It was a cold one… The 8:30 start, hardly moved the thermometer in the direction I wanted. I set off, having received the “I’m not playing” text, to meet my other cycling buddies. The main road was mostly damp with patches of black ice and white ice. The road to Ballo would be more of the same and worst … no damp bits.
I had double gloved and double socked and tripled every other layer, but my finger remained frozen. We crossed the bridge at the foot of Ballo, and Alan immediately lost traction. As he slipped and slithered up the sharp rise, a blue Audi was being attended to on the corner. It had apparently over shot the corner going down the hill last night and was just being rescued. On to Ballo at the first gate, and it is clear that the forestry are planning something big here. They have cleared the track with a mulcher – a mulcher that carries warning to stay 100m away when its operating. The path is slightly muddy. We take the short low road route to the Lairds loch and pop out at Tullybaccart.
Having crossed the main road, the views are spectacular – we are not here for the views, so we press on to the next fishing loch. Spike skims stones across the frozen pond … what a weird and fab noise it makes.
On ward to the Turbines and along the NASCA lines to the tower… The beacon has no plaque or anything to say who built it or why. This is familiar territory, not as Spike imagined one of his fathers MMTs. There is a discussion about alternative routes to the tower. We pile down the hill … one sedately the other two like creatures possessed.
At the bottom we follow the Newtyle disused railway and head in an indirect sort of way to The Meigle Joinery Cafe.
The fire is on at the cafe and we sit as close as possible to it. The hot tea and warm scones are just what we need to complete this blissful baw thaw.
Heading home now the road to Ardler is like glass, and the road to Kettins as bad. As we wait for spike to catch up (never should have taken the full bouncy castle downhill bike ) Alan spots some rasps still on the plants… he goes, he picks, he eats – the rasps are frozen. Like father like son, Spike goes and collects a few too.
Campmuir again, and the road has gotten worse. Ever tried to cycle round a corner without banking the bike over? No? Well I tried and let me tell you, the full two lanes are just not enough.
Home now 22 miles slithered over, and a low average speed, but big grins all round.