I'm setting off on a cycle ride across Scotland and was
concerned about last night's weather forecast. There will be
lots of rain across the UK but when I got up the expected rain
hadn't arrived. I set off in the dark around 05:45am to ride to
Preston Railway Station. The ride was uneventful and I was there
in plenty of time for the 07:03am train.
Preston Railway Station
Preston Railway Station
The departure board showed it running 1min late but it arrived
on time. It was the Manchester Airport train to Edinburgh but I
was only going as far as Lockerbie. I reached Lockerbie just
after 08:30 and found the platform wet after recent rain. There
was low cloud but the rain was holding off. I headed west
through the narrow lanes to Templand where I joined the B7020. I
was pleasantly surprised to find the road very quiet. Last month
I cycled north on the B7076 which had a lot of large lorries on
Lockerbie Railway Station
The sky continued overcast but it looked like a couple of areas
were clearing. It didn’t and stayed the same. Heading due north
I reached the very busy A701 on the outskirts of Beattock. I was
only on it a few minutes and soon turned off left on to the
minor road through Beattock village. I reached the double
roundabout at the M74 and re-joined the A701 into Moffat where
the sign says ‘Dark Sky Town’. The next part of my route is the
A708 up Moffat Dale towards Selkirk.
Moffat Dark Sky Town
A large yellow sign by the road outside the graveyard said the
road was closed up ahead. I had no alternative so had to
continue. The first part was a steady climb then a series of
undulations along the glen. The weather improved and the sky
became a bit brighter but no sunshine. I reached a village hall
type building called Moffat Water Hall. It was closed & locked
but round the back I found a water tap so topped up one of my
bottles. I turned my phone on and got a good signal and 4G.
Further up the valley I saw a satellite dish and phone masts by
a pine wood across the valley.
Moffat Water Hall
Presumably they generate the signal. I continued east to my
planned camp above the car park at Grey Mare's Tail Waterfalls.
There were plenty of cars in the car park which was pay &
display. I couldn't see a scale of charges. I wheeled my bike up
to a flat grassy area where I've camped before. There was no FM
signal for my radio but LW was OK. The full phone signal and 4G
was still here but sometimes intermittent. I got my tent up in
the dry and got water from the Tail Burn below the waterfalls.
It was brown so needed boiling. Later in the afternoon the rain
arrived and was very heavy for the rest of the day.