Never let it be said that a wee bit of rain spoils the fun of the Walkers’ Wets who braved the elements last Saturday for a club ride with a difference. Donald Fisher writes:
Well, this morning it said it would rain …
The radar plots showed it was raining…
Guess what … yup, it was raining … a lot. The day doesn’t deserve colour pictures … black and white is more apt.
Met at Wemyss Bay station:
jumped on the ferry and looked out to see… yup – rain.
On the ferry, the decision was made to have a quick blast round to Rhubo-whatever its called and try and get an earlier ferry over the Colintraive. Getting off the ferry and started cycling … oh dear, it was cold, and wet. We were properly chittering for the first mile or so. Got there in plenty of time of time though.
Whilst conversation had been about the bogley on arran, david seemed to want to talk about Laura’s bogeys ??
Hopped onto the ferry, and were glad to see it had a wee cabin which was warm and dry. Even had a heater, which Laura hogged.
The next section was over to Portavadie. The climb out of Colintraive was long but steady,
and this was soon followed by the climb up and over in to Tighnabruich. All the time, it was raining, however the wind was bearable. Top of the climb rewards with a nice view … well, I’m sure it would be nice you could see any distance.
At Tighnabruich, we thought about having a tea stop, however, time was ticking on a little ( a theme that started from here on in) and we felt it better to make to Portavadie in good time. Which we did, and it was nice to have a sit down in some shelter ( another theme started )
Another little ferry, and another little cabin that was warm … nice.
Getting off the ferry at Tarbert, we were even greeted with what could almost be sunshine … it didn’t last though.
In tarbert, we stopped at a Co-op for some much needed scran. Whilst standing outside eating it, I looked at the watch. 25 past 2.
“Whens the ferry?”
“5 past 3”
“10 miles ish”
A sudden, errr, we better head off feeling went through the group, and so we charged down from Tarbert, heading south against the wind. Turned left, read a sign saying the ferry was 5 miles, looked at the watch … 20mins left … looked at the road .. saw it going upwards …. a lot. I have to be honest, this burst me a bit. The rain had mostly stopped ( I think ) and we were going with the wind, so I got really hot. We all toiled over the hill, blasted down towards the ferry thinking “might make this”, turned the corner and were met with:
Looked over the water to see the ferry half way to Lochranza. It could only have left early. oh dear.
None the less, as is the theme of the day, we sat in a shelter for an hour… and when the ferry came, we had to time the boarding just right to avoid getting soaked by the waves … not that that would have made a difference to us already being soaked.
Laura again hogged the heater… its miiiiiine !!!!:twisted:
Whislt waiting for the ferry, we sat figuring out ferry times. We were due into Lochranza about 1700hrs. There was a summer ferry leaving Brodick at 1800hrs. We had an hour to get from the ferry to Brodick. We got off the ferry to read a sign saying 15 miles, which would have to include the Bogley. It would be tight.
So we set off at a charge, the Bogley was summited very well I reckon considering, and we shot down the hill to Sannox. From there it would be a blast along the shore line to Brodick.
From this point on, I have to thank David. He took the lead out of me Laura and myself, and all I could do by then was to sit on the tail as best I could. 18mph was fine, 19mph starting to push the limit of what I had in the tank, 20+ was beyond me maintaining.
Anyone thats done arran know that this part of the run is normally a case of looking out over the water and seeing the ferry halfway out and thinking, “I’ve got time”. Wrong. I’ve never seen the ferry I really want to get so far into Brodick that after a couple of minutes, it was out of sight into the bay. My heart really sank, I really thought it was going to be another missed ferry.
However, David’s lead saw use charge through Brodick, seeing the gangplank of the ferry withdrawing from the ship, into the ferry terminal where the ferry was still docked, across the car park only to be met by the gate closed for vehicles …. nooooooo. Thankfully, the very kind lady opened it up for is, and we were allowed on… the very last on the ferry, with the ramp closing behind us.
Done and dusted, we went upstairs and had a nice meal from the canteen:
Off at Ardrossan, and before we went out seperate ways, one last picture:
From there, back home for a shower. I’ll clean the bike tomorrow.
I admit I’m not the fittest as the moment, but its quite tight on timings between ferries. I reckon the 4 ferries route gives you more time to do the stages ( but thats longer from Killie area ). Overall, I really enjoyed it.