It has been a long winter – four months or more since I tucked my bikes away and crawled under the duvet!
Well I’m back in the saddle and loving it! Four of us made a date to meet up and go for a ride this morning. There was a half hour delay as Ulysses riding John had to sell some hens before he was allowed out. Confusion reigned when it transpired that some of the hens were cockerels and the deal fell through. Such is the joys of country living 🙂
No worries – the good weather promised from the Norn Iron direction was slow to appear but at least the overnight rain had dwindled to patchy snowstorms on the hills with sunshine in between by the time we set off. I’m the March Hare with a birthday this month so I was pushed out as lead rider and we set off by Ringford and Loch Ken to New Galloway. Cold wet roads but not as many loose stones as usual. A left turn at New Galloway taking us down the Queen’s Drive was equally stone free for several miles, lulling some of us into a false sense of security. Sure enough, at the ultra twisty bit at the far end loose gravel tightened a few sphyncter muscles.
We all arrived in Newton Stewart unscathed – found a coffee shop that was open and procceeded to put the world to rights. Well there was a lot to put right as we hadn’t ridden together for nigh on five months! Good timing for our break tho’ for a flurry of sleety rain swept down the Main Street as we yacked and we eventually emerged back on to the pavement in brilliant sunshine.
A look north showed more snow clouds while to the south were blue skies. No contest! We forgot about the Girvan tea hut and headed south for the Isle of Whithorn and the Steam Packet Hotel cum bar cum restaurant by the harbour. It was a cracking run down with only one hidden gravel strewn corner to keep us honest and in no time at all we were shivering by the harbour wall. We dallied long enough for a quick glance at the Isle of Man, a mere twenty miles away across the Irish Sea then headed for the warmth of the Steam Packet.
It may be at the end of the road on a cold winter’s day but the Packet was going like the proverbial fair with the lunch time menu. An order of four steaming mugs of coffee from the biker’s didn’t ellicit a smile from the landlord but he did OK at two quid apiece. There is a reccession in the rest of the world after all – if not in Wigtownshire.
With the caffiene levels sorted it was back to the bikes for a pic or two before setting off for home —
Colin in the helmet claims that’s a ferret in his leather trousers but I’m sure it’s a lobster he nicked from the pots in the harbour. Having a live lobster down your trousers without the appropriate licence constitutes a felony in these parts. Being a BMW rider, Phil at the back has enough spare alternator capacity to power a small town so he sported a natty heated waistcoat under his bike suit. Were we jealous? Not much!
Ulysses riding John on the other hand was understandably tired after chasing chickens most of the night —
but the ride home went smoothly in the cold winter sunshine over dry roads —
It was a lovely day out on the bikes with the boys – cold at times but at least the snow stayed on the tops 🙂
Back in the Saddle