With the Drumlanrig Sportive this Saturday and the Etape Caledonia the following weekend, I wanted to get some decent miles in my legs.
The route I had planned was a 52 miler over the Moors, into Fenwick, Kilmarnock, Darvel, Newmilns, Loundon, Strathaven and back into EK. My partners in crime would be Gilly, who was just literally back from the sun drenched island of Mallorca the previous day and Robbie. Ally Menzies was due to join us but had to pull out early morning due to illness.
Originally we had planned to set off at 10am but Robbie had to be back for 2pm so we opted for an earlier start and also ditched the cafe stop Robbie had his heart set on, which he was not happy about. Lol
Gilly arrived at mine looking at tad cold, slight change in the weather from Mallorca, at 8:50am and we set off to Hairmyres to collect Robbie before setting off on our adventure. First challenge of the day was the usual climb over the Moors where I was having some gear issues, and made some small adjustments on the fly.
Everything went smoothly and as planned and as we hit Kilmarnock Gilly got a big welcome home in the shape of some heavy rain! We worked well together, each taking a turn on the front working against the wind and rain and headed past Drumclog and into Strathaven, Glassford then along Muttonhole Road where we stopped for the obligatory selfie and said our fair wells.
Robbie and I then set off back to EK. As we crossed the Bridge I said to Robbie that I’d head back to his with him to get some extra miles in my legs. We had reached the 52 mile mark at this point.
As we made our way along the Queensway towards Hairmyres Robbie asked how many extra miles I was planning on doing? He looked at me in disbelief when I said I was going to do the StuTape! An additional 27 miles and another assualt on the Moors!
We arrived at Robbie’s and I asked if he would fill my water bottle, which he duly obliged, and on his return he was clutching TWO filled water bottles! Yip Robbie had decided I wasn’t doing the StuTape alone and joined me.
I looked across and saw Andy’s garage door lying open so cycled across and convinced him to join us on the StuTape. I’m not going to lie, the 2nd assault on the Moors was tough going and it didn’t help that I did a Gilly and forgot to chrage my Di2 battery! Half way over the Moors and my front derailleur shut down, thankfully I was in the small ring at the front, which was fine for the climbs but not that great for the flat or the downhill sections.
Plodding along we managed to make it back to Robbie and Andy’s where I left them and headed back home. With a mile to go my rear derailleur also shut down leaving me stuck in the one gear and to spin the last mile home.
79.5 miles completed with 4,098 feet of climbing. Great day and great company. A few lessons learnt today.
- Before each ride check the level of your Di2 battery! To be fair if it had been just the original 52 miles I’d have been fine
- Andy learnt to keep his garage door closed or get dragged out on a pedal!
I’m not going to lie, I was gubbed after that effort but since it was a training ride for the Etape Caledonia I also put in some training for the social side of the Etape!