Over Eaglesham Moor
2011 was the year I fully discovered the pleasures of Ayrshire. I had several very interesting forays into this area before I set my eyes on this tour over this pretty promising moor, according to Google Earth. So maps were found and the tour was drawn up. Due to a golf tournament and a sore back, I could not go longer than 60 km that day. Which was a bit short, but still better than nothing. I also got rid of my rucksack before that tour and went light. Getting rid of the rucksack was a big relief, it had to be said.
The morning were bitterly cold when I set off at around 0515 in an attempt to beat the rush traffic at the busy road towards Busby. I were in lycra, but were also freezing pretty heavy. The traffic were light so I made good progress up the not too steep hills to Busby where I left the busy main road and went up the road towards Eaglesham. The road went into a steady climb, but not too bad. I crossed a couple of roundabouts too. The one crossing the busy A726 were a bit tricky, but it went OK. I could had done the underpass, but I was too lazy to dismount the bike and walk the underpass. But it has been duly noted for a busy day.
Looking back towards Glasgow from the road up to Eaglesham
The last climb up to Eaglesham was pretty vertical so I took it easy there. The road dropped into Eaglesham from a small hilltop. This village is a listed village and a designated heritage site. It is a very pretty village so I fully agree with that status. I took the Montgomery Road up a vertical climb towards the moor and soon got some very good views towards Glasgow again.
Towards Glasgow again after passing Eaglesham
The road now entered the moor and a pretty big climb up to the proper moor. The road were excellent, but there were a bitterly cold wind there so I continued in a good speed.
Looking up this road towards the moor
Looking down the road from the top of the first hill towards East Kilbride and Hamilton
Looking towards the first mountain top of Eaglesham Moor
The road up to the first of the two mountain tops which is the top of Eaglesham Moor was very spetacular with excellent views. The last bit of the climb were vertical as the picture above will tell you. There were also a very nice loch up there and altogether spectacular views. I was now at around 300 meters above sea level, 20 km after I had started at 12 meters above sea level in Paisley.
I had a look at the second and final climb in the distance...
Looking towards the second mountain top of Eaglesham Moor from the first top
The whole ride had taken the feeling of being an above 1000 meters sea level ride in Norway. Hence, I greatly enjoyed the fresh air and simply being there with the whole ambience and the views. I made my way down a small hill to the bottom of the final climb which thankfully was not as bad as the first climb. I was soon at the second top and looked down on Ayrshire and towards Goatfellat Isle Of Arran in the distance. I could even see the ocean between the mainland and Isle Of Arran.
Looking down at Ayrshire. Goatfell on Isle Of Arran is the mountain in the background
Looking towards the north and the hills above Paisley. My route took me to the extreme left and through a valley out of sight
The descent down and into Ayrshire was straight forward and not that bad. I ended up in a forest and a good road took me down to the old Glasgow to Kilmarnock main road who followed next to the new motorway. The old main road had next to no traffic so I had a good ride down the valley until I reached a roundabout outside Fenwick. The very scenic and undulating B778 took me over a small hill to Stewarton. There were some breathtaking views over the sea from the top of this hill. So much that I forgot to take a picture of it. But no picture or camera could offer that view any justice. It was brilliant. The descent into Stewarton was hairy with a sudden stop just outside the village where I stood on my brakes to avoid a car who had the right of way. But the ride through Stewarton was OK and I rode over Dunlop to Lugton.
I am not that happy about the road through the narrow Lugton to Barrhead valley. The road over Gleniffer Brae is to familiar too so I went up the valley and then took off over Uplawmoor Village on the recommondation of a friend of mine (hi, Michael). I had heard a lot of positive things about this village and it was spot on. It is a pretty village. I then proceeded through the village in the belief the road would rejoin the valley somewhere up the road. I was wrong. Neilston 3 miles it said. I was lost...... but what a nice place to get lost it was !
Looking across the valley towards Gleniffer Braes and down to the road where I should had been instead of being lost
The cycling up to Neilston was stunning brilliant on an undulating, twisting road. I was soon at Neilston village after some rather vertical short hills at the end. This gave me an oppurtunity to get to know this village better and I loved it. Great place.
Overlooking Barrhead and Glasgow from just outside Neilston
The descent down to Barrhead is a vertical drop. I went the opposite way 14 days ago and there is a significant time difference between going up and down, yes. From Barrhead, I chose the scenic road over Glenburn to Paisley and ended up in some traffic chaos and Paisley city centre before crashing in my bed at the end of this tour.
Another brilliant find again in a month full of great bikerides. A classic ride in my view and probably an annual ride too. Eaglesham Moor was the highlight, but the rest of the route was also excellent. A highly recommended ride it is.