Cyclocross fans from Walkers Cycling Club are warming up for the start of the new season.
CX events at one time were held over a couple months late in the autumn after the conclusion of the road racing programme. But such is the new and overwhelming interest in the off-roading, fat-tyred discipline that the season has expanded on either side of the traditional racing period.
The cyclocross itch was evident among a half-dozen Walkers riders who ventured out for an earlier-than-ever training session on Wednesday night.
The 33-mile fast ride from Kilmaurs took them up the A77 and onto the network of turbine paths through Whitelee Windfarm before dipping down at one stage to just above Darvel. They eventually exited the windfarm at Hareshawmuir Road near Waterside – but only after a few incidents, in which a few of the bikes were involved in a minor crash, five punctures halted progress throughout and a spell when the group appeared to be lost. This is not uncommon for cyclists trying to find their way out of a maze consisting of 100 miles of near-identical track.
Heading back to Kilmaurs, the talk was all about the need for more CX outings and the benefits of a fully working GPS mapping system.