Monday, 5 January 2009

Grant's Classique Des Alpes

Grant's report from the ride on Friday 2nd January
7 of us made it out on the 2nd for the Classique Des Alpes.

I'm no good with second names so hopefully the people below will recognise themselves from my descriptions!: -

Myself, Allan Black (his first venture out in 6 weeks), Mike 'the Cannibal', Jim on his Revolution Continental, Neil on the refurbished Holdsworth, Peter 'the Hammer' on his two-tonne Dawes tourer and newbie, Niall on a nice Raleigh with bling-tastic gold brake levers and calipers.

We set off from the Leisure Centre and headed out the Lanark Road at quite a 'brisk' pace which left myself at the back as we regrouped in Torphichen and poor Allan coughing his lungs up whilst keeping me company. It was decided to apply some additional weight to Peter's Dawes to slow him down somewhat although this didn't really have the desired effect! and we then went up to Preston Road where there was unbelievably around 1cm of snow and slush on the roads whereas there hadn't even been a sign of frost down in Linlithgow.

It was decided to head down to warmer climes at Winchburgh and the bunch gingerly made it's way down there via treacherous roads past Ochiltree and Faucheldean. We then set off at a fast pace to Kirkliston and around the backroads past Turnhouse and back to Kirkliston via the Dalmeny Estate - up to 19-20 mph at times.

From Kirkliston it was a run home via the 10 course although the bunch split with myself, Mike and Allan bringing up the rear albeit maintaining a good 16-17mph along the drag into the wind which shows how fast the rest were going.

Mike 'the Cannibal' annihilated the field at every 30 sprint on his turbo charged Ribble.

I missed out on the glory coming back into Kirkliston as we were being drafted by 'Ra Polis and so I didn't want to be up before the committee with a speeding ticket at the AGM - Jim sneakily took advantage of my law abidence and crossed the 'line' first to claim the honours.

Meanwhile the Cannibal was preparing for his assault on the Winchburgh 30. He reeled in a 200 metre breakaway and charged off the front to take the spoils yet again.

I could have had him at Linlithgow however I decided discretion was the better part of valour and didn't put up a challenge seeing as i'd sat on his wheel for the previous 7 or 8 miles and thought it would smack of desperation if I took advantage of him in such an ungentlemanly fashion.

All-in-all a good run although I think we need to be careful of keeping speeds down a bit if we've advertised a ride as a social paced one - especially at this time of year!

On the return to the leisure centre I spotted Freddie the Whippet taking Matt for a walk and stopped to chew the fat for a minute or two. Freddie was sporting a natty thermal jacket (Rapha?) and Matt had a lovely pair of green wellies on

Cheers all, hope to see you out on the road soon!


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