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Monday the 17th of July.

The big 300

We slept considerably well in the tent, in spite of the smell we had to put up with as a consequence of accidentally pitching the tent on a dog turd.

Myself, Matt and Dan joined Bryn and Dad in the house and sat for breakfast. The room looked over Loch Lomand and had perhaps the most stunning views available from any breakfast table in the world.

The midges were a real menace as we broke camp and Dad's face was bitten until he began to look like the he'd developed the acne of a 13 year old boy who bathed in chip fat. With the tent packed away we got ready for our ride. While Matt was getting a drink of water it was noted by one of the older members of the team that the glass he was using had been used to soak a set of dentures overnight. Eeeugh!

Looking at the map we seemed to have quite a nasty dual carriageway to take us into our next town. However, it wasn't long before we found a cycle lane that took us around the beautiful Loch Lomand. We stopped at Balloch and popped into the Tourist Information Centre to see if the cycle route that followed the River Clyde was suitable for road bikes with narrow tyres, experience has taught us that very often cycle routes are only suitable for cycles built stronger than a Sherman Tank.

We were advised that we would be fine. Result! It seems we can get from Luss to Glasgow without traffic. And so we did. Though we would say that only 75% of the path is suitable for any bike less sturdy than a hard tail mountain bike, but we were on it and kept going. We had to cross a narrow mud field filled with cows, that didn't seem to be impressed by our presence, and near Duntocher we were diverted from the path through a wooded mud path that saw our wheels sink 6 inches or so. But, on the whole, it was preferable to a cycle with the traffic, and we met some other End to Enders who's names I wish I'd written down! We had a quick chat, compared routes and generally enjoyed a shared smugness about our common challenge.

Matt Edward and Dan at the 300 mile mark in Glasgow

As we approached Glasgow our vista's became a little more urban. Here I have seen what must be a world first. A Sail Through Fish and Chip Takeaway. On the side of the river there was a Fish and Chip Shop with a window for boats to sail up to for fast service. I never took a picture. Dagnammit.

Gary and Edward at the 300 mile mark in Glasgow

In Hamilton we found quite a nice Italian Restaurant and had lunch. Then we set off for Abington.

Our route was pleasant, though the roads are a bit rough. You may not notice in a car but on a cycle, the roads here wear you down until you feel every little imperfection in its surface jolt through the seat of your pants. Yup, a full suspension MTB might have certain advantages here. There was also a good deal of hill climbing and with the heat, water became a bit of an issue. But the last 5 miles or so saw an nice easy (mostly) downhill ride into Abington

In planning the trip we set our sights on Abington as a place to stay but ended up booking digs in Bigar. We decided to head for Abington and use the van to pick us up, drop us back the following morning. How disappointed we were to find a nice big hotel waiting for us in the village centre. We weren’t too disappointed once we sat down for a Lamb Roast meal with a pint of 90 shillings in this fine establishment.

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