As I cycled up towards Peter’s barbers I was really pleased to see there was a good turnout again obviously very keen as its normally me first and I was last to show. Myself and 8 of Airdries finest set off for Carnwath on a nice morning, little cooler which was clear by the long sleeves and arm warmers.         It was going to be a tough day.

I’m always a bit apprehensive when we head down Towers Road as it leads to a series of back roads towards Salsburgh that have more than their fair share of climbing. As you haven’t had much of a chance to warm up your lungs (well mine) are struggling right away. At this point I seem to remember turning to Davie Brown and saying “I’ll never keep up with this lot”.

Fortunately this gives way to a really pleasant run down to the back end of Carluke and with Davie encouraging me to just keep going I began to start to warm up. From Carluke down to Carnwath the road is really good and the scenery improves as each mile goes by. Unfortunately the pace began to pick up again but to be fair to the guys they kept me in touch. Andy and Phil held back to encourage me along whilst the main peloton stopped a couple of times for me to catch up. Some of Andy’s advice was as usual fairly unsympathetic. I also think his desire for me to climb in the big ring is purely for his own entertainment.

Soon the out skirts of Carnwath were in sight and very quickly the coffee stop at The Apple Pie. It was already mobbed with likeminded cyclists so we were forced to enjoy our break alfresco. I spent 10 mins or so admiring the various bikes on show with Alistair, he’s a Cannondale fan but  although it galls me to say it Andy’s looked the best. Refreshed we were on our way again and very quickly the effect of the coffee had Ross powering along the road towards Addiewell. Again I fell behind, this time with Davie and Scott. Davie’s front derailleur was stuck so he only had the use of the small front ring and I think Scott was feeling the pace after his excursion to Elie.

After Addiewell we turned towards Fauldhouse and a tough climb into the town and from there down to Harthill. By that time it was only myself and Scott. I thought that was us until home but sure enough they were all waiting for us again. I was glad when we turned down to Armadale as the drag up to the Blackhill turn would have started me bubbling.

Soon we were off again, as Alex put it the hard work was over. Again Ross was off like a shot this time he had competition in the form of Leslie. I would love to tell you more but that was the last I saw of them.

Phil the gentleman he is decided to see myself and Scott home. Phil leading the way with me behind and Scott tucked in behind me. I must admit there was a strong breeze into our faces and I was glad Phil was there. I do however have to perfect the art of sitting on someone’s wheel as Phil shouted “closer” more than once.

After Phil had split for home Scott took over his duties and nursed me back until Plains. Couple of miles later and a hot bath was waiting. That and the satisfaction of looking at Strava.


Cheers guys I think I’m finally on the right track and you can all say you’ve contributed to the once smoker of 35 years.


Alan Turner Club member since Nov 2016



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