Friday 28th September and Gilly phoned me to say that he was heading out with Chris for an hour and would ask him about the route to the Campsies and back, a wee cheeky 50 miler, if I was interested? Of course I was, always good to take a new route in!
The roll call on the Friday night was me, Gilly, Ally and Davie Mullin with the potential of Mr Haining and his new stead joining us. I tried ringing Stevie Potter but had no luck getting a hold of him so I sent him a text with the arrangements for the following morning, leave mine at 9:15am then up over the back roads to collect Gilly.
Ally was a little apprehensive about the ride as he felt he was out of shape, but I soon managed to convince him to join us…….. I still think he’s calling me naughty names as I type!
Sat morning and the alarm clock goes off at 7am, so I head down to get breakfast and kit up. Next I get a text message from Stevie saying that he wouldn’t make it today and that he’d catch up with me on Wed. Once I 9informed him that I would be in St.Andrews on the Wed night he quickly gave me a call and said he would be joining us but would probably be around 9:30am before he gets here.
Ally being the gentleman that he is felt bad that Stevie was running late and pulled the puncture trick to buy Stevie some time! What a guy Ally is, a real Team player!
I inform Gilly that we would be slightly later as Ally had a puncture and we were waiting on Stevie. Ally arrived and we set about fixing his puncture, well I set about fixing “HIS puncture! Lol
Stevie arrived just as we had finished fixing the puncture and we set off over the back roads to Gilly’s. We met Gilly at the top of the road who had just been on the phone to my wife to see where we were……. well that’s what he said he was on the phone to her for!
We then headed down to Blantyre to meet up with Davie and Stevie Haining who had decided to embrace us with his company and his new stead! Stevie was taking this bike malarkey seriously as his pre-ride nutrition the night before consisted of a bottle of wine and a kebab! Knowing Stevie I very much doubt it was ONE bottle of wine, or a SMALL either!
Anyway after we met up with them and welcomed Stevie over to the dark side we set upon our merry way. Going by Stevie’s jacket and rucksack I had the feeling that he thought it was a bike and hike and that we would be climbing the campsies!
The idiotic “I hate cyclists” drivers were out in force today! As we headed through Blantyre and past the driving range a black BMW decided to over take us on a blind corner and was then met with an oncoming vehicle and then cut in right in front of me and slammed the brakes on nearly hitting me! He was met with all the P’s & Q’s I could muster and hand signals that insinuated that he liked to play Pocket Billiards!
We headed onto Glasgow RD, Blantyre Farm Road and across the M74 onto Aitkenhead road, crossing the A8 and then into GArtcosh. We were greeted by strong heads winds with liked to challenge us in the open. Ally was finding the pace tough going on his hardtail while the rest of us were lycra’d up on road bikes. Fair play to him he kept plodding along. I dropped back a couple of time to ride with him and keep him going.
We plodded on along the A806 and Ally and I made an educated decision at the roundabout that the rest had turned right…….. as we turned right I looked left and saw the glimpse of Stevie’s red jacket indicating that they had infact gone straight on at the roundabout….. Doh! We quickly did a u-turn and headed onto the correct road and made our way along Kirkintiloch road, into Lennoxtown and then to our destination, the foot of the Campsies.
AS we arrived at the foot of the Campsies and the planned cafe Gilly had an interesting mechanical fault……. he couldn’t get his left shoe unclipped from his pedal as one of the screws on his cleat had worked itself loose, so had to remove his foot from his shoe before Stevie attacked it with a screw driver and eventually managed to free the shoe.
We propped the bikes up against the side of the building and used a padlock to secure them together and headed into the cafe for some cake and fluids. I did my usual trick and left my wallet in the house! Honestly it was a genuine mistake……. if it wasn’t for Ally arriving at my house with a puncture I would have remembered it!
We all ordered except for Stevie Potter who was struggling to locate his money in all of his hidey places on his body. We offered to buy him something but he declined…… when I say we I offered other people to buy him something! Lol He eventually found it tucked into his overshoe and ended up buying my cake and Ally’s cake, thanks Stevie!
We were enjoying our cake and soup in Stevie’s case, when we were asked to remove our bikes from against the wall of the art shop next door as the owner had complained!
We finished up and set about our return journey which took us a different route home as we missed a left turn somewhere along the road.
As we were heading along the dual carriageway towards Stepps, Ally had dropped back so I held off to keep him company and caught up with the others further up the road as Stevie decided to repay the favour to Ally and get a puncture to buy Ally some rest time! That’s what I like about our group of riders, we are all team players!
After the puncture was repaired we carried on into Carmyle and eventually into Drumsaggard to drop Stevie and Davie off. Gilly, Stevie Potter and myself carried on to Stoneymeadow Road where we said our goodbyes and Stevie, Ally and I headed towards the Whirles then back to mine.
All in all it was a great pedal albeit a windy one, at least it stayed dry. We completed 48.9 miles with an average speed of 14.3mph with a max speed of 38mph.
A special note must go to Ally managing to complete that distance on his hardtail while the rest of us were on our road bikes. Today was the first hints of Ally swaying towards the dark side! Go on Ally you know it make sense!
Click Here to see the full stats from the ride and the complete route.
Oh and Stevie Haining, please sort out those hideous leggings with the see thru panel at your arse! Not a pretty sight!