Saturday 10th April.
BELLS BRIDGE - JOHNSTONE 13 MLS


A pleasant morning Jane's customary Jog round the Hodbarrow then we all packed bikes cases, panniers, Was Graeme really going to manage for a week with so little,(I don't know how he does it). We were to meet Colin and Karen at Gretna at 1230ish?. We left Haverigg to dull sky's and started to drive through the Lakes steady progress due to Saturday morning sheep movements near Coniston. Then just as we nosed onto the A 66 eastbound tail back traffic for over a mile. Quick change of plan en route again via Bassenthwaite Wigton (for a comfort break) Carlisle and eventually Gretna. The system works and Colin and Karen are waiting in the car park, but where's his bike. No worry it was dismantled in the boot.

Although cool the sun is shining. Cup of coffee in Gretna then we head north in convoy.

Glasgow (M8) we pull off into some tenement area a little down at heel. We follow Colin apparently his TRAFFIC MASTER said there is a 40minute delay on the M8, what he didn't tell us it was going to take us an hour  to find Bells Bridge the start of our ride, driving through Glasgow City centre on a Saturday afternoon .Eventually we see the Sign for the SEC but Colin is in the wrong lane.  

BELLS BRIDGE READY FOR THE OFF

We get to Bells Bridge, apart from a strong cold wind there is no one around strange for a large City. Colin and Karen eventually arrive and after much bike blowing over, cycle assembling, we eventually get going for the 13 mile trip to Johnstone. As we cross Bells Bridge in the blowing gale I comment its a long way to TYNEMOUTH.
We follow the cycle routes through Govan circling the Ibrox Football Ground trying to make headway before the match finishes.

The Strathclyde Police tow truck taking away illegally parked cars causes amusement. We cycle along a mixture of cycle lanes tracks and back streets not the most inspiring start to a long ride. Painted on a sign English Scum does not help. Colin asks what signs are we following this year, I say route 7 followed by Route 10 .The next sign we see is a route 75.Which I have to explain is actually route 7 as well as route 75. CONFUSED ?.
We cycled through a mixture of urban streets, canal side and cycle lanes and eventually out of Glasgow. We appeared in Paisley High Street the signs dropped us. We went with a hunch and were going in the opposite direction when a chap with a GT CYCLES Baseball cap pointed us back in the direction we came and back onto the cycle route.

We start to see Lochwinnoch painted on the Cycle tracks,! know that's tomorrows stamping station so we are going in the right direction.

Colin does his first circling of a hillcrest. Steady ride along the cycle route up through Elderslie birthplace of William Wallace, not the beautiful little village nestled in the Highlands that Hollywood would have you imagine. Somebody makes a wise crack is their a Braveheart Balti House. Eventually into Johnstone a ride round the town and an ask for directions. We arrived at North View Guest House the girls were there and it was very nice place. Gear off and to the rooms. After some discussion we decided to eat at the Bird in Hand the Hotel Landlady said don't go in the Bar and apart from the locals fighting in the car park we had a very pleasant evening. A long day shortly before midnight crashed out.

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