Some twenty-odd (very odd) members of Walkers Cycling Club ventured out for the first “formal” event of the season – the now traditional club Spring Classic.
Three different groups set off on circular routes from The Laird’s Table at Craufurdland Estate. One group of more hardy riders undertook a 55 mile road route which took in Galston, Tarbolton, Mauchline, Sorn, Muirkirk and Darvel. And possibly for the first time in recorded history, a group from Walkers returned to base camp on schedule and with no mishaps. As club chairman Brian McCutcheon said: “Believe it or not, no punctures, no mechanicals, no getting lost, and the weather stayed dry. It was a good run and excellent route.”
A second group of supposedly less-hardy roadies decided that the 35 mile “easy” route was the better option. As it is so early in the season they could be forgiven for forgetting that the event was being organised by John Walker and therefore the official club motto of “No ride too easy” would be enforced. As rider Colin Urie stated: “Only John could find a route that was uphill all the way. It was like being on an Escher’s Staircase. With mud.”
Meanwhile John himself had joined the 20 mile offroad route. The group followed an old overgrown path they had always wanted to check out around the ponds opposite the main road at Loudoun Academy. The ponds were created to encourage fish to breed – but the fish quickly died out because of the coal dust contamination in the water.
The path went on for a distance, twisting and turning and the group were making reasonable progress despite the lack of a sherpa. Their progress soon came to a sudden stop when confronted by a swan sitting on her raised nest and spitting at them. After executing a very quick U turn, the jungle explorers eventually found their way out of the tangled mess of shrubs and decaying trees. And just in case they were being pursued by an irate swan, they did pedal a bit faster on that stretch
Despite the encounter with nature, the ride was highly enjoyable. A big cheer was raised for new boy Daryl who limped back to Craufurdland with a puncture. This was his first ever ride after joining the club six days ago and buying new bike three days ago.
Although the weather was not as kind as last year, it at least stayed dry and everyone came back smiling – especially those who found themselves a new bike in a layby on Milton Road. Pink is so your colour, Barry. Thanks to John Walker for organising the event and to Craufurdland Estate for providing the venue and a shed load of sandwiches.
We are looking forward to more planned events in the very near future.