Our second long weekend away, saw 12 members heading to Dumfries and Galloway, staying in the Dumfries Premier Inn, Travelodge and a local Caravan Site. We choose these hotels because they are kind enough to allow us to store out bikes in our rooms.
As we do on our regular Sunday rides at home, we split into two groups, offering a choice of short or long rides. There's a bit of a mixture described here as the two groups mixed and matched over the weekend.
A short explaratory ride as we got our bearings, with Harry preaching the virtues of two wheels to the already converted.
The long ride set off along the old military road to Castle Douglas (we couldn't find a castle!) for toasted teacakes, and then on to Kirkcudbridge on the coast, where we negotiated what was labelled on our OS maps as the "DANGER AREA", an MOD firing range. With the possibility of live shells and tanks, we stuck closely to the road. Luckily the red flags weren't flying, so we were perfectly safe, and enjoyed fantastic views across the Solway Firth to Silloth and Maryport, with the Lake District mountains in the background.
At Dundrennan, we stopped again for afternoon tea and met a tandem couple from Bolton who owned a B&B nearby. Chatting gave us some good route options for the next day. (Kippford Beach - see photos).
On the way back we spotted what we beleive were Red Kite on several occasions.
As both groups had similar goals today, we decided to meet at Southerness Point for lunch, and ride together then onwards.
For the long ride, we wanted to complete the Solway coastal route we'd started covering on Saturday, so we headed out to Dalbeattie then followed the coastline to Kippford Beach which is composes entirely of Clamshells (see photos). The road doesn't go any further here, so we found a rough track along the coast until we reached tarmac a little further on, and then the road to Southerness Point.
After lunch we all returned via New Abbey and Sweetheart Abbey.
With some members wanting to spend time in Dumfries, only one group rode out today, heading down the River Nith and east to Annan for lunch. Here a couple left us as they were driving home that evening.
The rest of us then headed north to Lockerbie, and the memorial gardens of the 1988 air disaster - quite a sobering moment.
With the intention to return via Ae Village, we encountered a longish track, some very nosey cows, and a little light rain, so divered back to out hotels for the evening.
With the remainder of our party heading home, a couple of us decided a final short morning ride was still in order, so we made a quick trip back to New Abbey for morning coffee. A stray calf en-route added to the entertainment as we helped heard it back towards it's calling mother in the adjacent field.
Just a few general shots around Dumfries and a group shot from one of our evening meals.