Yesterday, Tuesday, I decided to take the bike round, what used to be a favourite area of mine for the bike and hill walking, Callander. It was another beautiful day, what a pleasure cycling in a short sleeved shirt, a rare occurrence in Scotland. One summer, back in the days when I called myself a cyclist, I done the same run every Sunday for the entire season. It was a beautiful run, starting at my front door in the north of Glasgow, I would head for Lennoxtown, then up the Crow Road over the Campsies to Fintry. From there you climb past what cyclist used to call "th' tap o'th wurld" (The top of the world), though it wasn't, for you are still climbing up to Kippen. From there you get a magnificent run downhill, then a few miles of flat road over what I believe is part of Flanders Moss. This flat leads to another climb up to Thornhill, from there you start another set of undulating hills, but it is ever upwards. Eventually you reach the top and then its flying down all the way to a lovely flat stretch as you head into Callander. Usually it was something to eat in Pipps Tearoom in Ancaster Square, before heading home via a different route.
Homeward bound would be from Callander over the Breas of Greenock, nowhere near Greenock, it is quite a climb, and then a run down past the Lake of Menteith, to the Aberfoyle road (one year when I was a young man the Lake froze over for months, and at the weekends we would skate on it, skating out to the island). From there it would be Ward Toll, Ballat Toll, Glengoyne, famed for its whisky as much as its beauty, and then the climb out of the Blane Valley to Strathblane. It was now the home stretch via Lennoxtown and a shower and a bite to eat at home.
Ancaster Square Callander.
Main Street Callander.
On yesterday's shorter run I visited Callander, and then followed the road towards Strathyre, before retracing my route and then turning off to go along the shore of Loch Venachar, stopping at the tearoom beautifully situated on the shore of the loch. Sitting and sipping tea looking out over the loch feeling at peace with the world, (not a frequent experience) before heading back to Callander.
Looking across Loch Venachar from lochside tearoom.
Looking up Loch Venachar towards Ben Lomond.
Sadly they are now talking about the weather changing, I suppose we should expect that, after all, this is Scotland, ever changing weather is what we have.www.radicalglasgow.me.uk