The Queen's View Tour
I have been retracing my old tracks this year with tours I originally did 12-14 years ago. One of these tours was this tour. I first did it fourteen years, but did not repeat it again before this year. Whis is a pity because this tour is a pretty enjoyable spring tour.
This tour was my first 50 km+ tour this year. It was a pretty cold and I had to wear long trousers and a pullover. Not to my delight, I have to say.
I started in the early morning with a short ride down to Renfrew Ferry. It was both pretty dark and cold. The old cumbersome Renfrew Ferry has just been replaced with a new service and I was happy to try it out. I paid £ 1.60 for the three minutes long tour. The picture below is from this tour. This picture is taken up the river towards Glasgow. The second picture is taken from the Yoker side of the ferry and Renfrew on the other side.
I took the cyclepath from the ferry towards Dalmuir. But I quickly changed over to the main road on my way through Dalmuir and to Bowling. A short detour down to the canal path and then on this path, bypassing the rather hilly road through Old Kilpatrick followed. I followed the cyclepath again through Bowling and to Dumbarton.
From Dumbarton, I took the road over Ballantine's distilleries to Bonhill. This council estate was the start point the last time I did this tour. I lived in Bonhill back then. I followed the road over Jamestown to Balloch.
The hillclimb from Balloch over to Croftamie is a good test. It has a couple of steep bits. I took it easy up here and rolled down the other side. The weather was a bit bad so the normally excellent views was shrouded in fog. I reached Croftamie after some good cycling. The climbs past Croftamie are short, but steep. I took this picture just before the crossroad between Queen's View and Killearn. Queen's View in the background and this picture shows the hill I was now facing.
The climb up to Queen's View is approx 2 miles long and not particular hard for a trained cyclist. But for a rusty cyclist having to be well dressed to avoid freezing to death, this climb is pretty hard. It is an ideal spring tour, in other words. This climb also have a good mountain feeling although it is not more than around 200 meters above sea level. The real Queen's View though is on the hill overlooking the road and the carpark. This hill is around 150 meters above sea level higher than the road. This is said to be one of the finest hill walks in the Glasgow area. Maybe next time.......
The descent down from the top was a bit hairy on a bad, wet road and a bit rusty cycling brain. It always takes me some time to get my brain ready again for the descents on these roads. I ended up down at a bridge and faced another half a mile long and pretty steep climb on a narrow road past a golf course. I went over the top and spent the next miles on a pretty up and down road. It was pretty challenging for an out of form cyclist. I soon reached the cross road leading me up the steep hill to Faifley and then down the hill past Duntocher to the Erskine Bridge. I crossed this bridge over Clyde River and took the familiar road back to Erskine and home again.
This is a good way to start the cycling season. I found out that my form was better than expected.
I was in fact very pleased with myself and this tour. The views are normally very good and the mountain feeling on climb up to the top of Queen's View is good. I recommend this tour.