Late last year and for no particular reason, I took a day off work and headed off to Dumfries on the Triumph. I hadn’t been out much on any of my bikes and I was getting withdrawal symptoms, so I decided that what I needed was a wee run to chase away the cobwebs.
I thought that I’d take in some minor and back roads and avoid the motorway. This meant taking the A702 which runs pretty much all the way from Edinburgh to New Galloway, near Castle Douglas, and scene of many a rally of yesteryear. It's a nice stretch of road which swoops and twists through the countryside although, in places, the surface leaves a lot to be desired. Not enough to be unpleasant, just enough to keep you on your toes. If you want a bit of a challenge, then I can heartily recommend it.
Having reached New Galloway, I kept going and ended up in the picturesque village of Port William for lunch. It’s not a very big place, some houses, a few shops, a hotel and a harbour from which, apparently, on a clear day, you can see all the way to the Isle of Man.
Also, for some unspecified reason there is a statue of an old man moodily staring out to sea next to the harbour. If nothing else it gives you something to take a photo of.
I didn't stop long, and on the way back I pulled in to the Bladnoch WhiskyDistillery for a bit of a look around and to pick myself up a wee present for when I got home. Well, you have to, don’t you?
Even though it was a dry sunny day and the roads were mercifully traffic-free I don't think I saw another motorcycle on the trip until I was almost home. The A720 Edinburgh City Bypass (a major four-lane dual carriageway) was full of idiots on race-reps, travelling at warp-factor 9, weaving in and out of the traffic, and generally behaving like a dick. Pretty much what they do any time the sun comes out at the weekend. And you wonder why the general public has a problem with motorcycles.
Anyway, once home I toted up the mileage, a not inconsiderable 340 miles for the day's jaunt. A long, challenging day, but a surprisingly satisfying one.