We weren’t entirely sure who would join us on Saturday on our second annual cake raid – but in the end eight hungry cyclists were prepared to risk the chance of rain and join us for a 40-mile round trip to Penpont for the fabled church tea.
Having gathered at the Whitesands, we set off for the Irongray Road by way of the Maxwelltown path and Hardthorn Road, picking up our eighth rider at the Routin Brig where the sun came out for our first group photo (apologies for the quality of the shot!).
From there, we rode out to Milton and then turned right to swing around the back of Dunscore and onto the back road to Moniaive, before joining the Clone Road to Penpont. Although this is an A-road, it was not busy and in fact the few drivers we encountered mostly passed us with courtesy so it was a pleasant and quite quick ride – the thought of the waiting lunch was clearly spurring participants on.
In the end, the rain caught us just as we were coming into the outskirts of Penpont so we were glad to see the signs leading us to the church hall and the welcome that awaited us. As a special treat, the lunch was themed around pancakes with both sweet and savoury options – all of them pretty delicious, as you could tell from the silence that fell on the group as we tucked into the food.
The church teas didn’t stop there though – there were also scones and two further kinds of pancakes, as well as the wonderful cake trolley and of course tea and coffee. Everything was home made (and much of it home grown) and all in all we would highly recommend it.
It was a very well fed group of cyclists who waddled out of the church hall ready to tackle the 20 miles or so back to Dumfries.
Even a renewed shower couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm, although the pace was noticeably slower on the return route, which took us through Keir Mill, Glen Midge and Dunscore before dropping back down the the Irongray Road and back into Dumfries.
If all this has whetted your appetite, don’t forget that it’s our bike breakfast on Friday – join us on your bike at the Whitesands between 7 and 9am outside the Coach and Horses for a free hot roll and tea or coffee – we can’t quite compete with the Penpont Church Teas, but it should be a good start to the day!