Saturday, 18 June 2011

National Cycle Routes - pros and cons

Earlier in the ride I had a moan about National Cycle Routes, especially their poor signage. But there's another side to this argument, bought home to me today. At the Ardrossan B&B I met four lads who are cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End in 12 days (Link) (see photo right). They're cycling an average of 80 miles a day, almost all on main roads. That's heads down stuff and 'let's get to the end of the day as soon as possible'. Apart from the satisfaction of completing their challenge (and raising a lot of money for the Anthony Nolan Trust), are they able to enjoy the ride as much as I can? Today I followed NCR 73 and the NCR 7, from Ardrossan to south of Ayr. The route took me all over the place, along the coast, inland through wildlife reserves, woods, over railways, under main roads - almost all of it off-road. It was a real pleasure to be able to gaze around at the scenery, taking everything in. That's what is possible by following (well-signposted) National Cycle Routes.

I have great difficulty taking reasonable photos when there's no sun. Still, my better efforts are up on Facebook now.

A fairly long day, with intermittent light showers. Dunure was the best 'harbour of the day', with a pleasant coffee shop where I stopped for lunch.

The supposed campsite at Cairnryan doesn't allow tents, so I've pitched up near the beach at Leffnoll Point.

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