Tailwinds and headwinds on our winter ride

In January, you take your chances with the weather – if it’s not raining (or snowing) it can be icy and if it’s neither it’s often blowy! And so it proved on Sunday when just five hardy souls decided that the lure of the winter sunshine was enough to outweigh the somewhat blustery wind and head off for a jaunt to Brow Well and back via Caerlaverock Castle tea rooms.

Maidenbower Path
Descending down the Maidenbower Path to Georgetown. This and most of the other photos for the day were largely taken by John Henry.

We started off by heading through the Crichton and up and over the Maidenbower Path and then took Craigs Road from Georgetown towards the Bankend Road. This adds a bit of up and down and a detour, but makes for a much quieter and more pleasant ride than the top end of the Bankend Road

Group shot as we joined the Bankend Road

Once on the Bankend Road we enjoyed an epic tailwind all the way to the turnoff and then a mostly-tailwind blowing us out to Brow Well. It was clear from the faces of the cyclists coming the other way that we should make the most of it as it was going to be hard work coming back. The wind aside, the skies were clear and it was nice to enjoy the sunshine and the sight of a huge flock of geese taking to the sky at our approach (for some reason, five bikes were scarier than any of the cars going past).

Turning into Brow Well
Taking the turn into Brow Well

It’s fair to say, the group were unimpressed by Brow Well itself which is perhaps more historically interesting than visually inspiring. Still, a few people had fun trying to take a more artistic impression of the place

brow well
Going for the artistic angle
Brow well sign
None of us were tempted. The general verdict was that Burns would have been better off sticking to the whisky

Then there was nothing for it but to turn back into the wind and head to Caerlaverock Castle to get some lunch. At least with a small group it was easier going – it’s much more pleasant to ride with a companion, especially if they’re acting as a bit of a windbreak into the headwind.

At Caerlaverock Castle
Lunched and ready for the ride home!

Once at the castle tearooms we had a warm welcome and were soon happily enjoying soup, toasted sandwiches and the tea room’s excellent scones. The headwind hadn’t eased particularly but we had at least fortified ourselves, and stuck together as much as we could to minimise the effect of the wind. A few impatient drivers didn’t spoil our day, but were a reminder that the Glencaple Road isn’t as cycle friendly as a stretch of the NCN 7 really ought to be.

All in all, a good day’s outing and we certainly felt we had earned our lunch! Our next winter ride is to New Abbey, on February 24th so please do join us then – but if you can’t wait, there’s always our Georgetown Safari on the 10th February.

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