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Blair's Dare (Stage 4 and 5)

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

Stage 4 Day 3 Grangemouth to Glasgow 67.28Km

I was a little weary as I woke up on the third day, but the "Full Mackay" - my Step Dad's fry up soon had me energised. I retraced my tracks to The Kelpies in order to make my way to Glasgow via the Forth and Clyde Canal.

As with most canal tow paths the going was good and allowed me to make rapid progress. This initial stretch links from the Kelpies to the Falkirk Wheel and in no time at all I was at the Wheel. and

Both these structures are as incredible up close as they seem in the pictures. If you haven't visited them, then I'd urge you to do so. There's plenty for the family to do at both locations and although you could do them both in a day they are both worth longer exploration - IMHO!

Having passed the Falkirk Wheel I continued westwards along the canal to the Auchenstarry Basin. If you are in need of refreshments at this point then you can always pop into the for a resupply.

It's worth a mention too that all along this route you follow the Antonine Wall and at various point's if you've got plenty in the tank you can hop of the canal and go visit them. This day however, for me, GlasVegas was calling and so I put the hammer down and tried to get there in time for lunch. The canal is well signposted even coming into the city. I was only following it as far as the River Kelvin and at that point I headed south into Glasgow's West End.

Arriving just before lunch I went to The Lois Mor or Lismore Bar to contemplate my options. This is a great pub and the live music is electric, though this being through the day I consigned myself to sitting outside and enjoying a well deserved pint.

I decided to head down the "Finnieston Stretch" to in truth I was spoilt for choice. This is close to the Start or Finish of the Badger Divide, depending on direction of travel. With this many great bars, I'd make it the Finish!

Stage 5 Day 4 Glasgow to Ayr 42.18Km

Fueled up and ready for the final leg, I bade farewell to Glasgow and headed south across the Bells Bridge. Crossing the River Clyde I tried to stick with the NCN7 but either missed a sign or lost concentration as my Garmin Forerunner gave up the ghost and ran out juice. The net result was me lost in Cardonald.

I swapped over to my phone and headed in a south west direction praying feverishly for signs leading to Irvine / Ayr / Troon.

This "detour" meant that my planned easy run in along the NCN7 was swapped for a climb up Uplawmoor. To be honest, whilst not easy with a loaded bike, it is manageable. Having got to the top of the climb the run into Irvine was downhill but busy with traffic.

From Irvine I was able to regain the NCN7 and continue along it to meet my family on the beach. There's plenty of good shops, cafe's and restaurants in this part of the world - all with fantastic views across the Firth of Clyde to Arran.

And that was the end of Blair's Dare. I had contemplated a Coast to Coast ride before but it took the innocent suggestion of my 4 year old nephew to come up with an adventure that would see me passing through so many great spots in this fab wee country. So here's to you Blair - Cheers, Mate!

Third Day Roll Call:

  • Distance Travelled - 109.46Km

  • Height Climbed - 434m

  • Time - 5hrs 56mins

  • Tanked Garmin's - 1

  • Roman Walls - 1

  • Pints - 2 (Lismore Bar and Taphouse Bar)

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