A Cold Crisp Night

Wednesday night pedals had resumed again after the Xmas and New Year break and the peloton was looking at 4 until ASBO looked set to pull out due to a bout of the man flu. A can of MTFU later and he was back in the Peloton, determined to get his first miles of 2013 under his belt, oh, and the first miles for 3 months! Was going to be a sore one for him!

It was a cold crisp but dry night, therefore Stevie, Willie and myself had opted for the bibtights while ASBO being ASBO wanted to show the world his braw legs and opted for shorts! ASBO had phoned me on the Tuesday night saying he was having issues with his light keeping charge, so Stevie offered to loan him one of his floodlights for the night.

We all gathered at mine, me, Stevie P, ASBO and Willie and sorted ASBO out with one of Stevie’s light. Just as we were about to set off I said “One rule tonight guys, no punctures because it’s a cold night“, boy was I to regret that comment later on!

We set off and headed to Langlands at a fairly decent pace and ASBO was doing well keeping up. As we passed the Langlands depot and turned left towards the golf course and back roads we were met with a sign saying closed road, that was going to be the theme of the night! We turned back and headed towards Lindsayfield swinging a left at the back of the Morrisions and onto the back roads that way. Willie leaded the way as we took a wee detour to get to Ardochrig. The climb over the rig was nowhere near as bad as it was last Saturday, still tough going tho!

During the climb we were met head on by a Land Rover and I pulled into the left, but as it was dark I hadn’t noticed that I’d pulled a little too far to the left and entered the ditch and tyre track left by some of the construction traffic. They’ve been doing a lot of work on Ardochrig and beyond, causing the road to become littered with debris and caked in mud. I somehow manged top keep myself upright and pedal back out the ditch.

As we crested Ardochrig we were met with the second Closed Road sign, but chose to ignore it and carry on. Again the road was littered with debris and mud which in turn caked us in mud. As we carried on past the cottages and down to the T-junction, right taking you to Darvel and left taking you to the back of Strathaven, we swung a left and I suddenly felt my back wheel slide out……. YIP I’d cursed myself at the start of the night mentioning that no-one should get a puncture! Doh

This time Willie and Stevie heard my cry for help, unlike Saturday on the Muirkirk road when they didn’t hear it, or chose just to ignore it! Stevie dressed in his high-viz RAC vest took over the reigns and started on removing my tyre while I looked for my CO2 canisters which I duly found, only to discover that I’d forgotten to replace the used ones from Saturday! Not to worry my mobile mechanic Stevie had a spare one on him, not that it really mattered as I did have my hand pump as backup. With the tyre changed we carried on and not far up the road I realised I hadn’t pushed the catch on my brake caliper back down, so cue my mobile mechanic Stevie who leaned over and closed it on the move!

We carried on into Strathaven and were met with our third Road Closed sign! Again we chose to ignore it and carried on heading back out of Strathaven past the park, onto the Strathaven road for half a mile, then swinging a left back onto the back roads. ASBO was starting to feel it at this point so I dropped back a little while he caught up and we re-grouped further up the road. As we cycled along Millwell Road ASBO’s light died so we stopped and I gave him my Lupine off my handlebars as I still had my helmet light. Just as I fixed the light onto ASBO’s bars my helmet light dimmed as the battery was running out. I switched it to flashing mode and managed to make it home before the battery died completely.

Two valuable lessons were learnt from the pedal:

  1. Never mention the word PUNCTURE before, during or after a pedal
  2. Always replace used CO2 canisters with new ones before your next ride