We were a little worried overnight about today’s planned jaunt to Ae – not only was the Met Office issuing dire warnings of ice, but there were also reports coming in of frozen roads around Ae yesterday. But that didn’t seem to put off the 11 riders (include one 11-year-old) who assembled at Devorgilla Bridge in the winter sunshine.
It seems it takes a little more than some ice to put off your Dumfries cyclist when there is the Ae Cafe hot chocolate as a draw.
As it was, the Caledonian cycleway was pretty clear (someone seems to have sorted out the leaves for a start …) and we soon reached Quarry Road ready for the pull up to Ae. The winter sunshine was very welcome after the rain and sleet we’ve been having and people were soon warming up that every stop at the top of each climb (to ‘admire the view’, or possibly catch our breath …) was accompanied by some rearranging of various winter layers. There were a few icy spots still on the last mile before the village but nothing too difficult for anyone to handle.
There were also a few threatening clouds, but they passed us by and we soon made it to the welcome embrace of Ae Cafe where we promptly finished the lentil soup and then proceeded to make inroads into the hot chocolate …
It took a bit of effort to lever ourselves out of the cafe and back onto the bikes but at least it was mostly downhill home (even if that meant it was a bit chillier than the ride in!). Two of our number took advantage of their mountain bikes and set off on an off-road cross-country route, but for the rest of us, it was a simple question of retracing our route back to Dumfries, with much anticipation of warming baths, hot drinks and fires for when we got home!
This will be our last ride of 2017 so thank you to everyone who made it such a nice day out. Our next ride will be on New Year’s Day – starting as we mean to go on with a run out to Caerlaverock WWT.