The second ride of the year
18. January 2012
The second ride of the year was a direct result of the Howwood ride, the first ride of the year. I was in euphoria over that ride and I was eager to go out again. Work and some cold weather put paid to any new rides for some days. I also purchased a new cycle pump too. I was ready to go out again for a new ride. This time down in the valley around Lochwinnoch and on roads I had never tried before. I had never been to Kilbarchan either so a ride through Kilbarchan felt like a good idea.
It was a pretty rainy day, but the weather forecast said sun one hour after I set off so I felt I could live with headwind and some drizzle on the way on the now very tried and tested cycle path to Lochwinnoch. Both my legs and lungs was feeling fine, but I took it easy past Johnstone and Loch Semple down to Lochwinnoch. Despite of drizzle and me have forgotten the cap for the helmet at home, there was no drama at all on these 20 km on a flat cycle path. I just concentrated on avoiding ice in the road and to keep a steady tempo. I met some old guys and women on their bikes just before Lochwinnoch. A quick look at my watch and I was pretty impressed with the speed I held. 18 days in and 2012 looks like a vintage bikeride year already !
I took the steep B786 out of Lochwinnoch which is the road I always comes down on my rides over Carruthmuir. One kilometer up the climb, I took the Bridesmill Road towards Kilbarchan. Well, I had no alternative because the road over Carruthmuir was closed. But my plans was to take the Bridesmill Road anyway.
On the Bridesmill Road looking back towards Castle Semple Loch and Lochwinnoch (hidden)
Bridesmill Road is a very undulated road with two short, vertical climbs and descent. Both my lungs and legs felt surprisingly fine. I reached the very muddy smaller road Crossflat Farm road which I took towards Kilbarchan. A very scenic road it is too with excellent views towards the valley below. This whole area is littered with small excellent bike friendly roads and I am looking forward to exploring them. The road topped out at 125 meters above sea level. A vertical drop followed before I reached Kilbarchan. This small village was surprisingly vertical. OK, only saw half of it, but the road up towards Bridge Of Weir seemed far steeper in reallity than on Google Earth. I was not going up that road though., I was going on the road towards Johnstone. But that road too had an unsurprisingly steep descent towards the A 737 motorway and the three roundabouts taking me on the bridge over the motorway.
The road to Johnstone town centre was pretty flat. The traffic a bit heavy. I always bypass Johnstone either to the east or to the west. This was actually the first time I had cycled through Johnstone or even been to Johnstone town centre (but I have passed through it on a bus many times). A pretty big town and bigger than Paisley, I felt. The climb out of Johnstone towards Elderslie was pretty vertical. I took it easy up here. I passed through Elderslie and Paisley on my way home again without any drama. I was very pleased with myself after this short, but still very enjoyable bikeride.
Another good ride and a massive boost to my morale. The ride out to Lochwinnoch on the cyclepath is pretty easy. The ride back again a bit harder with some small, vertical climbs in the hillside above the valley floor. It is still a very good ride which I recommend.