Today’s ACC social ride wasn’t ever going to be well attended due to club members all having things to do except Ross he went off earlier at 7am to do the same route to Carnwath but the rest of us wanted a lie in bed so we met up at 9am. With their only being 6 club members out on a 50 + miles round trip and with the forecast to be cold, windy with rain and some sun this was going to be a typical day for Scotland, your thoughts where turning to how strong everyone was as with only 6 out for this ride taking your turn at the front could be for long periods, After a few miles it was plain to see that the ride wasn’t only going to be a labour intensive one but a fight to keep the group together as the wind the short sharp inclines were taking its toll, heading towards Carnwath if you haven’t done the ride before, this could be a struggle well depending on your fitness, as the country roads where just as you’d expect them to be rutted, potholes and plenty of manure and dirt on them but to be fair they were rideable as this wasn’t a race your speed wasn’t going to up this was as it says in the tin a social rid.

However how many times club members had ridden this route you couldn’t help but think when this route gets mentioned for club rides the expectations of the ride wouldn’t change as the scenery was very picturesque long wide views of the countryside with the morning mist barely touching the grass but to be honest you couldn’t look and admire this for long as you’d probably hit a pothole or something untowards, the roads where great to cycle on as this was nothing like (A/B roads) this was short stretches of undulating country road so you’re in and out of the saddle quite a bit the inclines weren’t too severe in fact I’d go as far to say their completely manageable with a little bit of effort.

We decided on approaching Carnwath to stop off for a coffee and cake so the APPLE PIE café it was whilst in this café a remarkable 83 year young man sat with us and proceeded to indulge us with his wit and humour and with his stories of cycling from years gone by, but more remarkable thing was that he was still going on his bike still churning out the mile, you couldn’t help but admire this guy and how proud he was of his pound shop cycling glasses, it was also plain for anyone to see that the Apple Pie was the meeting place the hub if you like for cyclist as more and more cyclist arrive with all their tales you could probably have sat there all day just listening to tales of cycling but unfortunately that wasn’t going to happen so home word bound it was.

Our trip back to Airdrie was a total contrast from the 20 + miles previous we were on fast rolling roads where you could grind out a high gear for long periods of a time almost at full speed with little or no talking the group got the head down and applied themselves towards speed rather than short inclines where you’re in and out the saddle, this was a welcome relief as although tough you knew that your riding skillset was being put through its paces at high speed, if you hadn’t ridden this route before you’d actually wonder what was going on as the pace shot up like a rocket with no warning and stayed like that for probably 15 or miles, 6 miles from Airdrie the group split up dramatically virtually everyone going their own way but ending up almost at the same place to finish if that makes sense the reason for this was phone calls, adding miles on or just nothing left in the tank.

This was a great route with plenty of scenery perfect roads to test your cycling skillset although they were damaged and dirty but a must do for any cyclist, everyone enjoyed the full ride and definitely will be back out doing it again well it is a AAC favourite and you can see why, but the highlight of the ride for me was meeting that wee 83 year old cyclist and listening to how passionate he still was about cycling fantastic

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