With the smell of spring in the air longer and more searching runs offer pleasure along with the usual endurances of the distance cyclist. Sunday proved to be just such a day. Sunny enough to bring some locals out in t shirts, though this guffer must confess to staying well wrapped up. Maybe just as well since the day offered up a couple of cold showers and wee extra pressie of a stinging hail storm amongst the bright sunshine.
The route was straight out and back from Glasgow via Milngavie, Stockiemuir and a left at Croftamie on to much favoured roads towards Jamestown. The views over Ben Lomond and Arrochar Alps were a pleasant distraction though not to be lingered over since the less than perfect surface required some canny bike handling.
The turn came at the top of the Carman Hill that rises above Renton on the Cardross Road, conveniently marked on the map with a starting elevation of 15m topping out at 149m. At 2km long it looks fairly innocuous but the hill rises around 100m of the 134m in the first 1km. At the start the road slips under the main artery of the A82 then kicks into a incline of 18/19% that is sutained beyond two switchbacks before it straightens and eases a bit. Guts suitably wrenched the road hugs the reservoir giving time to get your breath back for a last dig to the top that is rewarded with more great views, this time, over the Clyde estuary.
After a fallow 2011, cyclesguff will be represented at a few more events this year starting with the Cheshire Cat on 25 March 2012 when Mow Cop awaits. Not before we've tested ourselves on the likes of the Carman a few more times. Distance 88km, 1110m climbing, 25kph