Four seasons in one day

Catherine Logan gets her breath back long enough to tell of yesterday’s epic struggles
Despite a bleak forecast of wind gusts of up to almost 60 miles an hour, 9 club members met at Kilmaurs for the weekly Saturday outing. As there was no planned route, Peter Forsythe decided they should head to Lochwinnoch for a change and some hills! Reassured the rain was by for the day, the group headed up through Kilmaurs and over to Chapeltoun. Turning right the group had the help of a strong tailwind to push then into Stewarton and up the climb at the start of the Old Glasgow Road. Here they turned right up towards and passed Harelaw Dam, made more interesting with the very strong side winds. Having traversed the Neilston Road they then headed down and up the steep single track road passed Aboon the Brae. When turning down this hill it was like hitting a brick wall into the wind and gave none of the riders a chance to build up speed to get them up the other side. In fact one cyclist was blow off his bike just at the turn at the top and another one was blow into the ditch but managed to say up right. To add to the difficulties the heavens opened on the decent down the other side into Uplawmoor pelting the cyclists with hailstones blasted with the full force of the wind. Once everyone was safely down the hill they then headed passed Greenacres and Howwood in splendid sunshine with clear blue skies. As one member of the group, who will remain nameless, didn’t want to use the cycle track, all 9 cyclists headed to Lochwinnoch on the main undulating road. Under normal circumstances this would not have taken very long but on Saturday with the really strong winds the group were down to 7 or 8 mph in places. Finally they all reached Lochwinnoch after what one of the group called an ‘epic’ journey, for a well-earned coffee and cake. It was planned to use the cycle track to Beith on the return leg, but the group overshot the entrance to the cycle track so just headed out on the road instead. On the outskirts of Lochwinnoch Scott Kerr got another rear puncture, which was quickly changed in no time at all, with the offending piece of glass removed once and for all. One the return journey the group took full advantage of the tail wind whenever they could recording speeds of 29mph on the B777 without pedalling. Once back at Stewarton the group split with 2 taking the Irvine fork and the rest heading back to Kilmaurs. For the 2 on the Irvine Road the head wind was horrendous, making conversation difficult at times. To add to the misery the heavens opened once again with hailstones ensuring they were soaked before they got home. (I assume it was the same for the Kilmaurs bunch too. Must admit I felt rather weather beaten once I finally sat down on Saturday afternoon and had to force myself to get up out the armchair to get on with stuff. Great run though). 40+ miles round trip Kilmaurs to Kilmaurs.