My mind gets a bit addled after a ride. In yesterday’s blog I couldn’t remember the name of the hotel we were staying at even though I was in it at the time (the Balmoral – very highly recommended) and today I can’t remember the name of the hill out of Moffat, despite being told it by several West Lothian riders and clarifying it with Giles. Possibly a sign of my age, but I know it had the word Beef in it. So the day started with a 10 mile climb out of Moffat up the Beef heart/roast/joint/cake(?) which had a slight headwind. Giles decided he wanted to ride up it at a stupid pace which meant I had to as well. But as per usual as we neared the summit Dave appeared from nowhere and “motored” past us – I swear to God he wasn’t pedalling!
The hill of course gave way to a long descent into the valley and then a storming 10 mile stretch down the valley which Giles and I hammered along until we reached a place called Broughton. We called into the village post office and the lady serving us was from Warrington! Heading out of Broughton towards Biggar we were due to meet West Lothian. I had climbed a hill a little ahead of Giles and as I descended I was the first to meet the West Lothian advance party. It was a brilliant turnout but as we headed to the Apple Pie barn in Biggar there were even more West Lothian riders waiting for us. It meant a lot to be welcomed in this manner. The Apple Pie barn had some great cakes at stupidly cheap prices, but amusingly no vegetarian pies for Giles. I guess Scotland’s vegetarian had called in earlier 😉
The West Lothian guys and girls took us on a very pretty route towards our target of Falkirk. It was quite a sight to see 20-odd riders in the various Clarion colours and everyone seemed to get on famously. We stopped for group photos before many of the riders departed for home, but we were led all the way through Blackburn and California (yes really), passed Susan Boyle in Bathgate and made it to the Falkirk Wheel which is a very impressive piece of engineering. And clearly paid for by the profit made on drinks and cakes in the coffee shop.
The final stage to Stirling was led by West Lothians Tobias, who rides a beautiful green Hewitt. Dave and him were riding along chatting for ages – I guess they were comparing carradice flaps and suchlike.
Anyway we hit Stirling and made it to the Easter meet HQ. After 3 days and 260-odd miles, countless cakes, much fun and good company.
Many thanks to West Lothian for coming to meet us – a great gesture and much appreciated.
Final big thanks to Martin’s Jackie, for lugging all our stuff up from Warrington, and specifically for personally lugging mine from the YHA in Stirling to the guesthouse I’m staying in!
Garmin stats : 82 miles in 5hrs 25mins @ 15.1mph average. 4196ft ascent and 4887kcals used. Average HR 116bpm