We could not have asked for better weather for today’s ride to Crocketford – after a bright and frosty start, the ice cleared and the day turned mild and there was very little wind – perfect for cycling.
Seven riders met at the start and the ride was led by Mike Gray along the Maxwelltown path and up the Glen Road to join the Terregles Road, where the group was joined by an eighth. Unusually we had a recumbent trike among the more usual upright bikes; the perfect solution for those who prefer a more ‘laid back’ ride. Once through Shawhead village, the roads were very quiet (apart from the odd tractor), making for a relaxed and conversational ride.
We reached Crocketford in good time – in fact our timing was perfect because at 11:30 the new Cottage Tea Rooms at the Galloway Arms were still serving breakfast, but were also ready to dish up lunch. With no need to choose between soup and a bacon roll, the group refuelled ready for the return along the Old Military Road. It’s always a pleasure to discover a new cafe stop and the consensus was that the Tea Rooms were a good choice for the hungry cyclist (although we didn’t really sample the cake menu extensively so may have to return for more investigations).
The Old Military Road takes a no-nonsense approach to hills: it doesn’t mess about going round them, it just goes over the top of them. Fortunately, there’s always a view to admire once you get there (and if it means a chance to catch your breath, all the better). And of course, what goes up must come down – so the run back into Dumfries was a delight.
We’ll not run a ride in December (unless anyone fancies a New Year’s Day pipe-cleaner?) but we’ll be back with the winter ride programme in January so keep an eye on the site for details. And we’ll definitely be revisiting the Cottage Tea Rooms again.