Chris’ Fitness Test Route

With conflicting forecasts on the net and on the tv, some saying sunny and others saying snowy, Chris and I decided to head out for a couple of hours. The big chap’s knee had been on the mend, had coped well with a couple of 1 hour pedals, and he was hoping to up the mileage to give it a wee test. The “look oot the windae” weather forecast was looking good as it was sunny so I decided to ditch the waterproof pocket rocket jacket as I thought “ I won’t be needing that”. Bad move. Chris had had his bike in at Billy Bisland’s shop for a service and had been pleasantly surprised to hear that it was in good condition.

We headed up the hill as usual. It’s a tough 5 minute warm up and usually into the wind. We then made tracks over Muttonhole Road, dropped into Quarter and headed for Larkhall. Chris had picked out the route and had deliberately included a few wee hills to test his knee. We dropped down into Stonehouse and climbed the sharp hill at the Alexander Hamilton Memorial park just as the sleet and hail came on. Today’s lesson :- take your waterproof jacket with you and you won’t need it, leave it at home and…plonker… I did my good deed for the day at this point when I unlocked the door to the house of an old dear who was standing on her doorstep in the sleet and was clearly struggling to get in. She made my day by calling me a big strong boy, at which point I thought “she can’t have seen many big strong boys then”. We took five under the underpass to see if the weather would abate, needless to say it didn’t, so we pushed on.

Chris’ next hill came in the shape of Candermill Road and we carried on straight over Carlisle Road and the M74 and down to Netherburn Road. This road was covered in loose chippings, so not wanting to do an Alan McKee, we cawed canny on the descent.  A left turn later and we were heading for Larkhall. We were caught at the lights at Ashgill and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that we were being watched by a couple of menacing looking locals who appeared to be looking for bother. I thought I’d take a photo for the blog just in case they attacked us. Chris managed to smile for the camera but he was definitely shitting himself and just not wanting to show any fear.


"There's oor dinner right there Tyson"

We carried on through Ashgill , past the golf course and onto Hamilton / Carlisle Road. The weather was pretty miserable but we were battering in, spelling each other in the wind and averaging between 18 and 23mph on the flat en route to Hamilton. Just past the Avonbridge Hotel I turned round to check that Chris was still there and he wasn’t. I went back to check he was ok and found him struggling to put his chain back on. We then discovered that the small jockey wheel below his rear cassette was missing. I walked back for about 30 yards and managed to find the aforementioned wheel, a spacer and a washer on the road. Chris made a phone call to Mandy who agreed to come and pick us up. About 25 teeth chattering minutes later (Mandy had to get Molly ready for nursery) the welcome sight of Chris’ car appeared.

The big chap decided to take his bike back to Billy Bisland’s and agreed to drop mine in at the same time as I have noticed a clunking from the bottom bracket area. Hope they can give it a service, get the clunking sorted and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my pedals don’t fall off the first time I take it out.

Having spoken to Chris today he said that he had a little discomfort in the knee last night but has had no adverse reaction today which sounds promising.

Was hoping to get out this weekend but it’s looking wet and seriously windy so it may be a turbo session. Then again the weather forecasters might have made another ribs of it, it’ll be blazing sunshine with no wind and I could always take my jacket with me.

18.55 miles,  1 hour 24 mins, Ave speed 13.2 mph.

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