Circling around Cumbernauld




April 2012
80 km



A bikeride I had wanted to do since I did the Falkirk Wheel bikeride. The lines looked good. I was a bit worried about the traffic so I decided that the Easter holiday was probably my best bet. The Good Friday had a good weather window and I put my alarm clock on at 0500 for an early start.



I woke up to a pretty grey day and made myself ready for this bikeride. It was still pitch dark so I walked the bike down to the train station at Paisley for the train up to Glasgow and then the Edinburgh train to Airdrie. I disembarked there and went through the city centre, bypassed on my Falkirk Wheel. It seemed to be an OK town. I went up the hill for the A 73 crossroad. I found this heavy traffic plagued road at the end of the high street and went through some industrial estates up the hill and past some moorland before I found the crossroad to B803. I was glad to leave the heavy traffic behind me when I started to climb this road. That road seemed promising on Google Maps and it was a delight in reallity too. I had a good overview over Cumbernauld and took one picture who was severe blurred due to a shaking hand. The views from this road was good throughout. The road was undulated throughout as most roads in this area is. It followed a ridge with drops at both sides. A fun bikeride. The ridge dropped down towards the coast and I reached Slamannan from where I took the road towards Falkirk. At the next crossroad, I took the road to the right towards Shieldhill. This road was undulated too, but far better than the other road (B803) to Falkirk. A very enjoyable ride. The views on from a point just outside Shieldhill was stunning and the next three pictures is from this place which is 1 km before Shieldhill.



Looking down towards Ben Lomond and The Trossachs in the far distance



My bike with Grangemouth and Ochil Hills in the background



Looking down at Falkirk with the Ochil Hills in the background

This must surely be one of the best viewpoints in this area. After a ten minutes long photo break, I continued down the hill to Shieldhill from where I took the vertical dropping road towards Falkirk. This road was like a three steps with vertical drops down to the next step and a bit flat and some climbs up to the next vertical drop again. I also passed a disused canal here. The bridge over it had a very dodgy corner which I noted as very dangerous for us bikeriders. I reached the outskirts of Falkirk from where a couple of roundabouts took me to B8080 and B816. This road took me up in the hills behind Falkirk and the flatlands surrounding it. A pretty interesting road. It was now starting to rain when I reached the outskirts of Bonnybridge after a hairy descent from the hills again. I took the B816 again past the very visible and restored remnants of the Antonine Wall up the canal and over the motorway to a big hillclimb. It was now raining pretty heavy and that spoiled the fun pretty badly. That and the heavy traffic. The climb through Castlecary was pretty miserable.
I found the Eastfield Road and was stupid enough to ask for directions from a man in a roundabout. He sent me down to Dyllatur village where I got lost and almost ended up in Kilsyth. So I retraced my steps and went back to the roundabout. I followed the Eastfield Road past Cumbernauld through numerous roundabouts in heavy traffic until I reached the roundabout taking me onto the B8048 road. I was very relieved to be on track again. This undulating road took me towards Kirkintilloch.



Just outside Kirkintilloch with Campsie Fells in the background

I arrived in this small city and took the road to Lenzie. The rain had stopped by now, but the traffic was still heavy. I took the B 819/812 road towards Bishopbriggs and this road, in particular B812 circling Gadloch had some pretty big hillclimbs in a rural setting at the end of it before I reached a new housing estate again just before Springburn. The high rises buildings at Springburn was imposing and I passed between them on my way over the hill to Glasgow again. I took the normal B808 road over Maryhill to Partick and the Clyde Tunnel again. Glasgow was full of traffic and so was the road to Paisley again. Far more traffic than normal, in my view. I was not best pleased with that. But it was a nice ride.


Conclusion



Problaby the least interesting ride in the central area between Edinburgh/Falkirk and Glasgow/The Clyde Valley. Far too much traffic and roundabouts. Not enough rural roads. But the ride over to Falkirk was really good and recommended. The rest is best forgotten. So I would not recommend this bikeride.