Having overindulged on bevvy and food over the festive period I was looking for a good start to 2014. One thing I’ve always wanted to do but so far have not been sober or fit enough to do it, is head out on the bike on New Years Day to bank the first miles of the year!
1st January 2014 was going to be the year that it happened! I was determined I’d be fit to ride my bike on New Year’s Day!
While what seemed like every man and his dog were out enjoying hogmany, overindulging in alcohol, I stayed in with the family and had a dvd night. First up was Despicable Me 2, which turned out to be pretty good actually. Once that had finished and the munchies were topped up we were straight into Monsters Inc University which was OK. I much preferred the first one. With Monsters Inc University out the way the big hand was at 9 and the little hand was at 12. For those of you who use digital clocks that’s 23:45
It was now time to turn over for the usual dire countdown to the New Year with Jackie “No Personality” Bird! It was at this point that my first AND last bottle of beer was opened! The rest was history, the door of 2013 was closed and the door of 2014 was opened! Great, time for bed and set the alarm for my pedal!
Stevie Potter, my usual partner in crime was the only one to take up my offer of a pedal on New Years Day, the rest opting to down their body weight in alcohol.
Now I must say how impressed I was with myself staying off the bevvy, an achievement in itself! One of my Twitter chums from England @Moses_Dad commented, “That’s another first for me, hearing a Scotsman say I’m having a quiet one, with regards to hogmany” Lol
Originally I had come up with a belter of a plan, or at least I thought it was, but was quickly shot down! I had visioned a split year ride, head out in 2013 and return 2014! Funnily enough I had no takers on that one! Not to worry I could adapt the plan to make it a solo ride, well that was until my wife and mother abruptly told me NO! To be fair my mum had a point, she was worried about the number of cars on the road returning from parties where the driver had maybe indulged in *cough* one *cough* drink.
With the clock showing 00:45 I headed to bed, setting my alarm for 8:30am as Stevie was heading over to mine for 10am. 8:30am duly arrived and my alarm went off sounding the start of 2014 and the first miles of the year! My only worry now was that the predictable Scottish weather of heavy rain, flooding and gale force winds could yet put an end to my plans! Surely not, I’d overcome the biggest hurdle by keeping off the bevvy so surely I wouldn’t be denied by the weather?
I clambered out my bed and headed down to the kitchen to grab some breakfast and peer out the blinds to see what the weather had in store for us……. it was overcast, the roads were damp, but it wasn’t raining and the wind was at a very minimum…… result!
Stevie duly arrived and informed me that he had hit black ice as he came off the slip road just past the Calderglen Park entrance and the car clipped the kerb, therefore we’d need to be very wary. After exchanging Happy New Years we headed off taking a very cautious approach, keeping an eye out for black ice. The first 5 miles or so had a fair bit of ice kicking about then it seemed to disappear.
We had planned on doing the Wednesday night route, up over the Moors, which would put the first 27 miles on the clock. We soon approached Jackton and progressed closer and closer towards Eaglesham where the first of four consecutive climbs awaited us. The ice had now all but disappeared so we were able to relax a little more. We arrived at the cross roads at Eaglesham and proceeded up the first climb out of Eaglesham. One climb down we carried on up over the second climb where we stopped at the top so Stevie could have a pee. As I waited for Stevie to do the necessary a white car past by in the opposite direction with the driver staring at me, then stopped and started reversing back up the hill. Here we go I thought, some bam at the wind up, only to discover it was an old school pal Alistair Wright. I have’t seen Ally since I left school but have kept in touch through Facebook, as you do! He’d read my Facebook status the previous night about going out for a pedal on New Years Day and said he just knew it would be me! Lol
After a quick chat we carried on up over the next climb where we spotted a cyclist at the side of the road fixing his bike. We stopped to check he was ok and it transpired that this was his 2nd puncture and he’d ran out of inner tubes. I gave him one of my spares which he was truly grateful for and asked me for a note of my mobile number so he could replace the tube. I told him it was fine and we headed off onto the final climb safe in the knowledge I’d done my good deed for the year! Great getting the good deed of the year out the way on the 1st day!
Having climbed the Eaglesham Moors we swung a left onto the old A77 and heading along the cycle path where we passed several cyclists, most of whom acknowledged us and two who never bothered! The club cyclists must have thought we weren’t good enough to exchange a polite hello with! Hey Ho, I wouldn’t have given either of those two a spare inner tube!
We cruised along the A77, along Mearns Rd then onto Humbie Road and back into Eaglesham. At this point Stevie asked if I fancied another loop of the Moors so off we set tackling the four climbs of the Moors again, strangely this time round it was easier again!
We followed the same route as first time round until we arrived back in Eaglesham where we swung a left to head back home. As we left Eaglesham and approached Jackton we hit the tough little climb where the road is in a shocking state, a full suspension bike would be more suited! By this point my legs were starting to feel a little tired and heavy. Up until now I’d felt good and had climbed well but now they were tired. We headed into the back of Lindsayfield and past the Morrisons onto Stroud Rd where we cruised home racking up our first 42 miles of the year!
As we left the busier main roads on what is normally the quieter back roads we were met with car after car. Looks like everyone who’d had a drink the night before had decided to take the backroads to avoid the police!
All in all it was a great wee pedal and the weather was kind to us, despite starting off with black ice and very overcast we’d made it round without incident and without the rain that continuously threatened! Felt good until the last 5 miles where my legs started getting a little heavy but was still pleased with the ride. The whole point was to get the first miles of 2014 on the board and that we did!
Hope you all had a Happy New Year and lets smash some more PB’s this year!