All right, we’ll admit it – we weren’t expecting a massive turn out for Saturday’s winter ride to Caerlaverock. The forecast was not hopeful, and the rain was well set in by the time the ride was due to start. Yet clearly the allure of a convivial ride in good company outweighed the fear of damp toes. Six of us – including two visitors from Edinburgh – gathered at Dock Park, and another two joined us as we came through Glencaple, making eight hardy souls in all (we skipped the traditional group shot at the start in order to get going before everyone froze – the sign-in sheet had already threatened to turn into paper pulp in the rain)
The run down to Glencaple was slightly marred by a couple of impatient drivers (what is it about driving in the rain that makes cars in such a hurry? It’s not as if they don’t have roofs) not helped by the puddles stretching across the road, meaning we had to pull out quite far into the middle of the road to avoid any hidden potholes. But once through the village it was much quieter and we were rewarded by a good view of some Barnacle geese quite close to the road, although there wasn’t much to see from the Nature Reserve lookout point.
The rain had started to ease off by the time we reached Caerlaverock Castle tea rooms, where we stopped for a very welcome hot drink and very freshly baked scones – which got a rave review from our Edinburgh visitors. This made the run back very much more pleasant, with the wind easing off and the only incident a puncture (which turned out to be a blackthorn which had managed to penetrate a Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture resistant tyre – no mean feat) as we came out of Bankend.
As always the company was excellent and the mostly quiet roads gave us a chance to chat as we rode. A few people peeled off as they passed the road back home, but for those that made it all the way back to Dock Park in the renewed rain there was one last treat in store spotted by Rhian:
An otter was hunting in the river just in front of Halfords. Always a pleasure to see – and a nice bonus for making it out on the most unpromising of days!
The next (and last) winter ride will be to Loch Arthur on Saturday 15th February. Do come along – you never know what you might miss if you don’t