Well it was billed as a surprise Sunday and it certainly did not turn out to be ordinary.
It all started fairly normally (with the addition of two new faces – Grant & George – more of them later) with a 9:30am assembly at the Milton garage, although the weather was exceptionally good. This possibly helped with the numbers as 17 had arrived ready for the day’s adventures – it would have been 19 if AP had not shown a bit too much hospitality to an unannounced guest the evening before!
The first point of note was the run through Glen Fruin – no traffic other than cyclists and the occasional sheep. It was at the end of this road where we had our first casualty of the day, Robert’s foot went down awkwardly at the junction with the resulting shooting pain in his back forcing him to turn for home a little later as the pain was too much to bear.
Then it was up the small road towards Arrochar but this time turning right into Glen Douglas before the end. Here we had our second mishap (which had knock on consequences through the rest of the day) when John G picked up a rear puncture. Riding at the front he stopped and was heard to ask if anyone else was finding their bikes handling a bit strange?
The conversation ranged from fill it with tyre sealant to get the tyre off and fix the tube (although I’m sure I heard John mutter something about an insurance claim) – however the final decision was to leave it where it was for the breakdown company to pick it up and take it home for him.
Off we went with John now pillion on the back of Wullie’s Triumph – the unplanned detour to drop the key off at the Tarbet tearoom throwing the next spanner in the works. Somehow George had arrived at the tearoom but Grant had disappeared, after a quick discussion George decided that Grant had probably turned right at the hotel and he would shoot on ahead of the rest of us to catch him up before Crianlarich. Somebody commented that Grant may have got mixed up in the wrong group of bikes and would end up as the evening’s entertainment at the Blue Oyster Bar but I’m sure they were hoping they were wrong.
Arriving at Crianlarich there was no sign of Grant… or George!! We assembled in the carpark to allow everyone to get back together before continuing towards Callander – we had started as 17 and were now down to 13.
Arriving in Callander who did we find parked up but Grant – it turned out that he had indeed latched on to the back of another bike and had happily sat behind him all the way to Callander only realising something was wrong when the bike in front pulled off into a parking spot. Luckily George had reached him by mobile phone and the group was reunited as we left Callander heading for the lunch stop at the Killearn Hotel.
And so it turned out that this Surprise Sunday was anything but ordinary!
Thanks to Ian for the story & many, many thanks to Carole Nash for their first class recovery service- beyond the call of duty.
Thanks also to Willie for the extended “backy” on his totie dual seat. Going in for 2 new hip joints soon.