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Glasgow, Lennoxtown, Campsie Fells, Stirling, Dollar, Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland (3 day bike ride)
(3  day bike-pack)
Fri 20 Jul - Mon 23 Jul 2018

Fri 20 Jul 2018

Fri 20 Jul 2018
Sat 21 Jul 2018
Sun 22 Jul 2018
Mon 23 Jul 2018
Heading for Scotland with my bike and set off at 5:30 a.m. to ride to Preston Railway Station. It was light enough to ride without lights and shortly after setting off I could see the sun rising. The 6:40 a.m. train at Preston was on time and I put my bike in the relevant compartments where two other bikes were already hanging from the roof hooks. The first part of the ride was a clear sunny morning but shortly after Carlisle the weather became overcast and rain started. When I reached Glasgow the worst of the rain had passed and it was just overcast without rain.
Outside Glasgow Central Rail Station
I left Glasgow Central Railway Station and cycled north to the Buchannan Street Bus Station to have a look at the Time Sculpture which is an interesting feature of steel legs with a clock on top, presumably representing the march of time. I continued along the roads for a short while before I was able to leave and follow the cycle track to the start of the Glasgow Spur of the Forth & Clyde Canal. The southern end of the canal is called Port Dundas and must have been an amazing sight when it was in full use.
Running out of time

Substation by the canal

Port Dundas
Across the water is Speirs Wharf where many barges are still moored. My original plan was to leave the canal for a short distance to visit the workshop of the artist Andy Scott. I only found out a couple of days ago that he is now working in Philadelphia and his workshop is no longer used by him. As I cycled along the towpath I could see the building hed previously used and the front doors were shut and it looks like another company working there. I find the information boards along the canal extremely interesting and it was good to reach the one marking the spot where the Old Basin Tavern was located.
Old Basin Tavern
Some of the walls of the building remain but the bulk of it is gone. I found the large 1880s photograph on the wall showing the original bar a fascinating way to take us back to those times. Further on was another interesting board showing information about the Glasgow Rubber Works which were used for war production in World War II and afterwards they recommenced making tennis balls for the Empire.
Old buildings by the canal
Approaching the main Clyde and Forth canal a local cyclists caught up and we rode for a short while and chatted. He was heading west and when I came to the point where I was to turn east I said goodbye and left the towpath for a short while to drop down to the road where I passed under the canal then back up onto the Falkirk length. The weather continued overcast but thankfully the rain held off. I stopped briefly by a pub which had a fascinating information board displaying information about the adjacent nature reserve and also about the meteorite the Apostle high meteorite which landed in 1804. A fragment is on display in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. A photograph of it is shown on the board.
I continued along the towpath to Kirkintilloch where I stopped briefly where the route crosses the road. There is a stone nameplate on the bridge saying Forth and Clyde Canal. I re-joined the towpath briefly but I knew there was a turn off to the left that I needed to find. The signpost is there but it is a narrow gap between hedges and drops down to start the railway leg out to Lennoxtown. The first part is a long a rutted street then across a road to pick up the cycle track running along the old railway route.
Approaching Kirkintillock
I have cycled along this line previously and it is an interesting ride but rather dull in today's overcast and cloudy weather. However the main highlight was just up ahead as I reached the bridge at Milton of Campsie which is also the site of an old railway station. The bridge has an interesting modification presumably to strengthen it and provide a circular tunnel through for walkers and cyclists.
Milton of Campsie
An information board states that the railway opened in 1846 and close in 1966. I continued under the bridge and on to Lennoxtown where I left it to turn right and join the road. After turning right onto the road I came to a junction where I turn left onto Milton Road A891 and into Lennoxtown centre. I stopped at the Co-op to buy to buy 2L bottles of water at 49 pence each. The rain had returned as I continued to turn right onto the B822 that would take me to the Campsie Fells. It was a steady climb at first and it was interesting to see a sign on the left for a bike fitting shop.
Opened 5th July 1848 closed 4th Apr 1966
The climb up to Campsie Glen was a good road and a steady gradient so wasn't a problem other than the rain. As I reach the car park at the summit I was just under the cloud base and had very little View. The online map calls it car park in the sky. Id planned to camp nearby and a green path heads up to the east which is where most people seem to walk from the car park. I started to push my bike up and was hoping to camp up to the left on a promontory with a flat area. Unfortunately I would have had to cross an area of deep grass and rushes which were soaking wet with the rain.
A wet Campsie Glen camp

Wet view from the tent

 As a poor second choice I found a flat area right by the path. It was still deep grass but I didn't have far to walk into it. The main downside was that after pitching the tent there were several people walking up and down the path most making comments outside the tent. Unfortunately I am too near to the car park and several motorists kept parking up with loud blaring music on their radios. I also seem to be on the flight path for Glasgow Airport.