I sent a text around on Friday to gauge interest in a Saturday morning pedal, but being the holiday weekend and with people working there were no takers. Gilly was attending a wedding and felt he’d be cutting it fine if he headed out, especially with his recent track record of punctures! Shaun text back to say that he couldn’t make it as he was taking his daughter to her swimming lesson, but would be heading out on Sunday. So that was that, I decided to ditch the solo ride and head out with Shaun on the Sunday.
I woke up on Saturday morning and the sun was splitting the trees, albeit a little chilly. As the day progressed and the weather remained nice I was starting to doubt my decision to ditch the solo ride and head out on the Sunday. I was thinking that known my luck it’ll end up snowing on the Sunday and I wouldn’t get out and missed an ideal day on the Saturday! Thankfully that was not the case.
Alarm woke me 7:30am and I got breakfast and kitted up. It was a little chilly outside but dry. I was eager to try out my new Shimano Dura-Ace Wh-9000 C24 CL Clincher wheels, new inner tubes, new Continental Grand Prix 400s tyres, new chain and new Shimano Ultegra 11-28t cassette. My bike was looking the part, I was just hoping that my legs would play the part. Didn’t want to look like the crazy Japs in St.Andrews that have all the new golf gear and clubs but can’t hit the bloody ball.
On Saturday I purchased a pop-up gazebo to allow me to work on and clean my bike.
Shaun arrived just after 9am and we set off heading for Ardochrig. Willie had advised me to avoid the rig as it wasn’t in the best of conditions with mud, snow and ice, but we decided to head that way and make a judgement call.
We passed Langlands and headed to the start of Ardochrig, the road was looking ok so we decided to press on and give it a go. As we started the main accent I dropped Shaun as I powered to the top remaining in the saddle the whole way. Shaun shortly joined me at the top and we continued on our way. We swung a left at the bottom then headed onto the A71, swinging a right onto Muirkirk road. We powered along Muirkirk road then heard a shout from behind and looked round to see a large bunch of EK cyclists fly past doing the APR. As we carried on we heard another shout and another large bunch shot passed us. I looked down at my Garmin which registered that we were traveling at 22mph, yet the bunch of riders were no where to be seen! They must have been tanking it, and they did so with ease!
We continued along Muirkirk road then halfway along we swung a right onto the B745 then onto the Drumclog road, through Caldermill, rejoining the A723 and into Strathaven. We then headed back home along the Strathaven road.
All in all it was a great wee pedal. I felt very strong on the climbs again and powered up them. My early morning 3LC turbo training sessions have certainly made a difference. The day started a little chilly but warmed up as we went on. Good to see Shaun back out with us.
31.75 miles with an average speed of 14.2mph.
Heading out on Wednesday night if anyone fancies it. Now the nights are much lighter hopefully we’ll see the numbers increase.