I opted not to head over to Pomillan and return via South Newton and Auchenfoyle Farm, instead heading over and connecting with the B788 just short of the electricity substation.
The knee (previous damage has resulted in a slightly smaller left thigh muscle) burned a bit on the road climb up to the cycle track; almost 3 weeks away from the saddle had taken toll.
But I recovered – overjoyed to be out.
I had become a human flagpole as soon as the end of Devol housing scheme was in sight, the wind whipping over dark moors upon which silhouetted humps indicated the Hardridge Farm-Clyde Muirshiel track.
Why do we (I feel qualified to use the collective pronoun) do this?
Breathing in the musk of pine mixed with farm slurry does connect the present with the past; suddenly its 1982, and the olfactorial is compounded by the aural, with Numan accompanying me in my earphones. Cycling is the individual against physical constraints and their natural- and man-made contexts; MTB is more an individual against their memories. And Nature.
A wild wind whipping through the deserted substation did conjure the possibility of a sheared cable spitting volts into the ether, and I picked up my pace for the quick final stage home. Drenched (the Gore ‘oxygen’ overshoes did not last long – zipper structure came apart – and I’ve ordered a larger size in white) my base layer was still snug and intact.