Dumgoyne - 427m
Thursday 16th June 2011

Weather/Conditions: Sunny all day. Great weather.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 44.5km / 800m / 3h 45m
Accompanying: Alone

It started innocently enough. My bike tyres were flat so I took Steve's for a run along the West Highland Way.

Following multiple cycles to Craigmore in the preceding weeks, I was finding it easier to cycle out here, not to mention I'd sussed out the WHW route finding from Milngavie. It's not obvious and people do get lost. As I arrived on the road to Craigmore, I changed plans and continued along the West Highland Way to Dumgoyne. It would be fun to climb Dumgoyne, then I could cycle back. So I cycled down to the distillery and left my bike by the river, along with all but the bare essentials, and began walking.

I don't think I've ever climbed a mountain as fast as today. I don't know whether the bike had warmed me up or it was the little boy with his family behind me trying to catch me up. But I held a fast walk on the edge of sustainability and walked to the top in the staggering time of 22:31, a phenomenal figure for 400m ascent. And yes, I beat the wee boy - I admit it was competition on my part!

I took a breather at the summit, and started running down - how fast could I do that? My trainers slipped and slid all over the place but I made it back to the bike in 11 minutes. 35 minutes up and down was good going, but I was shattered! What next? Maybe if I had time, I could cycle to Conic Hill and climb it too? I jumped back on my bike and headed out the West Highland Way again.

The thrill of taking on this kind of challenge was refreshing, and all the better that I'd come from my front door. I thought this would be great to do Dumgoyne and Conic Hill in a day, by bike - I probably won't do this again for a while (so much bloody effort!) then as I cycled out of Gartness, I got a call.

It was Steve, who was just home from work.

"Kev, are you at Craigmore? I was wondering if you wanted to go up Dumgoyne?"
"Eh... I've already been up Dumgoyne today, but I'm cycling out to Conic Hill if you want to come."

So he jumped in dad's car and came out to join me. I cycled into Garadhban forest, and dropped down to Balmaha, where only metres away from the village entrance, my phone went again.

"Hi, this isn't Steve - he's had a crash but is okay... The car isn't."

Steve had crashed the car at Croftamie into the corner or someone's garden. The home owner on the phone (I forget her name) was right - he was fine, the car was smashed. Now I had to get to Croftamie, and there wasn't a hope in hell but to cycle! I had a panic to myself then cycled on the roads as hard as I could - but difficult because I was still very tired.

And so my day ended at Croftamie and not at Conic Hill... I got in later than hoped, but it did mean I got a lift home with the bike.

Dumgoyne and Conic Hill by bike await for another day, perhaps.

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 5.00pm Home
(1.00) 6.00pm Glengoyne Distillery
(1.22) 6.22pm Dumgoyne
(1.26) 6.26pm Dumgoyne (left)
(1.37) 6.37pm Glengoyne Distillery
(3.10) 8.10pm Balmaha
(3.45) c. 8.45pm Croftamie

Written: 2011-08-03