I rode up to the little town of Scotlandwell which in the bright day had a distinct American feel to it - the long straight road leading through fields to the little township underneath the hill, then through Portmoak Moss wood to join the loch Levan heritage trail.
The loch has a small castle on an island in it that imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots for two years before her escape.
|Loch Leven from above Cleish|
After lunching by the lochside I climbed up following the NCN1- where every cyclist other than me was whizzing down the hill. I kept pushing, trying to look like it was a breeze and stopping to 'admire the view' when really I was having a quick breather.
I came off the road onto some fire track at the top of Blairadam forest and spent a leisurely time exploring some of the off road trails through the trees. The forest isnt purpose built for mountain biking and there are no off track signposted routes so it was rather hit & miss with the terrain and I had to stop & start quite alot. I was very grateful for some shade though.
The route http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=284237