The first ride of the year

13. January 2012
35 km

The festive season (Christmas) is normally a bit of a disaster for me. Too much food and not enough excersises. With a faulty heart, this was not an option this time. But I still managed to put on too much weight. I tried to walk it off me with limited results. So I was pretty frustrated during my long walks. Frustrations made worse by the young and old cyslists passing me on my walks. That really got to me. I had got a winter cycling suit from my mother ten years which I had yet to put to good use. It was in my bedroom, doing nothing. I had a look at it. Tried it on and decided to give it a go the day after. I gave my bike a good makeover that night.

I got dressed into this suit at around 1100 the day after. It was a sunny, but cold day. The suit was fine and I cycled down to Paisley. A bit gingerly though, but I soon realised that the suit was excellent. The wheels was a bit wobbly though due to problems with getting air into them. I visited Dooleys cycle shop to get my wheels sorted with new air. My own cycle pump being knackered.
I cycled through Howwood was an absolute delight.
I was not sure where to go next due to being spoilt for choice. But I remembered from last year (the Paisley Circuit ride) the excellent and now very suitable road over to Barrhead from Howwood. So I climbed up towards Gleniffer.

On the climb up from Howwood towards Gleniffer

Myself on the climb up from Howwood towards Gleniffer

First on the B 776 road and then on the small road past Howwood fishery until I reached the moor. The road over the moor is pretty undulating. It was plenty of ice on the road here and I did not want to crash out on my thin slicks tires. But no drama at all. Best of all; my legs was superb and I kept a steady tempo on the small climbs. I was really pleased with myself and the landscape. I love this area. Despite of topping 220 meters above sea level and the 2-4 centigrades, I did not freeze at all. Neither did I feeel uncomfortable. I very much prefer a summer day in my cycle short and top. But this was not bad at all and I really enjoyed myself.
I reached the B775, the Gleniffer Road, which I followed for half a mile before I took the small Shilford Road up to the top of Gleniffer at 220 meters above sea level and then the Fereneze Road down to Barrhead.

Down the Fereneze Road with Barrhead and Glasgow in the background

The descent in the sun was surprisingly warm and easy. Due to expected ice, I was not taking any chances on this vertical descent. But no drama at all. I was happy to reach Barrhead though. I took the road past Dykebar Hospital down to the clubhouse at Barshaw GC where I met some friends of mine who were pretty impressed with me. I continued home to my flat after this very nice ride, happy as a fiddle.


I normally never venture out on the road before March-April. So I was very happy with setting a new personal best by two months. Besides of that, this ride is also excellent even on a hot summer day. Well, in particular on a hot summer day or evening. This is one of my favorite short rides and I am going to repeat it many times, I guess.