St Andrew Hospice Sportive

at the feed station

St Andrews Hospice Sportive

Airdrie Cycle Club, ARRIA Cycle Club. Coatbridge Clarion Cycle Club

Airdrie Feed Station

Big thanks to Tracey & Emma Laird, Julie McQuade along with Chris Jackson for giving up your time to look after the cyclist not just for making sure they had plenty of food and drink but for making everyone feel so welcome at the food station

Thanks to the 20 ACC members that helped make up 72 participants for the event

at the start

ACC have been getting involved with this charity for a number of years now helping raise vital cash which 100% of the money raised goes directly to the hospice.

This was an early start for most riders leaving from Broadwood stadium home of Clyde FC, at the start point it took a while for someone from the stadium to come and open up the facilities to the building but registration could still be done as they had setup outside, fortunately for us it was rather early and the dreaded midges was just starting to introduce themselves to everyone, Phil Jones was sending everyone off whilst telling us about a rutted road and to be careful at it, you thought to yourself only 1 part of a road to report about being rutted are we in Scotland seriously.

the grit on the roads

Once it was decided that all the ACC riders had arrived and registered it was time to start rolling ACC formed what looked like a never ending train leading what looked like around 30 to 40 riders out of Cumbernauld and heading towards the crow road the biggest climb of the day for some riders, the roads were remarkably quiet obviously all the Sunday drivers were still in bed, leading up to the event everyone was unsure if we could ride over the crow road or not due to roadwork’s, but it was good that the event organisers managed to arrange to keep the road open for the event (brilliant and thanks guys for that), once the train hit Milton it was noticeable that riders were getting themselves ready for the crow road climb, before the climb even started a couple of ACC riders took mechanicals (1 couldn’t get into the small ring & the other had punctures) it took a while to sort out the mechanicals, it wasn’t pleasant for guys that had stopped to help with the mechanical as everyone was getting attacked by the midges it was like breakfast time for the midges so it was a case of try and get the repairs done as quick as possible and get moving, going up the crow road was very pleasant and steady nothing hard about it atoll the morning mist was sitting on the road ahead and obscuring the iconic views over Glasgow, so sitting on your bike turning the peddles chatting away without either trying to stay on the persons wheel or even trying to catch the person in front just to stay in touch with the group was a welcome change,

waiting on the group to catch up

The first feed station was run by ARRIA, this was around 30ish miles into the ride just at the Carron Valley picnic area on arrival at the feed station this could have been mistaking for a outdoors fancy dress convention the guys that were manning the feed station had plastic bags over there heads with holes cut out for there eyes and mouth, the midges were out in force today, after drinks and cake it was time to go on our merry way with virtually all of the ACC riders further up the road it was 2 loan riders left to plod there way back to limerigg feed station, heading to limrigg along the way riders were sitting up enjoying the views of the Scottish countryside well that’s what we were thinking as they didn’t seem to be interested in getting involved in forming a train as when we were passing them they tried to jump on our wheels but couldn’t, the speed from the Carron Valley feed station heading to limerigg was good and steady the roads for most of the ride were actually in good condition yes there was a lot of loose mud & gravel on the country single track roads which wasn’t that enjoyable but that was normal after a heavy rain fall, it was good cycling along the track with the pack of deer running in tandem adjacent to you that truly was something special, the climb heading up to Canada wood was taking its toll on some riders as they struggled to get any real momentum going up the inclines.

It seemed actually really quick since leaving Cumbernauld up to the point where we were heading into the second and final feed station for some riders, this was the feed station that ACC family member were looking after as we pulled up we were greeted with massive smile and cheers of well done and 1 helper asking about an ACC rider whom obviously had a couple of mechanicals, this was obviously the best feed station for the full event this was like walking into Harrods cake department every type of cake you could wish for all looking as good as the next, to be honest you could have spent the full day in there and happily went into a cake coma if possible, the ACC home baking was awesome the bakers not only did themselves proud but did the club proud also, the girls helping in the station were magnificent making sure each and every rider felt welcome and made sure each and every rider had something to eat and drink as they walked/crawled through the door but not only that when you were leaving the station they asked if you wanted a doggy bag truly brilliant and well done.

some riders from ACC were finishing at limerigg as they started there day there, whilst some were heading out to complete the 100mile route whilst a few heading back to Broadwood Stadium to complete 100k, getting back to Broadwood you were greeted by St Andrews Hospice helpers giving you your meddle and more food drinks along with some sandwiches.

this whole event was well organised and manned magnificently it was a shame that some idiots wanted to try and ruin it by changing some signs out on the rout but the riders, organisers and helpers treated the event with the respect it deserved and battled on even after getting lost because of the small minded people trying to for whatever reason sabotage the event but it wasn’t too hard getting back onto the planned routes, this event and all the routes were well thought out which showed from start to finish so well done one and all and let’s hope that next years will be bigger but you’ll be hard pushed to get it any better.

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