Monday, September 21, 2009

Days 22 & 23... to Cumnock and Glasgow...

Here I am on the morning of Day 22 in Dumfries ready to leave with my Sat Nav, Steve.


The start of this ride made me very aware of how much my fitness has improved. We were climbing for quite a while and I wasn't really aware of it. Granted it wasn't a very steep climb but even so... I know I would have felt it so much more a few weeks ago. After yesterday's drizzle I was expecting the weather to get worse from here on in but as it was it was a little crisp and cold but with mainly clear blue skies and amazing views.




and a few dangerous hills...
But we got to see some cycling history along the way. Here I am outside the smithy where the first ever pedal driven bicycle was built by Kirkpatrick MacMillan...



...and later we visited the Scottish Cycle Museum where there's a replica of the bike he built...




Steve's done some amazing cycling on that bike of his - he's travelled through India and (I think) the Himalayas on it... it's an indestructible, expedition bike. It's also bloody heavy. Which made Steve a lot slower than me on my lightweight Boardman. And the ride turned out to be a bit longer than expected... which meant that there came a time when Steve decided to cut me free in order to ensure I got to the show on time. Here we are just before we went our separate ways...


Not that Steve stopped being my Human Sat Nav... he and his girlfriend Kerry drove ahead and parked up at every junction to wave me down the correct route to Cumnock.



A nice route. At 53 miles it was longer than many of my recent runs and there was quite a lot of climbing too...




now... Day 23... is when the weather really turned. It was horrible.

Here I am at Cumnock Town Hall with my Human Sat Nav, Mark and his friend Tony:


As you can see, hi-vis waterproofs were the order of the day.

We must have taken a bit of a detour... because here I am in Moscow...


But the day was dominated by the bad weather and bad fortune. There were punctures aplenty. Five of them in total. All for Tony. It was the first time I can remember being cold on a bicycle. But once we'd stopped to deal with the first puncture, the wind and the rain got to me and I never successfully warmed up from there. I was hoping for a hill in order to warm myself up with some work... but when they came, they didn't do enough.

This is largely what the day looked like:



43 miles. Up and down. With my toes squelching around in wet socks and my knees knocking with the cold.



Tony had no choice but to give the day up as a bad lot eventually which means it was only Mark and I who made it to the finishing line:


But make it to the finishing line we did... and that's the important thing...

10 comments:

Dave said...

As I sit here surrounded by my middle-age spread I would just like to ask you... have you heard they have invented automobiles these days? What you are doing is similar to jogging, which some people say is good for you. Yea well, take a look at the expression on the face of the next person you see out jogging and try and convince me it's good for you!!!

Vivian said...

Day 23…was actually an amazing day!
Well done…

aedan said...

If you get time this morning have a look in Glasgow Transport Museum. It's sort of on your way. They have the oldest bike in the world there.

Went to last night's show in the Pavilion and had a great time but used the train not a Brompton.

aedan

Paul said...

Dave, buy some seal skin socks (not made of seal!) keep your feet warm and dry. They do some nice bike gloves as well. Any good or bad walking shop will have them

Grethic said...

Love the dangerous hill sign, so clear; but I guess they are all a bit dangerous.

What a pity the weather couldn't hold out for the whole trip; expect comments about people being soft south of the border.

Derek Walker said...

Hey Dave, hope the weather gets a bit better. Was at the Glasgow show last night and it was superb, still spell my name the same way as your dad!

snikt said...

Surprised you didn't get your bike stolen (while you were on it) in Cumnock. It's a bit rough there. Some nice scenery though. How was the cycle lane on the A77? handy addition to the old road?

Congrats on completing the cycle!

rockaperoon said...

here is the steve rooney page
for pics of thorn bike
warning stretched lyrca
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/steve.rooney

freeangel said...

Doesn't Tony have Marathon Schwable tyres? *Almost* unpuncturable!

aedan said...

Schwalbe Marathons are pretty good but I have had flats on them once they get worn down. I've yet to get a flat on a Marathon Plus which I used last winter on the back of a Brompton. They are heavier with higher rolling resistance though and a bit more spendy.