On a sunny day like it was you have to arrive early to stand any chance of getting parked so I was up at 7.00am to catch the 8.45am ferry from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay for the first leg of the tour.
Next up ,to get away from all the traffic, I took the minor road loop to Ardlamont.Route 74.This was a very bad idea. Now I was on a tiny road with passing places and still had frequent cars. I,m not the brightest bulb in the showroom but even I could detect a pattern here.I should have cut my losses ,turned around and headed back to Bute to go cycling on empty roads there but I,m a stubborn bugger at times.I had my route in mind and I would see it through to the end.
Hardly a mention about the real killer of children lurking in every street and town. Road deaths.Which I,d imagine outnumbers any lurking paedophiles by a million to one.Just a thought which probably sprang into my head after taking this picture below and remembering my own recent van knock down accident.Also getting passed by at speed by almost every car on the way down from Glasgow to Wemyss Bay and I,m not a slow driver. I was doing close to 70 ,the speed limit,yet got passed by a endless string of cars touching 80 to 90 miles an hour.I parked next to one that had passed me doing almost 100 yet they were still getting out when I arrived. We all seem to be in an increasing hurry to get places that don't actually move.Like hampsters on amphetamines placed in cars instead of inside big revolving wheels.Modern life is one big constant race to no where in particular.
I cant be too much of a hypocrite as I have a car myself but its only when you walk or cycle along a country road slowly you see the carnage motor cars leave in their wake.In places the tarmac looked like a trendy modernistic wallpaper with nearly every species in Scotland flattened into the road surface.Multiply that by the number of roads in Britain and you get some idea of the scale of wildlife destruction UK wide.That's the ultimate carbon footprint and its a very heavy one. On wildlife and on people.
It was a friday, not even a weekend but it was a living nightmare on a bike.Easily the worst three roads I have ever done on a bike in my life.I ended up walking large sections of them getting off at practically every incline. Not because I didn,t have the energy in my legs but because cars were so impatient.I was passed by over 100 cars on this stretch alone. Not one slowed down to respect a bike,some even tried to nudge me over onto the grass verge before I,d reached the passing place.Most regarded me as a bloody pest in the way.On a single track road I had cars overtake me at 50 miles an hour inches away from my body.I was clipped three times by wing mirrors which is why I started walking up any hills as cars would drive behind me inches from the end of my bike willing me to go faster towards the passing places trying all the time to squeeze past.
This is Dunselma.Built in 1886 for the powerful Coats family as a sailing lodge above Strone point by architects Rennison and Scott.It is now privately owned.
The multi millionaire Coats Family owned a Cotton empire based in Paisley.The Large mill in the centre of this town still stands today.
It was either wait on the beach til 6.30am in the morning or get a train back to my house.
Ironically, the myriad of minor roads in the more populous central belt and east coast means that these roads are empty and far more peaceful.I will never do this route again...Ever... on a bike.
In the morning I took the train back down to get my car, happy to be a mad speed freak once again and get my revenge on any aggressive drivers that passed me. The sword of obsidian swung on more than a few occasions as I forced them into the ditch for a change and spilled their blood with my sharp stick out appendages instead. A lesson well learned.
Beam me back to the safety of the city and the estates and schemes of the central belt.At least if they run you over there they usually have a reason for it other than shaving five minutes off a journey time.
(This is a revised post. My first attempt was far too extreme and had far too many swear words in it for public consumption)