Millport bathed in sunshine!

Millport good picnic di photo resized for banner

The sun shone which made the wine and picnic lunch on the beach a real treat.

I wakened up early on Sunday morning with much excitement as we were heading back for a day trip to Millport – so the “old git” and the “old gal” could get some more miles clocked up under their belts as part of their training regime for this trip they have planned to tour Burgundy in September.

The day before their was some doubt as to us going at all tho as Chief Pilot was suffering from an injury – you see the “old git” that he is, he had been suffering the pain of a  pulled a muscle in his neck for a few days which was restricting his movement. Seems he injured himself using a roller on the new lawns – and wouldn’t listen to the “old gal” when she offered to help or get him to slow down! He knew best, except (as usual) he didn’t. Don’t say I told you so, but …..

However he made a remarkable recovery on Saturday and at 9am sharp on Sunday we were loaded up with the “old gal” driving to Largs and the “old git” substituted down to passenger so he wouldn’t damage himself any more.

Parked up in Largs just after 10am – a quick unload and my panniers clipped on and we were off to the ferry slipway. I must admit I do like the idea of going on a ferry now – even tho this time, there were loads of other bikes! The sunshine had put the same idea into lots of people’s heads and they were heading to the island of Millport for that flat 10.25 mile circumnavigation.

The moment we arrived I noticed some really flash looking bikes all done up in racing kit (and the “old girl” was admiring the young athletic-looking riders in their lycra shorts and tops!). There was a road racing event on which was quite exciting because as we travelled round at our sedate average of 10 miles an hour, these bikes were whizzing round at over 30 mph!

In fact my owners thought they were doing well managing to get round the island in 50 minutes – but these guys were doing it in an amazing time of just 18 minutes. We were all impressed.

It was funny tho with the “old git” and the “old girl” cycling along, crossing the finishing line on me, and everyone clapping and cheering as if we had been racing. And I am pleased to say I got more than a few admiring glances from the professionals – who obviously knew a grand old lady when they see one.

One of the reasons for going was my owners wanted to get a copy of a simple sail boat painting which they had seen in the mouth-wateringly good The Harbour restaurant on a  previous trip to the island (see blog entry “Boot Camp 1”)  Helen, the co-owner, had painted it herself and offered to do one for us if we delivered a canvas.

So that is why on the first four mile stretch from the ferry slipway into Millport the “old gal” gamely had a large square-shaped black bag strapped to her back. She did get a few funny looks – but simply explained it away with a laugh saying she had brought a picnic table along.

So after dropping off the canvas, Chief Pilot and Chief Stoker decided on a non-stop full circle of the island, then on to one of the lovely beaches on the quieter side for our picnic lunch – a total of about 15 miles. I thought it was a bit rash, but have to say was most impressed that they managed it – without any stops – and in just under an hour and a half. And they congratulated themselves as that is the longest distance they have cycled without stopping – so obviously Chief Pilot was (at last) starting to get a feel for the gears!

However it was a bit warm, and “the old git” was quite glad when they spotted the beach as he needed a breather!

Millport Chief Pilot having a breather!

Chief Pilot taking a well-earned breather after a 15 mile non-stop ride.

The duo left me by the side of the road for a rest and went down onto the beach to their private table for two made out of the rocks, before the “old gal” served up some fantastic croissant filled with smoked salmon and also crayfish tales. The “old git” even says she is getting quite good at this picnic business now! And he is not free with his compliments!

And of course the tasty morsels were washed down with a serving of white and rose wine – classily sooked through a straw! The excuse (as if one was needed!) was the heat! Millport was looking splendiferous as we sat in the warm sunshine looking out towards Rothesay.

Millport beach cheers!

Cheers! The “old git” and the “old gal” enjoying their wine during the picnic.

Lunch over and suitable refuelled, we set off again for an afternoon session which included a trip round the top of the island back into Millport, then doubling back for the ferry.

The last stretch saw them both pedalling like mad as they knew a ferry was on its way and they got up a fair head of steam – but just as we rounded the last bend, the ferry door went up and it set off. Thwarted by about 20 seconds. But the good thing is two ferries criss-cross during the summer months and another ferry was there within 15 minutes.

And let it be known that it was even warm enough for the “old gal” to sit on deck during the short crossing! Summer must be here!

Millport ferry Matilda waiting to board

Waiting for the ferry to Largs – still bathed in sunshine.

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