Stage 3 - Dumbarton to Carlisle





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Finally finished Stage 3 after some confusion of how to get to our Hotel. The only access to the Hotel was via the A74 which is being turned into a Motorway and doesn't allow cyclists so We cycled to LongTown as this was the and got a lift from there. We should pick up the route tomorrow where we finished  today.

The day did not start so well. We had plans to set off from Dumbarton at 5am on the dot. Unfortunately Steve could not find his Helmet which delayed us slightly. When we finall got going at around half 5, we had been going for about 15 minutes before I hit a bump or pot hole in the road which burst my inner tube. When we finally get back on our bikes, we headed towards Erskine Bridge, only to find that the cycle path was closed and they where no longer allowing us to cycle on the road, which is ridiculous at 6am when there are no cars on the road. We managed to get ourselves across by jumping across the carrageway and going over on the wrong side.

Unfortunatley there are not many pictures today. This is due to the fact that we where all miserable because of the conditions of the road and the slow going. We where climbing for about 30 miles. The climb was not steep, but we could not see our average speed increasing which is quite demoralising when you are putting quite a bit of effort in.

We stopped off at Strathhaven for a cup of tea and a Sausage Butty which was very welcome. Back on the bikes again and just a few miles down the road a further breakdown for me!! (Thats two to me now today!!) My chain had somehow got wrapped round the crank and jammed between the crank and the front Derailiuer (which is now bent!).

We finally got going again and managed to get some miles under our belt. We had climbed to around 1000 feet and finally started to decend. Once we reached the 60 mile mark, our average speed started to pick up when Steve got a puncture. Again we sorted it and got underway. We had about 10 miles to Go to Beatock and rattled through them pretty quickly as it was all sound Hill.

John was waiting for us in Johnstone Bridge where he made us a very welcome breakfast. After about an hour and a half we set off for the last 25 miles with a photo call ( the only one of the day) at Gretna on the border of England.

When we got to Longtown we realised that we could not get to our Hotel as I mentioned so it will be fun trying to get underway tomorrow.

Hope that tomorrow is going to better, as we are back in old Blighty and we will be cycling though the Lake District, although not  the scenic parts as we will be heading down the A6. Early start, so we shall be heading off to bed by about 9.

Until tomorrow...