Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bowling along

The 22-mile (return) detour to Inveraray was well worth the effort - despite yesterday's rain. The town (or 'Royal Burgh' as they prefer it to be known) is a delightful, white-washed place, where everything seems to be tidy and ordered; clearly a place which the locals take great pride in. The views from the town/Burgh, both last night and this morning, were outstanding.

Today's main challenge was to reach 'Rest and be Thankful', the top of Glen Kinglas, without resorting to bike pushing. The A83 has been re-graded in recent years, so although it rises to nearly 900 feet, there are no 'impossible' sections. At the top, where there are spectacular views to either side, a solitary burger van in the lay-by was doing a roaring trade. Even I bought a coffee.

Can anyone answer this question? When a hill is signposted at, say 20%, or 1 in 5, does that mean the average gradient, or the steepest part? I'd be interested to know.

As I had reached Inveraray yesterday, I was 20+ miles ahead of schedule, which allowed me plenty of time to tour the Rosneath Peninsula, a quiet area only accessible from the main road at Garelochhead. On the far west-facing side there are some pretty exclusive properties gracing the waterfront.

Having reached the target of Helensburgh by 17.15, I decided to press on to put a few more miles in hand, especially as a steady drizzle is forecast for tomorrow. I arrived at Bowling Harbour just before 19.00, the start of the Forth and Clyde Canal. I met Billy, the lock-keeper, who was most interested in my endeavour, and allowed me to pitch my tent overlooking the old, ruined harbour.

As I'm now on the western outskirts of Glasgow, I think I'd better start using my bike lock...

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