Headwinds and tailwinds on our last winter ride

It’s been a bit of a wet and windy winter so far so it was something to start a winter ride with a little sunshine and no weather warnings – practically a balmy day, seasonally adjusted!

Empty A75
An unusual sight! The A75 was closed at this stretch for resurfacing.

Our destination was Crocketford – somewhere we haven’t been to for a while on our winter outings. Originally we had intended to go out via the Old Military Road and Milton and then back through Shawhead. With the closure of the A75 for resurfacing, however, we felt that some of the diverted traffic would have ended up on the Old Military Road so we headed out via the old Glen Road (in fact, we briefly considered taking advantage of the closure to ride along an almost empty A75 instead …)

top of the Glen
At the top of the glen (on the old A75) – with the headwind already making itself felt

From there we took Seeside Road up to the Terregles Road and headed west to Shawhead and then on along the back road to Crocketford – a nice and very quiet alternative to the Old Military Road if you’re heading west out of Dumfries.

coming into Shawhead
Coming into Shawhead village

An absence of weather warnings doesn’t necessarily mean an absence of weather, however and we soon found ourselves up against a stiffish headwind. Although nothing like as strong as some of the gales we’ve had recently, it was enough to make for slow going, especially on the uphill stretches, and it was after 1pm before we finally rolled into Crocketford (just as the weather was closing in) having worked up a substantial appetite for lunch.

group photo
Well lunched and ready to take advantage of the tailwind home!

Fortunately the Galloway Arms Hotel does a good range of food, from lighter options such as soup, sandwiches and baked potatoes, to a full Sunday lunch, and we were soon refuelled and ready to hit the road again. Knowing that this time the wind would be behind us, the group decided to take a detour up over the ‘top’ road past the last of the Henry Moores and down towards the Glenkiln Reservoir.

Approaching the Henry Moore sculpture
Admiring the Henry Moore sculpture – sadly, with one stolen, the rest have been put away for safe keeping. Photo Alyson Tyler

The ride then went back via the Routin Bridge to see the waterfall there and then a much speedier ride into Dumfries with the assistance of a tailwind!

Routin falls
Plenty of water going over the falls. Photo Alyson Tyler

That wraps up our winter ride season – it’s been a challenging one due to the weather, but each one of the rides has been good fun and a good way to get outside when the temptation is just hibernate and wait for spring. Thanks to everyone who’s joined us – whatever the weather!

We will still be joining forces with the newly formed Friends of Maxwelltown Path (FOMP) to get out once a month to help maintain and improve this key cycle route – with the next work party taking place on Sunday – meet at the Hardthorn Road entrance at 11am for a couple of hours work clearing and trimming – and undoubtedly some litter picking as well.

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