Getting The Miles In

Saturday 3rd February 2012 The Magnificent 7 Ride Again 

With a mixed bag of a forecast, it was pack the rain jacket and get wrapped up before heading out. All 7 of us met at Calderglen at 9.30 and headed south towards Strathavan. Ricky was designated navigator and him and Davy set off towards Langlands whilst the rest of us carried on towards Millwell Rd. We decided to phone Ricky and Davy to see where they were, only to find that they were just behind us. Davy seemed a little agitated and perturbed and made his agitation known in no uncertain terms. The words toys and pram sprung to mind.

We cracked on along the best ribbon of tarmac in South Lanarkshire and arrived at Eaglesham after around 10 miles. Ricky was very naughty and jumped the lights at the cross, only marginally, but he was quickly passed by Ally as he attacked the climb out of Eaglesham and towards the Moors. My initial thoughts were that he had set off too quickly.

So far the weather had been decent if a little windy. As we climbed towards the visitors centre I noticed that Davy had fallen back a bit so I dropped back a bit to offer some moral support. We pushed on and caught up with the rest of the lads. We headed for Galston and had a great descent off the hill and into the valley.

This is where the second dummy was spat out and I plead guilty as charged Your Honour, but with the caveat of grounds of diminished responsibility. I was on the front and trying to pull everyone along, on the flat, at a decent pace. A look over my shoulder showed that there was no-one on my wheel so I slowed down, I checked again 30 secs later and still no-one on my wheel so I slowed down again. Eventually when we were doing about 5mph, on the flat and there was still no-one on my wheel, I stopped and spat the dummy out. Apologies to all on the receiving end of my rant but I have come to the conclusion that it would be easier to track down Craig Whyte’s finances than get a successful through and off organised. 🙂

We regrouped and made our way towards Loudon Hill. I think we stumbled across the League of Gentlemen’s cafe as the guy behind the counter certainly made it feel as if it was “a local cafe for local people”. That being the case the locals obviously don’t like chocolate, cakes or a friendly proprietor.

We then climbed up towards Ardochrig and Ally once again showed his form by being first to the summit. This remarkable performance prompted a number of questions, notably :-

Did you spread EPO on your toast this morning Ally or are you taking your energy gels intravenously? Perhaps the boy should have a new nickname of Ally Contador. Heaven help us if he ditches the knobbly tires for slicks or, even worse, gets himself a road bike.

It was nice to crest the Rig and look forward to the descent, which is always good fun, an eye waterer and time for a well earned rest. Alan and I said our goodbyes to the lads as we retraced our steps along Millwell Rd, up into  Chapleton and back home along Muttonhole Rd. Towards the end of the 51 miles, probably from about 40 miles, I was feeling the remnants of the 20 miles from Thursday. Well done to everyone in completing a long testing route.

As far as the Sportive goes Les is now definitely taking Stevie’s place and Si has signed up. Willie is still talking about signing up.

Monday 5th March.

Finally managed to join Martin and his mates for their 20 mile Newton Mearns to Fenwick and back twice weekly pedal. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to you all. They had a 4 man through and off going and we completed the 20 miles, on an undulating course, in 1 hour 20 mins. It was quite difficult at times but good fun. All 3 of them were in Saalbach 6 weeks ago and it was great to hear their thoughts and stories.

Tuesday 6th March.

Headed into Xscape for an hours boarding with Davy and Stevie Haining. Good fun followed by a pint and a blether over the Saalbach pistemap.

Wednesday 7th March.

Got an hour in on the turbo trainer tonight, which flew in as I watched the Lionel Messi show, as he scored 5 against Leverkusen in the Champions League. The wee man is a God.

Tried the 20 second flat out intervals and managed about 7 or 8 of them over the hour. A good wee workout. Looking forward to the weekend. Alan has suggested pedalling out to Balloch and back this Saturday, but it would obviously have to be an early start as it would be almost 70 miles I think.  I know that Davy and Ally can only make Sunday but if anyone is interested we would both be up for it.