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Sanquhar, Abington, Peebles, Innerleithen, Galashiels, Scotland (3 day bike ride)
(3 day bike-pack)
Thu 28 Sep - Sat 30 Sep 2017

Thu 28 Sep 2017

Thu 28 Sep 2017
Fri 29 Sep 2017
Sat 30 Sep 2017
I set off to ride to Preston around 12:15 and when I reached the A6 roundabout over the M6 took the cycle route past the Hob Inn and onto the old Tram Road cycle route. It was pleasant riding in the sunshine and it was nice to ride away from the traffic. I reached the River Ribble where I turned left through Avenham Park and on to the railway Station.
Crossing the River Ribble into
Avenham Park Preston
I caught the 13:41 Glasgow train as far as Carlisle. The station there is still covered in scaffolding as its massive refurbishing continues. My next train is the 15:12 to Sanquhar and the departure screen said it would leave from platform 3. I reached the platform to find the train was there waiting even though it was only 14:45. I loaded my bike and waited. The train left on time and trundled through the sunny countryside.
On the train to Sanquhar
At Dumfries 3 cyclists and bikes got on and they were still there when I reached Sanquhar. I was the only cyclist that got off. The sunny day was over and the cloud had rolled in as I set off cycling SE along the busy A76. I had a strong headwind and sections of the road surface was quite rough making for an uncomfortable ride. I didn't have many miles to ride to Mennock where I turned left to join the B797 through the hills towards Wanlockhead.
Starting my ride at Sanquahar
It is a steady winding climb between spectacular hills and originally I'd planned to camp a few miles up at a spot I've camped at before. As rain is due overnight and into tomorrow I thought I'd continue over the pass to reduce the wet riding tomorrow. I was disappointed to see that most of the lay-byes were strewn with bags of rubbish left behind by roadside campers. There were also the old embers of campfires. When I reached the flat area where I'd originally planned to camp there were already three cars there so I was glad I was moving on.
As well as general rubbish strewn around each drainage gully had empty drinks cans on it as they'd been washed there by the rain. The climb steepened as I got higher but it was nice to see some areas near the heather with groups of beehives set up. After a descent and flat stretch another steep climb took me to Wanlockhead village and a sign saying 'Wanlockhead highest village in Scotland (1530 feet above sea level)' There was another steep climb to the actual summit of the pass and a border sign for Lanarkshire.
Leaving Leadhills
I checked for a phone signal but there was none. I continued down into Leadhills village with a tailwind and a feeling that rain was due anytime. Through the village I found some flat ground on top of an old spoil heap and pitched my tent. The expected rain arrived during the night.
There was no FM reception for my radio but I was able to get long wave and radio 4 to check the news and weather reports.

Camp 1 near Leadhills