Today was the better looking day weatherwise for heading out on the bike so we planned to get some miles in. The team sheet for today was looking a little bare with just 3 riders listed;
With the clocks going back in the early hours I decided to send a text to Gilly and Hugh to remind them of this, didn’t want anyone turning up early! The plan was for me to head to Gilly’s for 9:30am then head over to Blantyre to meet Hugh who was coming from Scotland’s version of Beverly Hills, View Park!
With the winter well and truly landed and temperatures not set to rise much above 6°c, if at all, it was a day for the bib tights and winter jacket.
Now seems like a good time for a shameless plug for The Cycle Jersey, our official custom kit supplier. Check these guys out if your need custom kit for your group, club or charity event. Can’t recommend them highly enough, great quality products and service with all kit designed, printed and stitched in the UK. I’ve been to their production unit and can vouch for them.
One thing I would say is that the winter jacket is for cold temperatures. Today the temperature rarely got above 6°c and I was too warm, that was with only the jersey on underneath! Cracking jacket, like the rest of their garments!
While am in the process of praising cycle clothing I have to mention my Endura FS260 Pro Nemo Gloves, which yet again kept me very warm!
Anyway back to the story in hand. My alarm sang its wee heart off at 8:00am signalling my departure from my warm cosy bed! A couple of slices of toast and peanut butter was the breakfast choice for today then it was time to get kitted up and prepare the lovely Katie (yes I do have a name for my bike), for the ride ahead.
No putting it off any longer, it was time to tackle the tough wee climb over the bridge and up Newhousemill Road. As expected it was a tough climb and a sign of what lay ahead for me today!
Rolling up at Gilly’s I made a minor adjustment to the height of saddle then we set off for Blantyre to meet up with Hugh, the newest member of the Warriors. Oh by the way, Welcome to the Warriors Hugh, as long as you can drink and sing karaoke you’ll fit in well! We usually find that mastering the drink bit takes care of the karaoke side of things! Lol
Having collected Hugh it was time to turn round, into the wind I may add, and make our way to Strathaven. I just couldn’t get my chest under control during the first 10 miles or so and during a longish climb had to pull in and stop and take a puff of my inhaler before completing the final part of the climb and regrouping with Gilly and Hugh.
It was a day for fighting against the wind, the wind trying to drain every little ounce of energy in our bodies, or mine anyway. We worked hard together taking half miles on the front and made our way to Strathaven then onto the prison at Dungavel before swinging a right and making our way back via Ardochrig. At the bottom of the rig I allowed myself to be talked into turning right and adding a further 11 miles onto my ride opposed to going right and being home in around 4 miles! How did I let that happen?
At last we arrived at the bottom of Muttonhole road, said our goodbyes before Gilly and Hugh took a right and I swung a left and headed home over the back roads, into the strong headwind that had been a prominent feature all day.
47.17 miles completes with an average speed of 14.8 mph and 2,927 feet of climbing. I felt it out there today and really wished I’d paid attention to the safety presentation before take off so I knew where the exits were and could’ve bailed early on!
All joking aside it was a tough day in the saddle but an enjoyable one with good company. It stayed dry but could’ve done without the strong headwind for most of the ride.
Hopefully head out during the week, failing that the next main ride is Dukes Pass on Saturday.