Semply the best

An official amendment to the schedule for last Wednesday saw ten Walkers CC mountain bikers plus an “interloper” from the road/leisure section meeting at Castle Semple, Lochwinnoch for an evening in the woods above the golf course.

An unofficial amendment in the form of a wrong turning in the village saw the group taking the glen road beside the river Calder all the way up the hill to Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.

Once there, the bikers made their way along the trails through the woods before tackling the gravel, boardwalk and grass path over the moorland. The paths were remarkably dry for the amount of rain that had fallen the night before, but there were some poorly maintained sections where the under layer of weed retarding fabric had deteriorated to leave sizeable peat-filled holes that tended to bring the bikes to a dead stop if not tackled properly.

Next was a climb up to the cairn at the summit of Windy Hill. With the slope living up to its name, despite the relative calm of the rest of the ride, the riders stopped only to take the obligatory club photo before making the descent back down through the woods to the visitor centre. Some took the direct route straight down the side of the hill while others took a more gentle but less stylish option of going round the side, prompting the visiting roadie to grumble audibly about “gallumphing round here like a ******* haggis”

Once back at the Visitor Centre, the return journey to Lochwinnoch was promptly undertaken as the weather had started to close in and it was getting noticeably dark.

For most of the group, this was a fairly straightforward ride with probably more cycling on road than normal. But for the visiting roadie it provided quite a challenge, requiring more stamina and a set of off-roading skills she was not familiar with.