The Saltcoats bikeride




April 2012
75 km



A new month, but I cracked on with my programme. This time by including the very promising Dalry-Saltcoats road I had observed from afar for a time. I had not gone out to Ardrossan via the Dalry-Ardrossan road for a long time either. I had not done the Dalry-Beith road since 1998 too. In other words, the bikeride gave itself.



I woke up to a pretty grey day and made myself ready for this bikeride. Due to cold weather, I did not leave my house before 0900. I went through Paisley on my way over to Elderslie and the start of the cycle path out past Castle Semple Loch to Lochwinnoch and Kilbirnie. I was keeping a good speed out to Kilbirnie where I switched over to the road over to Dalry. I hit the vertical climbs up to Giffordland and a lot of traffic too. I had a good overview over the Saltcoats Dalry road from this climb though. The road I was returning on one hour later.
The climb became a lot more agreeable after passing Giffordland and I reached the Ardrossan - West Kilbride crossroad. I took the road to the left over the water reservoirs and up the climb to the top here while I was observing the destroyed wind turbine who spectactular burnt out in the 3. January storm. They had not fixed it yet and it was a sorry sight. I reached the water reservoir at the top and cycled past it on my way down to Ardrossan.



Looking down towards Ardrossan with Ailsa Craig in the distance (middle, next to pylon) Isle Of Arran to the right

I cycled through the Ardrossan bypass and down to the road taking me over to Saltcoats. I did not really bother going down to both Ardrossan and Saltcoats town though due to heavy traffic in the area. But I watched the Arran ferry berthing at Ardrossan Harbour. Maybe another day this summer, doing the full Arran circuit again. A massive challenge in anyone's book.
I reached the road over to Dalry and the pretty steep climb through some housing estates up the hill. I took a photo break just before reaching the roundabout at the bypass again. What a fantastic viewpoint ! It goes straight into my list of best viewpoints in this area.



Looking down towards Kilwinning, Irvine and the Ayrshire coast from this viewpoint.

The road became pretty flat after crossing the roundabout and the views opened up towards Dalry and the surrounding hills again.



Looking down towards Dalry from this road, a kilometer after the previous picture was taken

This road became an instant favourite and one I will do at least once a year. Good, funny bikeriding with a vertical drop down to Dalry. I was soon back in Dalry. again where I chose the A737 in the hope that the traffic would not be that horrible on a Sunday. I was mistaken. The road started with a vertical climb before it settled down and became pretty flat. Beith soon came into view and I chose to go through the city centre instead of the vertical road up and down on the Beith bypass. Staying on the A737 was a pretty big mistake. The heavy traffic and the vicious sidewind made the bikeride up to Howwood a bit of a test and a good reminder about how good the Paisley to Kilbirnie cyclepath is. But I arrived live and well in Howwood and cycled past Johnstone back to Paisley again after a pretty cold bikeride.


Conclusion



A pretty straight out and back again bikeride. The first two/thirds of the ride is a good bikeride. The Dalry to Howwood and Paisley not so good. The A737 road is best avoided at all costs. Replace that road with either the return over Lugton or Lochwinnoch and you have got a good bikeride. The best part is the Saltcoats-Dalry road and that road is excellent. Recommended ? Yes.