The trouble with prolonged periods of fine weather is that after a while – despite ten years of evidence to the contrary – I start to believe that it will last for ever. And so, back in May when I was stuck indoors editing with the sun shining outside, and a suggestion came up of a meeting in Troon, it seemed an excellent wheeze to arrange to take the train up to Kilmarnock and cycle the ten or so miles to the coast with my co-conspirator. If nothing else, we would have had a nice couple of hours cycling, whether the meeting proved worth it or not, and I’ve never been to that part of the world.
Fast forward to this week, with Storm Hector on the horizon and a forecast 50 mph headwind and this was beginning to seem somewhat foolhardy. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and we relocated the meeting to Kilmarnock – which still meant I had an 8 mile ride to the station, in what turned out to be a lively headwind for at least some of the way and by lively I mean ‘pedalling downhill as hard as I can and barely making any headway’. I think, in fact, it was one of the strongest winds I’ve ever encountered on the bike. The road and cycle paths were carpeted with debris, but there were fortunately no trees down, and having turned the corner and found a tailwind I made it to the station with plenty of time to spare.
Where, naturally, the train was cancelled. Although ScotRail were considering putting on a taxi for myself and the very pleasant young mum and her very lively toddler who were also heading to Kilmarnock, in the end the meeting was cancelled, somewhat to my relief. Troon will have to wait for another day.
That meant the small matter of pedalling home into the renewed gale, which seemed to have strengthened enough blow even the rainbows out of the sky.
As I got home – windblown, somewhat damp and entirely exhilarated I reflected that there’s something to be said for having braved a gale and ridden 16 miles and arrived safely home – and all by 10:30 in the morning…
All of which will hopefully stand me in good stead for our main adventure, which starts tomorrow.