Dumgoyne - 427m
Saturday 30th May 2009
Saturday 30th May 2009
The main aspect to this walk wasn't the fact that I climbed Dumgoyne, but instead the fact that I chose to cycle out to it. Prior to this, I'd not cycled in years and I was recalling old skills of cycling as well as getting accustomed to cycling on the roads. Having brought my bike back to life the night before with WD40 and a pump, I was up at 5am, setting out soon after sunrise. The passing of cars was infrequent and it gave me a chance to adjust to cycling on the road. Pedalling in the morning light with few others around was a pleasant experience. The bike allowed for a far more intimate experience with the surrounding land, allowing me to stop anywhere I wished. You miss the details of the land and other 'corners' in a car, but if something took my fancy, I found it easy to divert off the road and go have a look.
When I arrived in Strathblane, I cycled to the war memorial and cut up the private road. There were still no cars on the road, so I had the sense of having this place to myself. I cycled as far the the forests above Glengoyne Distillery where I left the bike behind the trees. From here onwards, I continued on foot up to Dumgoyne. It would be a short walk, but the views were beautiful and I was in no rush - none whatsoever. I had a definite sense that I had all the time in the day to walk, so why go with speed? I held a comfortable pace all the way to the top.
Around about, the sky was absolutely cloudless. To the north, some clouds were streaming off the high ground between Conic Hill and Ben Lomond, but to the south, there was little haze. I'd chosen to climb the shaded side of Dumgoyne and therefore managed to keep cool. The sun would have been punishing, even at this early hour. Towards the summit, the breeze grew in strength but when I arrived on top at 7.50am, the warming sun was now above. This was the making of a beautiful and vibrant day.
I left Dumgoyne's summit after five minutes and descended with speed, passing a group of four walkers along the way. They wore gear suitable to climb a Munro, I was in shorts, lightweight trail boots and carrying just a camera. I was glad to be free of the clutter of walking gear, and glad to be moving light and fast. I arrived back at the bike at 8.10am. I had taken 40 minutes to reach the summit, five minutes at the top and 15 minutes down.
I began cycling at Glengoyne Distillery and stopped in Killearn for some much needed food and drink. On drained muscles, I cycled back to Strathblane, catching a bus to take me most of the way home. The driver was none too pleased to see a bike on his bus. I wasn't happy about putting my bike on a bus, but I knew I could never cycle the hill out of Strathblane with no energy in my legs. The particular hill I speak about follows hairpin bends and this gives some hint as to the steepness of the road. It's fascinating that while I built myself a set of muscles that will climb mountains effectively, relatively little cycling had reduced my legs to a quivering mess. I was glad to be able to climb this hill from the comfort of a bus, I simply could never had made it. But after the bus dropped me off, it was a ten or fifteen minute cycle home, this time through heavier traffic. I arrived home in good time to miss the heat of the day, too hot for my own taste...
Campsies in the morning