Well, my recent plans to try to get back to normal hours haven’t exactly come good – sometimes you just have to do what’s required. But at least the weekends have been my own, and I’ve been using them to relax, rather than power over the Arrochar Alps.
But on the subject of the Arrochar Alps, we did climb the cobbler of a Monday morning recently. It was a wet climb, and a dry descent at lunchtime, but nice. We went round the back of the hill and up the stairs. We caught all the peaks but were shy to ‘thread the needle’. I had done the needle as a boy in the scouts, but my head for heights just doesn’t cope with the loftier demands as well as it once did. Still, we set out for home by taking on the more adventurous front side of the hill and the way down was pretty interesting.
Next time I’m going to pack trainers (or trail shoes) as I reckon I could make short work of the first and last third of the descent (the middle section just a bit too craggy for even the bravest of mountain goats). Picking our way down we talked of doing four munros in a row up near Glencoe in a couple of weeks time. I would like this very much!
Four in a row:
Meall Dearg (953m)
Sgor nam Fiannaidh (967m)
Bidean nam Bian (1150m)
Stob Coire Sgreamhach (1072m)
Anyway, here’s brief history of my time since last post…
- Sunday 25th September: bought a second-had bike in Lochwinnoch & cycled it home, wow! Smooth.
- Monday 26th September: Climbed The Cobbler (Ben Arthur)
- Tuesday: 6.5 mile cycle, 1 hour training in the gym, mostly circuits with free weights, cycled 6.5 miles home
- Wednesday: 6.5 mile cycle, half hour training in the gym, mostly circuits with free weights cycled 6.5 miles home
- Thursday: Cycled to and from work, 13 miles in total – very warm
- Friday: 6.5 mile cycle, 3.4 hour training in the gym, mostly circuits with free weights, cycled 6.5 miles home in t-shirt as it was extremely warm. Started my son at junior cubs (officially called beavers). He loves it!
- Saturday & Sunday: planned to do a solo hike early doors, but the weather was miserable
This monday: gone is the heat, and in place is the wind and the rain (again). Cycled 6.5 miles to work & cycled home in a big head wind and then met a numpty…
Incident at Patons leather factory: 1 mile from home I slowed down a bit to negotiate some teenagers on the cycle track – they were arsing about & I was trying to work out whether they would give me room to get by.
As I started to bear right to pass them, another cyclist came from behind and overtook me on the right. I nearly slammed into him and had to swerve and haul on the anchors – which dampened my speed. I thought this was effing rude.
He was a big man, and had the full “I’m a real cyclist” gear on. As a real cyclist he should have had better manners – the pr1ck had given me no audible warning, no bell, and to make things worse, after barging past and nearly putting me off my bike, he pulled on a big gear and promptly slowed down and held the middle of the track.
After tail-gating him for a minute, I just went for it. I pinged my bell, but he had headphones in and didn’t hear me. A soon as he caught sight of me passing him he started pumping the pedals hard.
Now I’m not competitive (well, not much) but I would rather have jumped like Indiana Jones from my bike to his, and taken us both out than give up the lead twice.
We both went into a tight bend with a sharp incline & I fired the gears down to number 4 on the largest cog. I rose out of the saddle and started to scythe through the floor like a hot knife through butter. I swear I’ve done that wee bend to the flyover more than 300 times, and that was the fastest I’d cleared it. I was on the other side before he reached the start of the flyover, but over the other side, the track it is true and flat for 1K. And on the flat, it’s just about who pushes harder. And harder it got – I had a healthy glow developing on my face!
By the time I reached my exit he was a good 150 metres behind. When I got off the bike back home my legs nearly folded up underneath me. Well worth it though. And the bike had been amazing. Front fork suspension, gear changes like the quiet clicking of a combination safe, and bullet-proof tyres.
Needless to say on Tuesday, my legs could only cope with the commute, but I managed some weighted lunges at the gym this morning, and managed a windy old cycle home tonight. There’s life in these legs yet.