LEJOG Day 9 – Irvine to Crianlarich

LEJOG day 9 : along the coastline and into the Highlands! So today we cycled 75 miles, climbing 2533ft which took us up beyond Glasgow and into the Highlands! Every time I peddle I am heading further north than I have ever been before and we are still constantly amazed by how far we have come under our own steam! Ok so today there was one little sneaky bit of ‘not our own steam’ thrown in, a short ferry ride across the Clyde from Gourock to Kilcreggan! This meant that we could avoid skirting Glasgow – something I think we’d more than earned after the horrors of crossing Warrington!
Beautiful coastline with views out to Arran
Our morning was focused on getting to the ferry in time, cycling the 38 miles to the port mostly along the beautiful coastline overlooking the Isle of Arran! On such a sunny day like today the sea looked so inviting and we had a great view out across the water. I did have to go and put my hand in when we stopped for a quick pastry, and it didn’t even feel that cold! No I don’t need a bag for my shopping, LEJOG style!
By the time we reached Gourock we just had time to grab a quick meal deal from Sainsbury’s before boarding the 13 minute ferry to the other side! It was nice to sit down not on my saddle for a short while and admire the views. Much to our delight we were met by the Kilcreggan pier dogs when we arrived – very cute!
Views from the ferry
One of the very cute and well trained Kilcreggan pier dogs!
The afternoon’s riding started with a 15% hill which really got us going then we cycled along an inlet and then further inland, heading up Loch Long into the Loch Lomond Park and then on to Loch Lomond itself. Here the scenery was much more dramatically beautiful. The shining waters of the lochs, pine covered mountains and ominous clouds! We stopped for a few more photos but were mostly focused on making it to the B&B before it rained and before we got too attacked by midgies! We haven’t done a good job of the county signs today, and our stop for Stirling was our fastest yet as the midgies swarmed! A final hill climb into Crianlarich took us to the B&Bs where we rushed inside away from the insects! We’ve been so lucky so far go have no more than a few drops of rain, but I think that might be set to change over the next few days. I also had my first puncture of the trip today on the busy road round Loch Lomond, which I hope isn’t the start of a trend!
Rachel cosy at the B&B with the rain and midgies safely outside!
We finished off the day nicely with Haggis, Neaps and Tatties at a local pub! Warming and tasty on a misty evening!
If you’d like to donate to Alzheimer’s reasearch, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harriet-bowyer-lejog

Here’s the day’s ride on Strava:

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