A full circuit of Gleniffer Braes
29. January 2012
To say that the mild and warm January 2012 had been a very welcome break from the norm is an understatement. I had got 150 km so far out of it on the bike and was eager to put in fifty more kilometers. My plans was to do the bikeride on the day before, a sunny day. But the icy road made that impossible and I went for a walk instead. I could barely walk upright due to the ice. But a thaw approached and I saw that the day after was a far better prospect with forecasted three degrees warm/cold and overcast weather. That was my chance for a fifty kilometers bikeride.
It was an overcast day when I set off from my flat at 0930 in the morning and down the road to Paisley. I went straight for the cycle path towards Lochwinnoch, taking me past Elderslie and Johnstone. I was overtaken by some other cyclists, but also overtook a group of other cyclists too. I concluded that my tempo past Castle Semple Loch down to Lochwinnoch was good. I left the cycle path here and took the Lochwinnoch to Kilbirne road. I have never done this road in the direction of Kilbirnie before and only one time back in 2005. Where the cyclepath to Kilbirnie is flat, this road is pretty undulating. After a couple of good climbs, I reached the crossroad to the small road taking me over the valley floor to Beith. A flat road until I reached the Glasgow to Ayr railway. A couple of steep zig zag bends took me over a bridge and up a steep hill. A flat piece followed before the final climb past the local cemetery followed.
From the Beith cemetery looking back to the valley floor
I was soon in Beith. Strangely enough, I had really never been through this village before. A bit twists and turns took me through this small village and up to the Beith Bypass which I crossed to get onto the B777 towards Lugton. I really did not plan to go all the way to Lugton. But the snow on the farmfields meant that it was not adviseable to go any higher up in the mountains than I was now at around 150 meters above sea level. The ride from Gateside on the south side of Gleniffer Braes was pretty undulating in itself with some small hills to get my heart and legs going. But I sat on my bike and grinded down the kilometers. I reached Lugton and decided that my normal route over Uplawmoor Village and Neilston was not adviseable too due to some brakes issues and cold ears. Well, I did not have much brakes left. So the normally pretty boring, straight forward mainroad A736 had to do. The ride was not particular hard. I grinded down the kilometers through the canyon this road (and railway) follows. It was a good ride, in fact. I was soon down in Barrhead and chose the normal road over to Dykebar and Barshaw park again. I was home, three hours after leaving my home.
Not the most interesting route in my area. The main identity of this route is unrelenting pedal pushing over small hills and flat roads with a few short descents inbetween. The road over the valley floor and up to Beith is scenic. The road from Beith to Lugton is also good. The rest is barely OK. This ride is a very good ride though if there are snow higher up in the mountains. This is also the full lowlands circuit of the Gleniffer Braes and that means something. This route is great for pure physical training though.