Having being off the bike for nine days, of which four of them were spent in Belfast drowning my body in alcohol and eating the odd takeaway, my first outing back on the bike was always going to be a sore one!
I’m well aware that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one which shouldn’t be skipped, therefore I was very conscious not to miss it. Only problem was my breakfast consisted of Jack Daniels and Coke!
Jack and I got very acquainted during the four days of the trip. He was always by my side, kind and caring and always there when things got a little tough, or I felt a little under the weather! He ALWAYS looked after me, helped ease the pain and helped me get on with the day! It’s fair to say we became VERY good friends, and I’m sure we’ll be friends for a very long time, if not for life!
Being off the bike for this sort of time it becomes easy to fall into that trap of looking for excuses to not go out as you can’t be bothered. Sadly I have to say I was in that position last night. I was scheduled to head out on the Stewarton run with Robbie but I checked the forecast and it wasn’t looking too pleasant so I text Robbie to let him know this, at the same time spending some quality time with my new best friend Jack!
Robbie, thankfully, was having none of it and basically told me to man up! So man up I did and agreed to meet him at 9am and head out on the 40 mile route. With the sensible head now on I rationed myself to just two Jack Daniels and Coke and headed to bed just before I turned into a pumpkin at midnight.
8am and my alarm woke me up and out my bed I clambered. I felt absolutely shattered, like I hadn’t slept a wink, but this wasn’t the case. I soon got my act together and headed downstairs for some breakfast…… no not Jack Daniels and Coke, Peanut M&M’s this time, just a handful mind you!
Gail and the boys are just back from London where the visited the M&M’s shop and brought me back a huge bag of the peanut ones so it would be rude not to! OK maybe it wasn’t the best idea for breakfast!
So off I went heading over to Robbie’s which went pretty smoothly, no real sign of a four week bender in Belfast…… had I been lucky and got away with it? Only time would tell.
I collected Robbie at his house and we set off in the direction of Eaglesham for the first of the days climbs and the real test of how my body was feeling. As we approached the climb out of Eaglesham, from the crossroads up, all felt good, but as we reached the half way point of that initial climb my body started punishing me for abusing it. While the abuse was going on Robbie started to distance himself.
I made it to the top of the first climb and before I knew it without any rest I was at the foot of the second climb which yet again my body punished me and Robbie distanced me. The third and fourth climbs over the Moors went a lot better, I’d managed to regulate my breathing and get my pedal stroke under control and found these climbs much easier, even managing to keep with Robbie.
The rest of the ride went ok, much easier on the flats than the climbs I may add, but all in all it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected it to be! The sun even made an appearance!
We arrived back in Eaglesham and headed down towards the ford where we met a couple of cyclists on their way back up saying the road was closed. We decided to take a chance and see if we could cross it anyway. We approached and for the first time I’ve ever seen, the gates were closed. We got off our bikes and made our way over and round the gates and carried on through the underpass and round the corner to be met with fast flowing flooding covering not just the bridge across the ford but several yards before it!
There was no way past so we turned round and made our way up the steep hill which was far easier on the way down, funnily enough! Lol
Before long we were back at Robbie’s reflecting on the ride. I was glad that Robbie wasn’t taking any lame excuse of mine and forced me to come out on the bike. Yes it was a tough ride, but not as tough as I though it would be after my lay off.
Leaving Robbie I got tore into the final 3 or 4 miles back to my house. All in all it was an enjoyable ride, 40 miles with an average speed of 14.3mph with 2,402 feet of climbing. Not my best results by I’m happy with it all the same.
I have to say that Robbie is looking strong at the moment and is going well.