Rowing

On my way home from a cycle run I saw some rowers from Heriot Watt University wearing some fancy tights. I had to take a photo as the tights were so different from the ones the other teams were wearing.

Heriot Watt University 

 I think the tights look very nice.

Oars

 Some rowers had laid their oars neatly at the water’s edge while they were getting their boats ready.

Rowers in the water

The ladies above were getting ready to go to the start of their race.

There are always plenty of activities going on in the park and I am so fortunate to live near it.

Milngavie Circular Cycle Ride

With Spring arriving the weather has been much warmer and drier and this has allowed me to travel further on the bike. I recently cycled on a circular route from Milngavie which took me up the Crow Road to Fintry then on to Killearn and back to Milngavie. The distance was 39 miles.

As Milngavie is quite a distance from my house I travelled by train to the start. The friends I was going to be travelling with were boarding the train at Partick station in Glasgow.

The weather was nice and sunny, if a little chilly. We were going to travel in an anti-clockwise direction  from Milngavie to Torrance and then take the Campsie Road to Lennoxtown. This part of the ride was fairly flat. On leaving Milngavie, we passed Murray Park, the training ground of Rangers Football Club. As it could be viewed from the roadside, I took a photograph of it.

Murray Park

 Campsie Hills

At the end of this road was a roundabout and we took the left turn onto Balmore Road. Shortly afterwards we arrived at the turn-off to Torrance and very soon the Campsie Fells could be seen in the distance. 

The flattish roads were soon going to give way to the steep climb of the Crow Road. To get an idea of the gradient, think of a Pyrenean climb in Tour de France. It is such a steep hill.

Crow Road

Arriving in Lennoxtown, we took the turning onto the Crow Road. The climb starts off quite gently before unleashing a torturous climb to the top. Not only is it extremely steep, it also seems to go on forever. Shortly after starting the climb, a car park comes into view and this is usually the place where hill walkers begin their walk over the Campsie Fells.

View from the Car Park
Crow Road from the Car Park

It is at this point many riders start to think that the worst of the climb is over, but they soon find out that the summit is still a long way off. 

Jamie Wright’s Well

On Ordnance Survey maps there is mention of Jamie Wright’s Well. On dragging myself up the hill, I spotted the well and as it was on a flattish part of the hill, I stopped to take a photograph.

Jamie Wright’s Well

The well also has a tribute to James MacKintosh Slimmon (1865-1898) and his verses about the water at the well are inscribed on the front of it. As the water looked a bit dodgy, we refrained from filling our water bottles from it.

The small break to take the photograph of the well seemed to give me a ‘wings’ as I was able to climb to the top with less effort than at the start.

Fintry

At the top it was a nice descent to Fintry. The road surface on the descent, however, was dreadful – it looked like the council had thrown asphalt on the road and left the passing cars to flatten it as best they could. It was a bit dangerous and some care had to be taken to avoid a high speed crash.

At Fintry we stopped to view Fintry Kirk. The original church was built in 1642 and the present one in 1823. Its windows are amongst the finest in Scotland and includes a First World War Memorial window. It also has one of only two cantilever staircases in the area. The bell was transferred from the original church to the new one and is still in use today.

Fintry Kirk

The road surface on the next part of the journey to Killearn was also in a dreadful state, which meant we spent quite a lot of time keeping an eye on it rather than on the beautiful scenery. In the distance could be seen a snow-covered Ben Lomond.

View from the road from Fintry to Killearn 

Killearn

Arriving at Killearn, there were a number of bicycles parked outside the various cafes. We stopped at a one for a cup of tea and a cake and consumed them outside in the Spring sunshine, which was pleasantly warm.

After our refreshment stop, we were going to embark on the final leg of the ride to Milngavie. However, it was not going to be a mad dash to the finish – we were going to stop at Glengoyne Distillery to look at the waterfall which carries the water from the hills to the distillery and at loch Ardinning. 

Glengoyne Distillery

Glengoyne has been described as Scotland’s most beautiful distillery due to it being situated under Dumgoyne Hill.

Glengoyne Distillery
Dumgoyne Hill

The distillery is unique in that it is classed as a Highland Malt despite being matured in the Lowlands. This is because the Highland Line, dividing the Highlands from the Lowlands, is located on the A81, which divides the main buildings of the distillery.

Waterfall at Glengoyne Distillery

The waterfall above is located behind the main distilling area. It is a nice area to visit, with seating for visitors.

Water carrier at Glengoyne

Loch Ardinning

After viewing the waterfall at Glengoyne, we continued on the journey back to Milngavie. We were going to make one more detour to Loch Ardinning. This is a nature reserve managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.The reserve is a mixture of wetland, woodland, grassland and moorland. There were some good paths around the reserve which were smooth enough to cycle on with road tyres.

Loch Ardinning

The reserve was quite busy and we decided to visit it in the summer when the loch comes alive with invertebrates and flowers.

After leaving Loch Ardinning, it was a short cycle back to Milngavie station to catch the train home. It had been a great day out.

Further Information

Milngavie has a regular train service from the Glasgow and the surrounding area. There is space on the trains for transporting bicycles.

A Busy Sunday Morning in Strathclyde Park

It was an early start this morning as I wanted to get in a round of golf on my local 9 hole course and go bird watching after it. It was very cold and there was some frost on the course at 7.00am, but this soon cleared.

During the winter the course is maintained and many tees and greens are not in use. Temporary ones are used instead. This should last until about the beginning of April when the course should be back to normal. 

Ice on golf trolley wheel

While on the course, the sound of music could be heard and it was obvious that there was an event on in nearby Strathclyde Park. When the music can be heard as early in the morning as 8.00am, it usually means that it is a sports event.

South Lanarkshire Leisure Duathlon  

After finishing the 9 holes, I was making my way home by foot, pulling my golf trolley behind me. In the Palace Grounds in Hamilton, I saw some runners and was told that a duathlon was in progress – South Lanarkshire Leisure Duathlon. This consisted of a 5K run, 20K bike and another 5K run. 

While passing, I managed to get some photographs of the action with my phone. 

Running


Cycling
After completing the first 5K run, the competitors had to collect their bikes and start on the road racing part of the event. 

A competitor gets his card scanned

As the competitors left the transition area with their bikes, they had to get their cards scanned. This presumably was to help the organisers in getting the details of the competitors times during the event. The competitor above is being ‘scanned’ by the woman on the left. 

Getting ready for the cycling


On the course

Commonwealth Games  
The cycling part of the event was around the closed roads of Strathclyde Park. This was the course used last year at the Commonwealth games triathlon. This is not easy – there are quite a few small sharp hills in Strathclyde Park.  

Turning point on the course


The camera phone coped reasonably well in taking the photographs but will never replace a ‘proper’ camera with a good lens.  

All-in-all it had been an eventful morning despite it only being 10.30am.