The Heads of Ayr is on the west coast of Scotland. It is a tourist spot. Lots of golf courses, amusement parks, etc. Still in pretty good shape, but the tourist industry suffered after 2006. We have heard time and again how harsh this was for them. We cruised leisurely through this cute beach town..Charlie and Skye stopped at a playground and frolicked like children. Leaving town, we mostly stuck to Scotland’s excellent trail system. It is based largely on a system of old narrow gauge railroads which became obsolete, so the tracks were replaced with smooth pavement...at least on the west of Scotland. Also we rode a lot on trails next to canals, which were not as good as the rail trails, probably because the underlying foundation was less heavy duty. We expected steep hill climbs in Scotland, but both of these types of trails meant that the grades were almost completely flat! Go figure. The way to Lochwinnock, however, was coastal roads and had steep climbs. When we arrived in town the local places were booked, so we went to the local pub..The Four Churches. ..they had live music, Irish versions of Bruce Springsteen ballads largely...and they helped hook us up to a farmhouse b&b. It was a mile out of town...straight up...there, once we recovered, we were delighted with a very happy welcoming host, twenty beautiful pregnant cows in the backyard, and an invitation to use their sitting room to watch a soccer match and eat our dinner of Skye wraps. The consequence of the climb was an astonishing view across the valley with the lake at the bottom. Completely pleasant. The gardener gave us a primer on “midges”..their version of the annoying biting fly. He gave us a bottle of “jungle juice”, with enough deet to kill small children or your dog.
Our hosts name was Mary. .she was jolly! After leaving her we rode down to town again and visited a bird and nature sanctuary. There was a wetland associated with the big lake . We did a nature hike and saw birds. Then on to Glasgow and another warm showers host. His name was Gordon and he lived on an upscale urban neighborhood. To get there we braved a mile long tunnel under a deep river...way down then way back up. I walked. Charlie’s aggressive style is in full flower on the urban environment...I am mostly terrified. He hits the cars (on purpose?) They don't hit him. We joined with a friendly cyclist, who helped us navigate to a grocery. We then went to Gordon’s, cooked a pasta meal for all of us. Had rousing conversations, and went to bed. I am an aggressive conversationalist, like Charlie is an aggressive cyclist. Poor Skye.
We suffered more “punctures” on Charlie’s Continental Comfort tires. They are now patched, and will be replaced.. The punctures were caused by small red flintlike stones. Skye fixed the last one.