A nice circuit of the Campsie Fells




May 2012
110 km



Another tour I had always wanted to do. I had planned it for the previous weekend. But I chose the Bute & Cowal ride instead because of the weather. The weather some days later said rain in the west though. So I reactivated the Campsie Fells circuit plans. A wise choice indeed.



The alarm clock went off at 0500 and I had a breakfast before I cycled down to the trainstation in Paisley for the 0632 train to Milngavie through Glasgow. The train journey went fine and I started the ride from Milngavie with the customary climb up the hill and the drop down to Strathblane again. Some road closed signs was awaiting me here. I knew the road up to the distillery had a horrendous bad surface and I was hoping the road closure meant they were resurfacing the road. I took my chances and carried on. After the drop down to the valley floor, my suspicions was proven right. The road was getting a brand new surface. About time !! I continued past Glengoyne Distillery to the foot of the climb up to Killearn . A pretty hard climb. It was followed by a drop down to a river again and a climb through the Balfron village. A climb that seemed to go on forever before it reached a moor with a good view over the valley to the north.



Looking north-west towards Ben Lomond from the hills just past Balfron

The road dropped down to the A811 main road again and I took this pretty undulating road through Bucklyvie, Arnprior and the bypass around Kippen down to the valley floor and the 15 km of flat as a pancake road to Stirling. A red deer jumped over the road uncomfortable close to me and that gave my heart some extra work.



Looking back towards Kippen

But the ride into Stirling was surprisingly easy taking into account the problems I have had on this road before. I reached the hillclimb just before Stirling Castle in good spirit.



Stirling castle

I bypassed Stirling altogether by taking the ringroad over Stirling golf course before reaching the A872 which I was going to follow for a while. The climb out of Stirling was pretty steep at places. I now discovered that a spoke had broken on my rear wheel and secured that one to the wheel again before I continued.



Looking down towards Alloa and the mountains in Fife

This is not the most interesting bikeriding. But it was still good fun and I passed through Dunipace before I took the ring roud around Denny. The ringroad was very steep through a housing estate before it was reunited with the main road again for the final climb up to the Head Of Muir. A descent followed and I reached the A803 road from Falkirk. The road now turned towards west and home again. I took a small break and a sandwich at the Scotmid shop at Longcroft before I continued on this very undulating road through Banknock towards Kilsyth. It was now starting to rain a bit and the skies was dark. But they blew over and the skies was blue when I reached Kilsyth some minutes later. I was riding pretty hard through this village and up the hills outside towards the crossroad at the end of the valley. I reached the A803/A891 crossroad where I chose the A891 road. 8 miles to Strathblane, it said there. I had never done this road before and I was really looking forward to it.



Campsie Fells from just outside Milton Of Campsie

This road even surpassed my high expectations. It started with a good climb and was pretty undulating through Milton of Campsie and Lennoxtown to the beginning of the fabled Glen Road. The views was very good and the climb up to Clachan Of Campsie really enjoyable.



Clachan Of Campsie with Campsie Fells in the background




The Glen road looking back towards Clachan Of Campsie

The rather hilly road up Glen Road towards Strathblane was very interesting. I did not spot Strathblane before I was at it's church and the village itself. I took the road over the hill back to Milngavie again. This was not my original plan though and I messed up the roads from Milngavie to Clydebank by going over first road with the Duntocher signpost. Big mistake. I should had followed the road towards Glasgow, past Bearsden before crossing over the hill. My mistake resulted in some big hillclimbs and a vertical drop to Clydebank again over Faifley, Singer and Clydebank shopping mall. I reached the busy A814 and crossed over to the cyclepath at the new Clydebank college. The cyclepath took me down to the ferry again. It has just arrived and I jumped on for the three minutes long sailing to the other side of the river.



The rather new Renfrew ferry from the Renfrew side, looking towards the Clydebank side

A short ride took me through Renfrew and home again.


Conclusion



A good ride with not that many hills. But it is still a surprisingly undulating ride. It surprised me a lot. It also has a lot of good scenery too. But not as good as the scenery on the roads criss crossing the Campsie Fells itself. I still prefer those roads and rides to this ride. But I still suspect this ride may be an annual ride in my case as I was really enjoying myself. I would therefore recommend it.