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Glasgow, Falkirk, Stirling, Alloa, Dunfermline, Cramond Island, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(3  day bike-pack)
Tue 28 Aug - Fri 31 Aug 2018

Tue 28 Aug 2018

Tue 28 Aug 2018
Wed 29 Aug 2018
Thu 30 Aug 2018
Fri 31 Aug 2018
Heading back to Scotland for some cycle camping. Cycled to Preston and reached the railway station in plenty of time for the 6:40 a.m. Virgin train to Glasgow. The train was on time and I loaded my bike into the compartment at the front of the train. There were already 2 bikes there so I had to strip the panniers off and hang mine from the hook on the roof.
Preston Railway Station
As we left Preston and headed north I was treated to a lovely sunrise view out of the window. The sun didn't last and we were soon travelling under thick cloud. I reached Glasgow around 9:10 and it was still heavily overcast. I left the railway station by the same route as last time I was here and my first stop was outside Buchanan Street bus station.
Glasgow Central
By the station on the pavement is am artwork of a clock on legs. Set in the pavement is a plaque reading the Clyde Clock - George Wylie 2000 gifted to the city of Glasgow by radio Clyde. I continued along the road and picked up a cycle track that took me to the canal at Port Dundas. On previous rides I have continued north to the Forth and Clyde Canal. This time I headed east to a Canal Basin I hadn't visited before. There wasn't much to see but it was an interesting area as there were picturesque views of the high rise flats reflected in the water.
Glasgow Central

Canal basin
For the next few miles I was heading out of Glasgow in a north east direction along the main road. Fortunately most of the way I was on a good cycle track. I eventually reached the Muirhead area and left the busy main road to ride on quieter ones. I rode through Muirhead and continued to Moodiesburn where I stopped to investigate a memorial by the road. It was to various mining coal mining disasters in the area and give brief details of some disasters including the Auchengeich 18 Sep 1959 where 47 men died due to a coal mine fire 1000 feet down the shaft.
Auchengeich Miner
There was an impressive bronze statue casting of a Miner with extraordinary attention to detail including his miners helmet and Oldham lamp and check lamp. It turned out that after erection the original was stolen and the statue I was looking at was the replacement. I continued along the road and left it to follow a cycle track through a housing estate which took me to the outskirts of Cumbernauld.
 The route was mostly on a cycle track and a lot of hedges both sides so I didn't see much of the housing. The last time I cycled through the town I was on the main road and was unimpressed with the architecture. It is an overspill town for Glasgow and has twice won the Carbuncle award for worst city centre in Scotland. For a while I was on a road then left it to follow a footbridge over the railway at Cumbernauld Railway Station.
I followed a cycle track by the road but for a short while I must have taken the wrong track as I was on a narrow overgrown stretch of mud. Fortunately it ran parallel to the road and eventually connected to it. At Abronhill there was a right branch where I followed a narrow lane which descended through Castle Cary and thankfully joined the Forth Clyde Canal. Heading east I was riding along the towpath which had a lovely flat tarmac surface. The overcast weather continue to threaten rain but fortunately none came. There was even a tailwind to help me on my way.
Forth and Clyde Canal
I came to a cyclist who had a wheel out of his bike and was repairing a puncture. I stopped to check that he had all the tools he needed, which he did. He'd had a puncture and was replacing the inner tube. A couple of miles further on I reached Bonnybridge and left the canal to descend to the supermarket and buy some water. It was fifty pence for a 2L bottle of which I bought two. Across from the shop entrance I headed under a tunnel beneath the canal. Although a cobbled road there is a cycle way adjacent and I was able to wheel my bike through. There was a watercourse running over the cobbled road and it was partly flooded.
Bonnybridge tunnel
I emerged at the far side and joined a minor lane which headed east towards the line of the Antonine Roman wall. At the end of the road I continued along a rough track to the car park for the Roman wall and Rough Castle access. The wall area is well tended and mown. I stopped briefly to take some pictures but had to leave the wall as the cycle track followed a rough unsurfaced track to the south.
The Union Canal above the Falkirk Wheel

Camped on the Antonine Wall (earth bank)

I reach the railway and crossed it by an underpass then further on crossed again to continue on the rough track. I was heading in the general direction of the Falkirk Wheel and had planned to camp somewhere around here. I kept an eye open for a possible pitch site but couldn't see anything suitable. I followed a track up to the side of the canal at the northern tunnel portal. There was an area next to the canal where my tent would have gone up but there were too many people on the far bank. Wheeling my bike up a steep path I reached the top of the tunnel entrance and a superb view out across the countryside. Higher up I pushed my bike up a very steep path through the woods and emerged on top of the northern Embankment of the Antonine Wall. There was a minor path along it but it was quiet enough to pitch my tent. It was an excellent pitch in the trees.