers will thank you.
Low sun glare Shorter days come with low sun, this makes it hard to see but also makes it harder to be seen.
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
After the poor weather, I took advantage of the Friday evening sun and took to the road. I have been out a few times this year but this was the first run that I didn’t feel the cold. It sounds like fighting talk, but the winter gloves are coming off.
I took a road that I haven’t been on often, and found myself underestimating some of the sharp corners that follow blind hills. It was quite an eye-opening experience. The road in question is the B769 from Barrhead to Stewarton. I’m not sure if I was taking the corners too fast or if I was just having an off day. Here’s the map.