Sunday, 16 May 2010

Day-7: To Glasgow

The last proper day of this year's cycling trip took me from Arran to Glasgow along NCR7. This was the day with the highest mileage in the week. With few hills it was a much less demanding ride along a fairly flat route that was quite a relaxing (and unexciting) way to end the week.

On the whole it was a lovely day for a ride, but after breakfast it took me about two hours to reach the ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan. In that time the weather managed to run through several seasons, from a sunny spring morning to a heavy hail storm, and back again.

After the ferry, most of the route from Ardrossan to Kilbirnie is on minor roads, but from Kilbirnie to Glasgow it is mostly on dedicated cycle paths, following an old railway track and parkland for much of the way. Short parts of the route are a bit drab, but most of it is pleasant enough, and for a sunny Saturday afternoon it seemed remarkably quiet. It was not exactly deserted, but it was much less busy than I would have expected.

Apart from the hail, the memory that will stay with me from the day was the encounter with the white van man. Most of the route is straightforward, but I hesitated over a few bits. At one point I was stood by the side of the road checking the map. White van man pulled up, wound down his window and called out "I'm parking there, sonny".

I assume he took me for a teenager (more than forty years too late) and I imagine he got a bit of surprise when I looked up. Forty years ago I suspect that I'd have been just as miffed, but wouldn't really have known how to react. Not much change there.

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