So as I posted yesterday I was trying to clear my schedule for today as the weather was due to be amazing, that is amazing Scottish not amazing everywhere else in the world. Well, the Met Office were right but I only had to stop once in order to cool my head down. My biggest complaint about today’s ride was the fact that I had forgotten my camera and phone. Which is a shame as I have stopped you from seeing badly framed and shot pictures of the amazing Scottish landscape. Trust me today was one of those days that are just perfect for going out and enjoying.
I did though decide to do some climbs that just daunt me, for no real reason but I think it dates back to when I discovered cycling. I think these hills were such a struggle when you are new to riding they can leave a big scar on your psyche. You can see the ride here on Strava, *makes a point about not really trying to try and save face*.
One of the first hills that caused a moment of trepidation was The Broom Road. The reason being is I used to ride up it as on BMX and for some reason never really enjoyed the experience. Today I coasted up it and I am now gamely holding up the bottom of the Strava leaderboard there. I actually didn’t pedal most of it so now I am wondering why the younger me made such a faff about it.
The next bit that I was worried about was the climb up from Gateside Farm to what used to be an old military testing ground. I had in head decided the start of this hill was super steep, it really isn’t but I started to climb and felt I may be as good as Bertie Contador. Turns out I forgot the steeper ramps are at the top and got to the top thinking my heart was about to explode. Pride does indeed come before a fall.
The next fearful bit was up another bit of Gateside Road until you turn off for North Third. This bit was probably just right to stay in my mind as a bastard of a climb. The start of it is and the rest is fairly sedated but you have just blown up on the first part. My climb was confounded by the fact that I dropped my shades. I did honestly just think to leave them.
It is one of those short and sharp climbs you get in Scotland, where I think your best bet is to gun it along the flat and see how far it takes you. The problem being on this climb you have a nice right angle corner with a load of gravel before you hit it. Maybe I have just become more square as I get older, I am sure I would have just powered through it before but now I tend to have all the ways I will crash running through my head.
The next thing that was going through my head was the segment known as the North Third Kick. Which as I started to head into I had to chuckle at myself as it was about a third of the height I remembered it as. It was definitely one to go into at speed and you will be at the top before you know it. Next time I may even listen to my own advice. I highly doubt it though as I will be breaking a lifetime practice by then.
I then started downwards towards home, which is amazing how your mindset changes fro “Why am I doing this?”, “I am going to have a heart attack!”, “How do I breathe again?” to “Yes, I am an athlete. Check me out. I am amazing at this cycling lark.” This was the spirit I went home, even singing to myself as I went up the final climb, watching the birds and just generally being at ease with the world.