Three Walkers Cycling Club riders braved squadrons of midges to tackle their first ever century rides last weekend. And their choice of events didn’t make this an easy ride since it was being run overnight.
Barry Garner, Paul Nix and Ross Graham were met at the event start point in Anniesland by three other Walkers stalwarts – Drew Thomson, Ian McAlindon and Alan Murray – to tackle the Dunoon Full Moon sportive which saw riders leave Glasgow at dusk with the intention of reaching the coastal resort in time to see the sun rise over the Clyde.
Barry, Drew, Paul and Ross were in the sixth group of 20 to be set on their way, leaving Glasgow at about 9.45pm. The first section of the ride was pretty flat so the pace was high at an average of around 17.5 mph.
Barry takes up the story: “Paul and I were a bit worried we would burn out, but we were okay after the first food stop – sorry cake stop. This kept us going to Arrochar for the next stop before the first real climb which was the legendary Rest and be Thankful. I had been a bit apprehensive about this as I’d been told lots of things about it and because my first encounter with it was going to be in the dark. However I just tapped out a nice pace and then when I heard the music and saw the spotlights in the sky, I knew I was near the top where we were all to regroup. What a welcome there was with a party atmosphere – and all this at about half past midnight.”
The group set off again, apart from Ian and Alan who were probably still in pub at Arrochar. Barry takes up the story again: “The next stage was another reasonably flat section up to Otter Ferry where the hills started again. While these weren’t particularly steep, they seemed just to go on and on.
By the last food stop it was starting to get light, and with it came that burst of “nearly there” energy. Needless to say the pace rose up again and the four of us all rolled to finish together – 108 miles in just under eight hours. We took the opportunity to devour some very welcome rolls and sausage while we waited for Ian and Alan to cross the finish line, which they did some fifteen minutes afterwards.”
Said a jubilant Barry, “I am totally whacked but am just so thrilled to have done my first century ride in such a spectacular manner. This was overall a really enjoyable and well supported event. I will definitely go back next year.”
A HUGE well done to all who participated, and especially to Barry, Paul and Ross for notching up their first ever century rides. And well done to Ross for managing to outwit a murderous seagull along the way.