Saturday’s roll call consisted of………… yip you got it, me and Stevie! Where have all the Warriors gone?
We decide on a 9am start and I set my alarm for 7.30am to give me time to get some breakfast and get kitted up. 7.30am comes around and I get up and tuck into 2 weetabix and get my kit together and sneak back to bed for a wee cheeky half hour.
8.45am I head out to the shed and remove my bike to find that the rear wheel is as flat as a pancake! Now that is an issue as I have no spare inner tubes as I gave Stevie Potter my last one on Wednesday when he got a puncture while climbing Ardochrig. I wait for Stevie to arrive to get a spare tube off him while spending 10 mins or so checking both the tyre and rim to make sure that no debris remains, all is clear, or so I thought.
Stevie duly arrives and hands over his last inner tube, meaning that we have no spares, shouldn’t be a problem tho should it??? I quickly get the tube fitted while Stevie gets ready and we soon set off into the howling wind and heavy rain towards Eaglesham Moors.
I started to struggle a little on the steep climb through Eaglesham, through the traffic lights and to the foot of the Moors. I had to stop and take a few puffs of my inhaler which is rare for me to have to do. I tend to find that I need to use my inhaler when it’s very cold or very warm, on this occasion it was cold.
After a few puffs we headed on our way straight into battle with the ferocious head winds that battle against our every pedal stroke. We make it up and over the last climb and onto the A77 heading into Fenwick then into Kilmarnock, across to Galston then into Newmilns to the usual wee cafe. It was at this point that I noticed that my rear tyre was soft, not fully deflated but very soft. This could have contributed to the heavy legs and the climbs being tougher than usual.
We head into the cafe for a bite to eat and some fluids then I pop out to inflate the tyre. As we set off I only manage 500 yards before the legs get that heavy feel again, the feeling that they are doing more work than they should be, and I was right, the tyre was flat again! This time we decide to remove the tube and patch up the puncture as we had no spare inner tubes. With the puncture repaired we set off through Darvel and up over Loudon Hill passing by the now closed Louden Inn, can’t think why that closed down? Might have been something to do with the customer service or lack of it!
After the climb past the Loudon Inn we swing a left onto the back roads and are faced with two short but sharp digs. We continue along the back roads towards the top of Ardochrig, by this time the weather is taking a turn for the better. We pull over while I check the rear tyre and add some more air to it as it has gone soft yet again.
The final accent takes us up to the top of Ardochrig then we enjoy the decent at the other side, swinging into Auldhouse then back into EK and arriving back at my house.
47.06 miles clocked with an average speed of 14 mph with strong winds and driving rain making the climbs tougher than usual, well that and running with a low pressure in my rear tyre.