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Sanquhar, Meldon Hills, Gorebridge, National Mining Museum, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(4 day bike-pack)
Mon 16 Nov - Thu 19 Nov 2015

Mon 16 Nov 2015

Mon 16 Nov 2015
Tue 17 Nov 2015
Wed 18 Nov 2015
Thu 19 Nov 2015
I left home on the bike just after 05:30am and cycled to Preston Railway Station where I arrived at 06:20. Im heading for Sanquhar in Scotland and by buying my ticket last week Ive made a considerable saving. The total journey for a senior single cost 8.90.
Preston Railway Station
We left on time at 06:40 to Carlisle. Here I changed to the Glasgow via Dumfries train which left from platform 8. It was due to leave at 08:15 but was a couple of minutes late.

Bike on the Virgin train

It was very windy at Carlisle and also very cold. The weather was clear and I was still clear when I reached Sanquhar at 09:20am.

At Carlisle, the train to Sanquhar


On the Sanquhar train


On the Sanquhar train

I was the only person to get off but a few others got on. It was still cold and windy as I set off through the small town. Part of my food supplies were some Tortelloni pastas and some chopped chirizzo sausage which Id measured out in day size packs. Unfortunately Id left them at home in the fridge. Cycling through the main street I found a shop where I hoped to buy some. As I stopped an old man came up and asked how far Id come.

Deserted Sanquhar station

I explained I was just starting and calling to buy some supplies. He was very interested in my journey and told me my bike would be safe parked outside the shop. I called in and was able to buy the stuff Id left at home. The cost was considerably more. At home the pasta was 1.60 and here 2.50. I emerged from the shop and the man was still there. He seemed to be looking after my bike. I continued SE along the busy main road. After a few miles I reached Mennock then thankfully turned left on to the B797 which had hardly any traffic.

Deserted roads

I was now climbing steadily in the bottom of a deep valley. The wind was now behind me and helping me on the climb.

Cross by the river

 I had about 6miles of climbing and a couple of steep sections before reaching the high point. Just ahead I came to Wenlockhead which is a small village originally for the lead mining industry in the area. I followed a side road to look at an old preserved beam engine which was a very large structure immediately by the road. It was originally built to lift water out of Margaret vein of the lead mines below.

Beam Engine

I re-joined the main road and the final steep climb to the highest point and the border where I left Dumfries & Galloway and entered Lanarkshire. I had an easy downhill freewheel into the village of Leadhills. For a while I could see the narrow gauge railway to my right which is open during the summer months. I turned right in the village on to the B7040 heading towards Elvanfoot. There was a steady climb for a while then a long descent. I reached the A702 which was very busy with a lot of large Lorries. As I reached the underpass under the M74 it started to rain heavily. With full waterproofs on I turned right along the B707 which was just as busy as the A road. It was hard riding in to the headwind and rain but fortunately there was soon a wide cycle track I could use. As the rain stopped I felt my rear tyre was getting soft.

A rear wheel puncture

I stopped by the entrance to a wind farm where I pumped it up to see how long it would last. After about a mile it was down again and too soft to ride. There was nothing for it but to do a repair. Its the second rear wheel puncture Ive had with my new Surly bike. I removed the inner tube but couldnt find anything through the tyre wall. I replaced the repaired inner tube from my first puncture, pumped up and was on my way again. I took a left turn over the M74 then right to start a steady climb through areas of felled trees. I reached the A701 and turned sharply left to start a steady climb to my planned camp for the day. After a few miles I reached the stream Id seen on the map and climbed steeply down to fill 2, 2lt plastic bottles. Just ahead I turned left up a short forestry track to my planned camp. It was out of sight of the road and had a faint intermittent phone signal that I could use occasionally.

Crossing the M74