The total route was about 84 km or 52 miles.
The total route was about 84 km or 52 miles.
Once the route crosses the Black Cart Water at Johnstone we picked up Route 75 to Gourock following the disused railway past Bridge of Weir and Kilmalcolm. At Port Glasgow there was too much broken glass to be able to use the cyclepath so we dropped down into Greenock and made our way through Battery Park to Gourock.
The original plan was to catch the ferry from Gourock to either Kilcreggan or Helensburgh, but we discovered that neither of these services run on a Sunday, so we hunkered down in a cafe on the seafront to decide what to do next.
Eventually we headed on and made our way around the coast as far as Inverkip, and had several false attempts before finding the correct road up the hill for Loch Thom. We saw the interesting features of the Greenock Cut and Kelly Cut before reaching the Cornalees car park beside Loch Thom. The next section was along rough forestry track past the Gryfe Reservoirs, before dropping down the hill and re-joining the cycle path back into Kilmalcolm, where we stopped briefly for Frijj milkshakes.
The next target was Bishopton, but we kept taking the wrong roads, so ended up doing a massive zigzag to finally reach the approach road to the Erskine Bridge. I've only lived in Glasgow for 20 years, and this was my first cycle over this impressive bridge, with an exciting steep descent towards Old Kilpatrick. From here we had a straightforward return journey along the Forth and Clyde canal towpath.
Total distance = 127 km or 79 miles.
This morning I had a session at Achilles Heel on my adductor before going out for a pootle on my bike. I met up with Ellie and we headed out of Glasgow on the Forth and Clyde canal as far as the Falkirk Wheel.
After coffee and cake we headed back, but turned off at Banknock and cut over the hill to Carron Valley Reservoir. After Fintry we called in on Val and Rob to see Iona, who is now 7 days old. And then after more tea and cake cycled back to Strathblane and over the hill past Mugdock Village to drop down past Milngavie Reservoirs to see John & Fiona to discuss plans for next weekend's Cateran Trail Extravaganza.
The total distance of the route was 99km.
This morning I cycled up to Balloch to follow the half marathon back to Clydebank. The first few miles saw a lead pack of 10 runners working together. The lead group consisted of Matt Gillespie, Thomas Fay & Michael Deason of Glasgow Uni, Jethro Lennox, Allan Adams & Paul Sorrie of Shettleston, Kerry Liam Wilson & Robert Gilroy of Cambuslang, and Kenny Richmond & Matt Williamson of Bellahouston.
Between Renton and Dumbarton the field began to stretch out, and by Mile 5, 19-yr old Matt Gillespie of Glasgow Uni, running his first half marathon, had made his move and was off the front. By Mile 6 Matt's lead had increased. Between miles 9 and 11, Jethro appeared to be gaining some ground, but was never going to close the gap. So the finishing order was:
1. Matthew Gillespie, Glasgow Uni, 1:08:24
2. Jethro Lennox, Shettleston, 1:09:28
3. Allan Adams, Shettleston, 1:09:39
4. Kerry Liam Wilson, Cambuslang
5. Thomas Fay, Glasgow Uni
6. Kenny Richmond, Bellahouston RR
7. Robert Gilroy, Cambuslang
8. Paul Sorrie, Shettleston
9. Michael Deason, Glasgow Uni
10. Daniel Bradford, Glasgow Uni
11. Matt Williamson, Bellahouston RR
12. Joe McKnight, Garscube
Click image below for photo gallery:
|Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon|
This morning I was thinking of cycling the Paisley and Clyde Coast Railway Path to Gourock when I found there are a whole bunch of route ideas listed on the Sustrans website. So anyhow, I followed the national cycle route 7/75 to Pollok Park (shown here on page 11), where it just so happened that the Parkrun was about to start, so I arrived on the startline around 9:27 just in time for Richard Leyton's pre-race spiel.
I set off as slowly as possible, on the first downhill stretch, then tried to ease into a rhythm on the flat section past the heilan coos. After 2 minutes I was wrecked and felt like dropping out during the first lap, but thought I might at least finish and try to get under 20 minutes. So I carried on plodding round, boosted by a shout from Grant Baillie at the end of Lap 1. During Lap 2 Toni McIntosh finally reeled me in just as I was trying to reel in Alan O'Rourke from Greenock Glenpark. I matched Toni for a bit and then let her go. But on the final hill I got a burst from somewhere and flew past her and Alan, and held them off to record 19:10 - a PW by almost a minute and half, but at least I got the heart and lungs working, and enjoyed the scone and cappuccino in the Burrell afterwards.
I've just cycled 74km to the Falkirk Wheel and back, along the Forth & Clyde Canal. It took 2 hours on the way out, and about 1h40m on the return fuelled by Mars bar crispie cake from the Falkirk Wheel cafe. On the way back, I bumped into the Rt Hon Big Al Campbell near Bishopbriggs, having trouble with his road bike clogging up on the muddy towpath.
The Falkirk Wheel is the only rotating boat lift in the world, and links the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel replaces a series of 11 locks which lifted or dropped boats a height of 25 metres. This would to take the best part of a day to negotiate, but now the trip takes around 15 minutes. The locks were closed back in the 1930s.
The final route will be 4500km in length from Pakistan to Bhutan, but at present only the 1700km section running the length of Nepal has been completed (by one person!). This consists of 157 days, and is listed as a trek at World Expeditions at a cost of £20,490.
It looks like there's a guidebook covering the trail coming out later this year.
Since my car was badly vandalised last night, I decided to go for another bike ride after first driving the car to Springburn Autoglass to leave it to have 3 windows replaced, with bleeding hands after trying to clear some glass from the car.
For my bike ride, I headed out along the filthy broken glass strewn cyclepath past Scotstoun and Yoker to Clydebank. After Dalmuir things thankfully improve with a more scenic section of canal leading to Bowling. With perfect timing, my rear mudguard spontaneously fell off just before Magic Cycles, so blagged a locking nut from the same chap who sold me a bell yesterday, and continued cheered on by one small bit of good luck, and the weather steadily improving.
After an hour and a half I was at the end of the cyclepath in Balloch, but had already decided to continue towards Balmaha, with the idea of climbing Conic Hill.
When I reached Drymen, I stopped briefly to re-fuel on Gatorade and Rice Krispies marshmallow square and then headed on towards Balmaha. However it was now after 4pm, and I knew that carrying my bike over Conic Hill in deep snow would take a while, so I cut off at Milton of Buchanan into the Garadhban Forest, which was fun to start with but then became impossible to cycle. So I was reduced to walking pace with time ticking on.
As soon as I hit the Gartmore road I gave up with the West Highland Way and instead took the road back down to Drymen and since it was almost 5pm and I had no lights, I knew I would have to follow the main road back to Glasgow, which is not very pleasant. My original plan had been to stay on the West Highland Way, but this would have been far too slow, given that it gets dark just after 6pm.
So, other than a brief stop at the Anniesland chip shop, I had a pretty uneventful return journey, but was quite tired after being out for 4½ hours.