P.J.'s bicycle tour in Scotland

Friday, June 14, 1996

From Parton to Ayr

51.9 miles

On the road
On the road

As my trip through Scotland was about to reach the end -- there were only two days left before flying back to Germany -- and the distance I still had to cover to get to the airport wasn't too big, I took it pretty slow in these last days.

After breakfast I went to that small shop at the camping site and paid for the last night. On that occasion I couldn't help but buy the book "Braveheart". No matter what you think about William Wallace, I liked Mel Gibson in that film. And so from time to time I just stopped at the side of the road, smoking a cigarette and reading a chapter in the book.

The weather was very warm and sunny that day, I think it were up to 22 degrees Celsius. Of course this was wonderful, but on the other side it was nearly to warm for cycling. But I should be glad, that I could finish my tour with sunshine.

Lunch time
Lunch Time

After leaving Parton, I followed the A713 which would bring me to Ayr. It is a nice road, not totally flat and very good to ride.

Somewhere along that road, it must have been about 1 o'clock, I drove off the road and cooked lunch. Normally I didn't cook until in the evening, but I still had enough to eat with me and I had planned to stay in a B&B the next night. And as I didn't want to take anything back to Germany which wasn't absolutely necessary, well, I stopped for a longer break than usual.

On the road
On the road

About half past three I reached Dalmellington where at a gas station I bought some cigarettes and an Magnum ice. Just as I pushed my bicycle to the other side of the road to a bench for enjoying the ice in the afternoon sun, I saw that my front wheel was going flat. I first finished the ice and then started to mend the bike.

I had just started to do so, when the bells of the nearby school rang and all the kids came out to wait for the bus or their parents to pick them up. So I did my best to give them a lesson about how fast a flat bicycle wheel can be repaired. To be honest, I didn't mend the tube, I just put in the spare tube. When I had finished that, I talked with some of the kids for a couple of minutes until all of them were gone, and then I hit the road myself.

The rest of the ride was quite uneventful, so I arrived in Ayr at 5.30. When I came to the camping site, there was another guy there who was just repairing his bicycle. He was from Germany as well (are we Germans the only people crazy enough to cycle through Scotland?) and was finishing a two weeks trip. He had a broken spoke (does anybody know how this can happen?) and had dismounted all the chainwheels to put in the new spoke. When I saw the tools he carried with him, I was glad I had my kevlar repair set, because all these big wrenches seemed pretty heavy to me.

As the camping site was a couple of miles out of town, I stayed at 'home' for the evening, reading until midnight and then went to sleep.