Down the coast to Ayr and back home again




May 2012
120 km



April ended with me limping back on the train from Ayr after the pedals had given up the ghost halfway through the ride to Ayr and back home again. A new set of pedals was purchased and my bike was ready again. I went on another bikeride three days later. But I was off course eager to complete this ride. So I set off again six days after the retreat from Ayr again in a quest to complete this ride.



I woke up as normal, ate a couple of bananas and got dressed for the ride. The cold weather hit me like a sledge hammer when I arrived outside my flat. I was seriously considering wearing gloves that day. But I continued with my cycle mittens down the hill to Paisley and through the high street over to Elderslie and the beginning of the cycle path. It was seriously cold. But I got into a good rhythm on my way up to Loch Semple and Lochwinnoch. I was passed by a bikerider in bike shirt and shorts. I was in full winter clothes and was freezing. I am glad I was not him though and he did not made much headway after passing me. I was keeping the same speed as him up the cycle path to Kilbirnie and passed him just before that village. It seemed like his muscles had expired on him. A very dangerous thing. I was very happy with my tempo though when I started on the hill over towards Dalry. I climbed it and arrived in Dalry and the final bit down to the coast at Kilwinning. A pretty standard ride without any surprises and I arrived at these crossroads without any problems. It was surprisingly little traffic on the road and that pleased me.
I continued down the coast to Irvine where I switched down to the Harbourside road and arrived safely at the local Burger King where I bought some food for the rest of the tour. I tucked them down in the bag and continued the coastal road towards Barassie and Troon past the many golf courses. The ride down to Troon was easy and I took the cycle path down to Troon town. Which I suspect was a mistake. I guess I could had taken the cycle path through the municipal golf courses instead.



The mountains at Isle Of Arran from Troon seafront

But I arrived at the other side of Troon in good shape. I continued on the cycle path along the beach up past the world famous Royal Troon golf course and over the bridge to the excellent Fullarton and Lochgreen municipal golf courses where I took the cycle path past Lochgreen golf course towards Prestwick. I noticed big queues for every hole there and was glad it was not me. I cannot stand waiting on every golf hole. I was glad to be on my bike and occasionally suffer a lot. I continued down some cows and golfers past another golf course to the main road at Prestwick Airport where I joined the heavy traffic again. The ride through Prestwick town down to the river and into the very busy Ayr itself. I rounded the railway station with smug satisfaction and started the return again. I went straight through the next roundabout and onto B747 over to the busy Whitletts Road taking me up to a McDonalds burger shop, where two cheeseburgers was purchased, and I continued up to the very busy roundabout at the bypass. A pretty scary roundabout and not one I recommend on a Saturday afternoon. But I passed it and started on the B743 towards Mossblown.



Looking up towards Mossblown and the hills of Ayrshire

The road was pretty flat in the beginning before the road went into a pretty steep hill climb up to Mossblown and a mile past it to the crossroad taking me to Tarbolton.



Looking back towards Ayr and the coastline from the hills above Mossblown

The road over to Tarbolton started with a small climb before it dropped down to Tarbolton . A strange village, it has to be said. I continued straight through it on B730 and down the hill past some fishery dams to A719 towards the crossroad at Rabbit Wood.



Looking back towards Tarbolton from the road over to Kilmarnock

The B730 was very undulating towards the A77 motorway which I could see in the distance. I could see it was very busy and B730 was crossing it. I was not that interested in that so I turned off the B730 road just before the motorway at Hayes Garden Land and went up a small road and hill to a viewpoint where I could see Kilmarnock below me.


Looking down at Kilmarnock from the hills to the south-west

The road dropped down to a bridge over the motorway and down to B7038 where I chose another small, undulating road over to Gatehead. I was now back on familiar roads again. I took the undulating road over Crosshouse to Kilmaurs. I took some small breaks along the way, eating the burgers bought at Burger King and McDonalds. I knew this road was tough and the food was my tactic to give me small bursts of energy. The road all the way from Troon with all the traffic and the hills after Ayr was hard. And the unrelenting hard bikeriding continued up the hills to Stewarton and Dunlop to Lugton. I chose to go over Gleniffer Braes from here and the backroads down to Paisley again. A hard climb followed to the top of Gleniffer Braes.



Looking towards my home in Paisley from Gleniffer Brae's country park

After the vertical drop down to Paisley and the ride home again to my flat, I was very happy to have completed this ride.

Conclusion



A very good ride where the ride down to Ayr is more or less totally flat while the ride back is the total opposite again. It is a recommended ride although the ride through the traffic between Prestwick and Ayr was not much fun. But the return ride back home again was very good. It is a recommended bikeride and I guess I will do it again sometimes in the future.