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YHA Day 11: Camping outside Dumfries to Ardrossan B&B
    25/06/2013 10:25

Day 11: Camping outside Dumfries to Ardrossan B&B

A Biking Good Ride woke at the crack of dawn. Birdsong and the odd passing vehicle acted as our makeshift snooze button. We'd hit jackpot the previous evening after a local farmer gave us a field to pitch our tent. This punctual start to the day would surely mean an early finish.

Day 11 Route: Camping outside Dumfries to Ardrossan B&B
Mileage: 71 Miles
Song of the Day: You take the A-road, and I'll take the B-road.
Phrase of the Day: 'This is the earliest we've left, we should be there by 3pm!' (Gareth)

There were a couple of errands to run in Dumfries before we could set off. A bolt was missing from a bike and we needed to get some internet connection to make this here blog. It became apparent when cruising into town our independent coffee shop dream was being crushed. Starbucks was the only establishment offering Wifi and a hot gloopy liquid resembling coffee.

We found a great bike shop. It's a knowledgeable outfit (Cycle Centre, Dumfries) and their willingness to help at short notice was most appreciated. During Tom's bike surgery John, our highly experienced bike mechanic, spotted a serious back wheel injury. After a spot of deliberation, chin wagging and head scratching we decided to take a hit and get the repairs done. Best be safe than sorry. Big thanks to John and his team for their help. We'd like to take this opportunity to promote your shop’s new coffee and internet offering.

In amongst all this high octane action we'd forgotten the time. Somehow we'd managed to creep into the afternoon and were slowly waving goodbye to our day. The repairs would take some time. We went for a pootle around town.

At approximately four o'clock we left Dumfries and began our journey on the A76. If there was an award for the longest, most beautiful, dare we say 'sexy', stretch of tarmac then it would be handed upon a podium, wholeheartedly, to contestant number 76. We flew amongst the hills of the lowlands, relishing every minute we descended and confidently powering into any climb. We all decided that it was some of the best riding yet. The sun dropped suddenly that evening and we re-grouped for our final pedal into Ardrossan.

The warmest welcome was had at Edenmore B&B by Moira our friendly host. Her family run an excellent service and we highly recommend stopping here. If you're arriving late in Ardrossan for a next day departure on the ferry this is great solution when cycling. We were overwhelmed by a little pampering after hundreds of miles in the saddle.

It was overall a very long, but exciting day. Similar to setting off eleven days ago in the south of England, Scotland felt new and unchartered. We were about to enter the great wilderness. Like walking Christmas dinners, giant hunks of delicious fresh meat with the popularity of a teenage boy band, we'd be eaten and followed by swarms of new fans. Do they have a Twitter account and can they see us coming? The Scottish Midge - our new friends.

By Harry Hosteller

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