Saturday, 21 January 2012

Storm racers

Strava continues to offer a new perspective on old roads
A cyclesguff trio persuaded each other to head out in the wild weather today. With wind speeds and gusts forecast in excess of 40mph and a 50% chance of rain, it really wasn't ideal.

The rendevouz was Partick station and catch the train to Helensburgh. Helensburgh enjoys a lovely location right on the banks of the River Clyde. On a peaceful and tranquil day, this is a nice place to visit and ride through. Today wasn't to be that kind of day. The first turn on the front after leaving the station was interesting to say the least. 20kph was out of reach and gusting cross winds racing in off the river would blow the cyclesguff peleton into all manners of weaving patterns. Not safe, and not exactly the best start to the ride.

The ride did improve and this was when we turned right and headed over the climb to Glen Fruin. The climb has some lovely features; hairpins, views out over the Firth of Clyde estuary and the welcome feature of a tailwind helped with the steeper sections. The emerging view from the top of the climb is one of those scenes that you feel that you have earned. Glen Fruin is a spectacular area, very quiet and the ribbon of tarmac that is about to be explored can be seen skirting through the countryside on its way to Loch Lomond. The first ever post of cyclesguff has a picture of the Glen looking west. Today wasn't the day to take photographs.

I do however have a picture in my head of a readout from the bike computer. It was showing 50kph and my heart rate was 135bpm. Not bad for an undulating section of road. Alas, my fitness wasn't the reason for the fantastic pace. Mother Nature was obviously feeling that we had been poorly treated earlier in the ride and was now in full support mode, great fun. The ride back to base is a mixture of major and minor roads, one of the most pleasant sections being from Drymen to Gartness. This road is a cracker, steep ascents and short chute descents, tight bends, off camber sweepers and dips that plummet down into the trees. The exposed areas where brutal with the wind whipping up and causing all sorts of mischief.

My return home was met with a bowl of freshly made Scotch Broth. A fitting tonic for a wet and weary rider.

Stay upright

No comments:

Post a Comment