Tuesday 25th Feburary
Having not had any pals the last couple of rides I managed to find a couple on www.bemyfriend.com in the shape of Chris Hunter and Gilly! For a small registration fee and an hourly charge I now had a couple of friends for Tuesday’s evening ride. There was one small issue though, I’d need to cross the border and go into territory where even the wild animals don’t roam the streets, Hamilton!
I finished work at 6pm and headed home to get kitted up, and armed with my passport, stab proof vest, pepper spray and rape alarm it was time to enter no man’s land!
I duly crossed the border without the need to show my passport and arrived at Chris and Gilly’s where I kitted up and awaited their arrival.
On route home from work it was torrential rain and the wind was bending the trees in two, yet as soon as I crossed the border the rain stopped and the wind disappeared! Now that was worrying, when even the wind and rain won’t be seen dead in Hamilton!
With everyone ready we headed off in the direction of Strathclyde Park to show the boy racers what speed was and to scare the shit out the doggers with our array of high powered lights. Leaving Gilly’s and Chris’s we swung a left onto the decent towards Hamilton town centre, with only a few hundred yards gone Gilly decides that he no longer needs lights and bounces it off the road and straight into my path. As much as I tried to avoid hitting it I manged to ride right over the top of it! It’s usually me and my saddle bag that cause near carnage to those behind so it was nice for it to be somebody else for a change.
Carrying on through Hamilton Town Centre we arrived at the side of the race course and down a steep decent, over a bridge and hey presto we were at Strathclyde Park. We proceeded to complete 4 laps of the park which is around 4 miles per lap, nearly making contact with the tarmac on 2 separate occassions at the same place!
With the 4 laps complete we made our way back to Chris and Gilly’s taking in a couple of steep climbs on the way which I felt very strong on and made mince meat of.
The ride was a little different to the norm and thouroughly enjoyable with great crack as always. Good to eventually manage to co-ordinate our schedules with work etc to get out riding together again.
Sunday 2nd March
I was on a roll, for the 2nd ride in a row I’d managed to secure a riding buddy, again in the shape of Chris.
The forecast for this morning was dry until around 3pm where the torrential rain was to make a comeback, so the start time was scheduled for 9:30am
Chris duly arrived at mine and we set off ready to make our assault on the Eaglesham Moors. Arriving in Eaglesham we soon arrived at the traffic lights at the crossroads which were kind to us and allowed us to carry on through with out stopping. We were now on the first tough wee climb out of Eaglesham, before we even started on the tough triple climb of the Moors.
Making our way up the climb out of Eaglesham my legs gave the first sign of it not being an easy day. For some reason they were feeling heavy, Chris confirmed that his legs were in tandem with mine and were also not playing ball. Pushing on and not listening to the constant whinging from our legs we were soon out of Eaglesham and onto the first climb of the Moors. With the first hill out the way and little respite before the next we ploughed on into what had now become a very strong headwind. Two climbs down we soon crested the third and final climb of the Moors where we pulled in as Chris turned around and headed back home as Mandy was working.
So that was me back to being a Billy no mates and seeking a refund from www.bemyfriend.com! With the way my legs were feeling I was pretty confident that today would see me complete just the one loop of the Moors. At the end of the Moors I swung a right onto the A77 and moved onto the drops and ploughed away at 23-24mph.
Arriving back in Eaglesham before I knew it my bike had swung a right at I was now on my 2nd lap! Climbing up past the Swan, a tougher but smoother climb than the main road I began to wonder what I’d let myself in for.
So there I was all alone and tackling the Moors for the 2nd time, to be fair it wasn’t as bad I thought it would be. Again I swung a right onto the A77 and powered along on the drops at 23-24mph, hitting 30 odd mph at one stage. Arriving back in Eaglesham the lights weren’t as kind to me this time round and I was forced to stop.
My work were having a demo day at the Commonwealth Games MTB track at Cathkin Braes so I decided to head up there to see how it was going, that meant yet more climbing!
Heading through Jackton and onto Hairmyres I swung a left at the Queensway and headed past McDonalds, over the flyover and then took a right at the roundabout heading for Castlemilk and turning right into Carmunnock to begin yet another climb. Having conquered the climb I was now at the Cathkin Braes Car Park where the demo day was taking place. After chatting to my boss, his mum and Emma the Gatorade rep for about 20 mins it was time to begin the final 7 miles home.
All was going well on the way home until the 3 mile from home mark where my legs just gave up on me, making it a long slog home.
Arriving home I was exhausted, but happy with the 50 miles I’d racked up on my first outing of March. Ok it was actually only 49.36 miles but the rule is you round it up, plus 50 miles sounds so much better than 49.36!
Although knackered, and despite my legs giving up on me at the end I was pleased with the tough ride into a strong headwind. 3,145ft of climbing with an average speed of 15.1mph, I’ll take that!
With my monthly target of 250 miles a month not being met due to illness and a stag-do in Budapest last month it was good to get March off to a flyer with 50…… ok 49.36 miles banked.