Getting the summer off to the best possible start…

Our usual family friendly summer ride programme doesn’t start until this weekend but this year we kicked off early with a spin up to the Glenkiln Reservoir and out round Speddoch – a ride we usually do in the dark! – for no real reason except that we want to get out on more social rides, and not just during the winter, and we thought it might be fun.

group at the top of the Glen Road

And indeed it was! A group of 10 of us assembled at the Rowing Club at 11 am on Sunday to enjoy a cracking day out, and with perfect weather to boot: partial sunshine, no wind, and some proper summer warmth in the air. We headed out along the Maxwelltown Path and then climbed the Glen Road and as always, we knew we’d got the pace of the ride right when we could hear the sound of chat from the group behind …

group photo on the reservoir road
Pausing to admire the ‘giant budgie’ at the start of the climb up to the reservoir. Photo courtesy of Steve Jefkins

This is one of the more challenging routes we tackle – not because of the traffic (which was largely non-existent on the back roads around Shawhead and past the reservoir) but because there’s a significant amount of climbing (and descending) involved. However, it’s worth it because it does take you through a real cross section of the local countryside and the views are amazing.

group riding up the ascent

We took it steadily, regrouping regularly as people tackled the steeper bits at their own pace. Once at the top, we found a picnic spot with a view and settled down to refuel and enjoy our packed lunches

picnic spot with view

Then came the best bit – the swooping descent (of almost two miles) that takes you back down to the river valley

pre-descent briefing
Pre descent briefing. Photo courtesy of Steve Jefkin
Descending past Speddoch

As is traditional on these longer rides, participants are welcome to peel off as it’s convenient (as long as they let the ride leader know!) so we were a slightly smaller group by the time we crossed over Routin Bridge for a quick photo opportunity at the waterfall.

Group at Routin Bridge

From there it was an easy 7-mile pedal along the Irongray Road, detouring slightly via Hardthorn Road (and thereby missing the excitement of the fire at the Lochside playpark the same afternoon). The last remainder of the group headed off for a coffee at the end, having done a total of 27 miles in all (and presumably continued the chat which had been more or less continuous all day).

It was, in short, pretty much a perfect day out. We always seem to have good company on these rides, and the roads and the scenery also played their part. Hopefully a good sign for our summer rides to come.

Our summer ride programme will not involve quite such distances but hopefully will still involve as much good humour, peaceful riding and plentiful conversation. If you want to join us, please check out the schedule and book in advance so we can ensure safe numbers. Our first ride will be on Sunday with a super short and easy outing to Mavis Grove.

2 thoughts on “Getting the summer off to the best possible start…”

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