The Ardrossan to Alexandria ride

June 1998
65 km

I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures from that tour. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Ardrossan" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures

This ride was done a couple of hours after my first Isle Of Arran ride because I thought it was a good idea to combine that ride with this ride. I did not know how hellish hard Isle Of Arran was and it was too late to choose the train when I arrived back in Ardrossan Harbour again on the ferry from Brodick Bay. I could simply not afford the train fare.

The 90 km long ride around Isle Of Arran had taken a lot out of me, but the 50 minutes long ferry sailing gave me some respite for what I believed was a pretty easy ride back to Alexandria again. The terrain seemed easy from the train.
I disembarked from the ferry around 1500 in Ardrossan and took the coastal road B780 towards and through Saltcoats. So far, so flat. I reached the much bigger mainroad road and followed that to the pretty big town Kilwinning. This is a pretty confusing place and I was almost on my way down to Irvine in the opposite direction of my intended direction before I corrected this error and set off inland on the A 737 road towards Dalry . This road had some pretty heavy traffic, but it was mercifully flat along a river. I was pretty tired after the Arran ride and I was also keeping an anxious eye on the clock which was merciless ticking towards night. I reached Dalry and the foot of the climb which I had noted from the train.
The bike ride on the A 737 road from Dalry over Beith to was soul destroying hard and dull. I stopped on a petrol station outside Beith for some drink and asked the attendants about how the road was. For me, it seemed like it was climbing forever. Mostly, it did. Beith is the highest point on the road at around 150 meters above sea level. But there was a heck of a lot of up and downs on the road to Johnstone. The road also became a motorway at the end and I was illegally riding it until I reached the turn off to Johnstone. From here, I cycled the rather easier way over Elderslie down to Paisley. I got lost numerous times between Johnstone and Paisley though and what is now familiar roads for me was then very unfamiliar to me. I finally negoatiated Paisley and found the A 726 taking be past Glasgow Airport to the Erskine Bridge. It had taken me sluggish long time to cross over from Ardrossan to Glasgow Airport and I crossed the Erskine Bridge just before midnight. Thankfully, it was still light and I had a a good ride past Dumbarton and up to my flat again in Alexandria after a very hard day on the saddle. I was dead tired and slept like a log that night.


A ride where I in hindsight chose the wrong roads throughout. The easiest route is from Ardrossand over the hill to Giffordland, Dalry and to Kilbirnie where the cycle path is bypassing all the heavy traffic and hills to Paisley. That is a mere three hours reasonable easy bikeride. Instead, my ride took me around six and a half hours of hard bikeriding. Therefore, do not repeat this ride due to heavy traffic and not that interesting terrain. That is my advice.