Cyclists rest in the winter don’t they? Pah!

Despite the threat of snow, ice, heavy rain and possible total weather armageddon, Walkers club members were busy over the weekend. Saturday’s road ride was a fairly relaxed run around Symington, Troon and Irvine. It was cold to start with but warmed up during the day. The twelve well-wrapped up roadies managed just under 30 miles.

Long before the roadies were even awake, four of the mountain bike fraternity left Ayrshire in darkness headed for Kirroughtree 7Stanes trail centre in Dumfries and Galloway. Arriving to improving weather conditions, the quad kitted up and readied themselves for the demanding red and black trail. Discovering that Stuart McLean had left his MTB boots on his doorstep in Stewarton, it seemed Stuart would be practicing his trail running skills. However, the day was saved by a visiting Geordie MTB’er who swapped the use of a pedal spanner from the club toolkit, for a spare pair of size 8 SPD boots!

What followed was a splendid four hours of testing trails, Cat4 climbs, cake and chat. 18 miles van-to-van, 1900ft climbed, and no rain. Martin’s new tubeless 29er tyre set-up punctured, but a resourceful repair from Gavin Turnbull, with a 26″ tube saved a long walk.

The MTB section of the club regularly arranges outings away, and is planning longer trips to further afield venues in the not too distant future. All levels of experience welcome, no one gets left behind!

Also starring on the Saturday were three trekkers who completed a 45-mile excursion following the Forth & Clyde canal from the Bowling basin and then picking up the Strahblane railway path at Kirkintilloch. The trio then hauled themselves up the big climb on the Old Mugdock Road before dropping back into Glasgow down Balmore Road. The return along the canal was completed at a good pace as temperatures began to drop and the light gradually diminished.

Sunday saw more riding. Even with the weather looking distinctly dodgy with snow in Kilmaurs at the 8am departure, three early-birds (Charles Vincent, Martin Riddell, Neil Walker) opted to do an out and back route up the coast to Largs instead looping over the hill to Dalry. Funnily enough, no-one noticed the strong tailwind from Ardrossan to Largs until the turn was made, and said wind was blasting into their faces.

This, coupled with the temperature just hovering above zero, and the intermittent sleet and rain made for a tough ride back over the lumps and bumps of North Ayrshire, through Benslie (obviously) and back to Kilmaurs. 48 miles in 3 hours.

Martin Riddell did hugely well on his first long club road ride, and will settle in to Tuesday nights with no problem. He just needs to get some overshoes!

All in all a very eventful weekend’s cycling.