A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Monday, 11 June 2012

Day 6 Gretna to Irvine

I'd originally planned today to be an 'easy' day and do about 90 miles, but the route meant a fairly direct line from Gretna straight up to Kilmarnock along the A76. I'd been warned that this was a pretty busy road and in planning this morning decided to veer further south and also check out a castle on the way, then cut back on the main road at least missing some of the traffic. Feeling really stiff this morning meant a slow start, but it was quite nice riding just cruising along down the coast towards Caelaverock.

On the way, I ran into another Jogle rider going the other way. Sporting a huge grin and a carefree attitude, I asked him how long he was planning to take to get to Lands End. "Oh I don't care" he said. He was in fact going to go back home for a bit and do the rest later. "I'm retired I can do whatever I want". Legend. In fact, he'd not only ridden from John O Groats but done all the outer Hebrides on his bike as well!! I want to be like that when I retire! I wish I'd taken his photo...what a character.

After about 25 miles I got to the brilliant Caerlaverock castle and stopped to take a look

Its triangular shaped, and has a full moat running round  the outside (not my photo of course):

I love castles that still have a working moat! A pretty place, although while I was having a quick look inside a staff member came to get me... apparently you have to pay to go in... (should have known). As I was being frog marched up to the ticket office we chatted about the cycle trip and by the time we got there she'd said..."ah dont worry about it". But I paid anyway, it was a nice place and worth preserving.

Plus I got a great pic of Bianca mkII

From here I was back on the main road, the busy A76 towards Kilmarnoc. Not a good road to cycle on, as per the warnings. In places there was some new tarmac, but a lot of it was just dire to ride on. You need a mountain bike with shocks it was so bumpy. And in many places several lanes of high speed traffic would merge into a narrow 2 lane corridor with very fast moving traffic and lots of trucks. Didn't enjoy this at all and got off it again as soon as I could, which was about 40 miles down the line unfortunately.

I did manage a nice picnic lunch by the rather swollen river

The sun came out in the afternoon and once off that darn road it was better riding. I had nothing in the legs today, no power or strength and the extra detours took the tally today up to 100 miles again. So much for a rest day!

However have the pleasure of my wife's company in the evenings now, and cant wait to get over to Arran tomorrow. I hope the legs can hang in there a bit longer and deal with the hill climbs that are to be expected now...and tomorrow will be another century.

Finally, whoever made the anonymous donation to rethink yesterday...thank you so much! May you be blessed with eternal cheese and good tidings!

1 comment:

  1. Great going! Cheese seems to be a big motivator :)