With Christmas and New Year out they way it was time to get back out on the bikes as we had to get back to the size we all were when we ordered our custom kit from Half Baked Brand.
The roll call was looking good on the Friday night with the peloton numbering 7, with Team Hockey heading out late morning for a 40 miler.
My alarm went off at 7:30am and I headed downstairs to fuel up. I had opted to try porridge again, had it in the past but didn’t like it. I still didn’t like it and binned it for two slices of toast with peanut butter on it.
Gilly phoned me at 8:30am to say that Shaun had contacted him and was unwell and wouldn’t be out to join us. He also mentioned that he’d been out to the garage to get his bike and he and a puncture. We opted to meet him at Calderglen instead.
Davie, Stevie P, Haining and Willie arrived at mine and after sorting Willie’s tyre we headed to Calderglen to wait for Gilly. We had a fair wee wait before he arrived and we weren’t met with a pretty sight! Gilly looked burst already! He’s been suffering from the flu that’s been going around but thought he was OK and would be able to blast the remaining bug out of him.
We set off for Langlands and Gilly very quickly got dropped from the peloton which is not like him! As we headed round Langlands and towards the turn for Ardochrig I dropped back to make sure he was OK as I’ve never seen him being dropped so easily and by so much like that before. He told me he had nothing in the tank and decided to head home, which to be fair was the right option. No point plodding on when you’re not well, you end up ill and off the bike for longer!
So it was catch up time for me as I raced, slowly, to rejoin the peloton which were well on their way to Ardochrig. Haining noticed me trying to reel them in and dropped back so I could catch up. From here we started the climb of Ardochrig, it was at this point that my body confirmed to me that I’d enjoyed my Xmas and New Year! Half way up Stevie and I took a breather while I removed a pair of gloves and opened my jacket to let some air in! We continued on our way and managed to make it to the top, just! Really felt that climb!
From here we carried on into Strathaven and onto the Muir kirk road. Suddenly I was aware of a bit of bounce in my back wheel, pulled over and discovered that I had my first puncture of 2013! Davie, Haining and myself shouted to Stevie and Willie who were ahead but due to the wind and their nattering they never heard us, or chose not to hear us and continued out of sight! So that was that I had to change my own tyre! Usually Stevie P assumes role of tyre changer, but not today! So Davie, Haining and I set about changing the tube over. Had to borrow Davie’s CO2 inflator as my tube had seized in my pump!
Puncture repaired and off we set, bumping into Stevie P and Willie who’d eventually noticed we were missing and turned back round. Davie and I took the lead along Muirkirk road and were battered by the strong winds, it was like cycling against a brick wall at times! The others caught up with us and Stevie P, Willie and I then made a break from the peloton, cruising along while a van with a trailer nearly wiped Stevie P out by cutting in too quickly!
Willie caught Stevie P and me off guard at one point as we were rolling along the smooth tarmac surface, he quickly glanced round then shot off in chase of the all important sprint points! Arriving at the boundary we pulled in and were shortly joined by Davie and then Haining who was struggling.
After a short respite we set back off as Wille had to be back for noon and it was 11:40am his house was 20 odd miles away! I dropped back and sat with Haining to encourage him along. We caught back up with Davie and Stevie P as we arrived back in Strathaven, they had waited for us to rejoin. Willie had set off in pursuit of his home so that he didn’t get into trouble from the Mrs! He later informed me that he nearly burst a lung competing in a Time Trial getting home. So with the sprint points from Muirkirk road and the Time Trial he surely must be in contention for the GC!
We carried on into Strathaven then completed the 2nd half of the Wed night route arriving back at mine. Haining was delighted that it was all over! Lol
All in all it was a tough 40 miles being the first ride for a month, adding in the Xmas and New Year over indulgences and the strong head winds at points, but hey, it’s the first miles, oh and first puncture, under the belt for 2013!
I phoned Gilly when I got home to see how he was and he was all happy because he’d managed to get his blog up before me for once! He also asked if I’d managed to talk anymore of the boys into writing a blog! C’mon guys make it your New Years Resolution to write a couple of blog posts. Gilly and I can’t keep the website going ourselves, we need some decent posts! Lol
Wed night rides are back on starting this Wed so feel free to join us.