The forecast for today was heavy rain and strong winds with gusts of up to 47mph, so it was a day where only the brave or the stupid would be out on their bikes! Que Stevie Potter and myself hitting the road, not sure which category we fall into tho!
We made the decision last night to make a judgement call between 8:30am and 9am this morning. I awoke 10 mins before my 8am alarm and the rain was bouncing down with very strong winds partnering it, to top it all off I was not feeling 100% with a cough a my chest and little wheezy. I sent Stevie a text to see what his thoughts were and he said that if it was the Etape we’d be out in it! Very true, if it was a Sportive we’d be out and you never know what the weather will be like on the day so best to train in all conditions. So that was that, the brave/stupid (delete where appropriate) were heading out.
Gail and nipped out to collect our dog Holly who was having a test sleepover at the ladies house she’d be staying at in a couple of weeks time while we attend my sisters wedding. Arriving back just before Stevie left both Gail and my mum commented on my cold and agreed in unison that I shouldn’t go out in that weather with my chest, I have asthma you see. Hey what do wife’s and mother’s know!?!
Stevie arrived and we set off into the strong winds with just a little drizzle, it certainly was a day for the ducks, funny thing was we never saw any ducks! From the off I knew this was going to be a hard day in the saddle and a constant battle against the winds.
Pushing along Stroud road felt like repeatedly hitting a brick wall the wind was that strong. We pass Lindsayfield and onto the relative quietness of the back roads, the wind relenting to ease up and give us a break. Powering on we reached Jackton, the wind still trying it’s best to push us back the way we came. We could now see the crossroads at Eaglesham, yet it seemed a lifetime before we actually reached them.
Through the crossroads and on to the climb out of Eaglesham and my legs are already screaming at me, this ain’t good! First climb out the way we were now officially on the Eaglesham Moors and now exposed further to the non-relenting gusts of wind, there was no hiding and we really had to fight to keep upright! Slowly but surely we conquered the 3 climbs over the Moors and on the decent we had to pedal to ensure we made it down!
Turning onto the A77 we were given a respite from the wind and enjoyed a tail wind for the length of the A77 before turning off in the direction of Newton Mearns where normal service was resumed! Every climb we tackled we were met with a strong head wind!
Originally we had planned 2 possibly 3 assaults on the Moors but the first loop had taken a lot out of us so it was decided with no sign of the wind easing up to settle on just one loop.
The return journey along Stroud Road offered another respite from the wind but that was short lived, hitting the decent building speed up I then hit the accent and the brick wall that was the wind, pinching all the momentum I’d built up on the decent, resulting on an up hill slog into the wind.
Arriving back at mine we knew we’d done a workout today, the legs were non appreciative of what I’d put them through and didn’t shy away from letting me know this!
Yes it was a very tough day into strong winds the majority of the way but it was enjoyable if you know what I mean! Was chuffed to get 27.6 miles under the belt in those testing conditions. I felt I was climbing well despite the attempt of the wind to push me back down every hill I was trying to climb. I can honestly say that’s the strongest winds I’ve cycled in and really had to fight at times just to keep upright on the bike!
Now that I’m back I feel lousy, sore head, bunged up and chesty so it turns out that maybe wife’s and mother’s do know a thing or two!
The good news is that I’m well on target to meet my monthly goal of 250 miles, I’m 45% there with 112 miles banked so far this month, a combination of road miles and turbo miles.