Saturday 20th February
‘Caerlaverock’ covers both the castle and the nature reserves (the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust reserve and the National Nature Reserve) and this straightforward loop south of Dumfries along the Nith gives you the opportunity to visit all of them. Caerlaverock Castle is a unique triangular medieval fortress, while the nature reserves play host to huge numbers of overwintering birds, including almost the entire population of Svalbard’s Barnacle Geese.
This 20 mile ride should be accessible to most riders – apart from a sharp little climb at the beginning and the pull out of Bankend towards the end, it’s fairly flat, and of course we will be setting a gentle pace.
We’ll meet opposite the entrance to Dock Park at 10 am. The aim is to head out along the Nith via Glencaple, and to return via Bankend, which will mean that the prevailing south-westerlies will be at our backs on the way home, but if the wind is against us, we’ll go via Bankend first and return via Glencaple. We’ve a choice of lunch stops – depending on when people start to feel hungry, both the castle and the WWT reserve have cafes (and for the really desperate, there’s the Glencaple tea room as well).
As with all our winter rides we will be keeping an eye on the conditions and if the roads are likely to be dangerous due to snow, ice or flooding we will cancel, but otherwise the ride will go ahead unless, in the opinion of the ride leader, it will be no fun…
As with all our social rides, we will go ‘at the speed of chat’ and nobody ever gets left behind – and there’s no shame in walking up any of the hills. These are sociable and friendly rides, with an emphasis on meeting new people and seeing new places, rather than clocking up the miles. And we’re always delighted to welcome anyone along, however experienced or inexperienced a rider they are. The Glencaple Road is a little busier than some of our routes, but in a group it will be fine even for a novice or nervous rider.