So as one of my New Years resolutions was to write at least one blog post for the awesome website Stu has set up, why not start with my first ride with another Warrior in 2013. Apologies it has taken me this long but I have always been so focused on training for events that normally when I get back from a ride I am straight out for a run or I am being a total geek analysing data, heart rates, mileage etc etc working out how much effort I have put in and how much I should have put in!
Today however, I did the 5k Park Run in Pollok Park prior to my ride and for once, I am not really training for any stupid long distant event, this therefore allows me to think about my pedal with Willie.
So I arrived back from Pollok just after 10:40 where Willie was sat on my doorstep waiting for me. After a quick pick me up in the form of an espresso and change we headed off at about 11am. We had decided that we had enough time for 40 miles or so, so we planned on doing the rig, down to Darvel, along to Loudoun and back across the moor. Little did we know that every road builder in Scotland was out messing up our beautifully planned route!
A nice gentle start down to Jackton then left towards the rig with hardly any wind and sunny skies we knew we had picked a great day for a ride. The temp was bit low for our liking but we felt as though we were suitably attired for the occasion. After about 5 miles we picked up a lone rider who was a member of St Christopher’s who was just out for a pedal on his own. At the bottom of the rig the ‘road closed’ sign was prominent! Willie said…..’just go through, it’ll be fine’! So we tootled up the rig, I did my usual idiotic thing of ‘let’s see how fast I can get up here’! I was feeling pretty good and with a slight tailwind I think I made it to the top in pretty good time. At the top I decided to carry on slowly, freewheeling to let Willie catch up, I had already started to hear the vague moans and groans from him, or more specifically his legs!
Halfway down the other side of the rig we realised why the ‘road closed’ sign was up! The flat section between the two little kick ups was totally in ruins due to numerous diggers digging trenches to lay pipe work. Willie got stuck behind a lorry who was trying to negotiate its way past another lorry. I got to a point that was totally unrideable so got off and walked carrying my bike. Pleasantries were exchanged with the workmen who were very courteous to us considering we were totally in the wrong by going down a closed road.
Eventually we got through the closed road and got to the junction, left to Strathaven Or right to go cross country down to Darvel. Right it was, for about a mile until we reached another closed road. We asked one of the workmen who told us that there were numerous contractors all the way down the road so it might be a bit difficult to get through. We decided that it was time to be sensible so quickly about turned.
We headed for Strathaven and then down to the Ayrshire border. This was more like it! Nice fast flowing roads, generally good surfaces and no bike carrying necessary! By now the murmurs from Willie had turned into definite complaints of tight muscles and general knackeredness! Normally the typical alpha male side of me kicks in at this point where I think to myself ‘he’s nearly broken………lets really break him’! But today, my nicer side kicked in!
We got to the Prison where Willie asked to stop. He consumed a banana and a gel before declaring enough was enough, stuff the Ayrshire border! So we about turned and headed for home. We decided to head through Strathaven and then follow the Wednesday night route home with a slight detour at Auldhouse back to Jackton and then home.
It was just before we reached Arnold Clark where Willie declared utter brokenness! I’m not sure if I have seen him looking so knackered before but to be fair he didn’t exactly take it easy throughout the whole ride. Neither of us remembered a GPS so we have no idea how far we rode/carried our bike! What we do know is that it took us 2hrs 50mins, so just guessing from how I feel and how Willie looked I would hazard a guess that it was about 35 miles at approx 16-18 mph average (not including the walky bits).
A great ride on a beautiful cold sunny day with good company. But one thing I have learnt is that when a road says its closed………………DON’T GO DOWN IT!