First of 2012

Lungs burning like two Xmas trees, hidden but gloriously ablaze in my chest, which was bent into the short, snaking climb onto the unlit cycle path.

I pushed. Almost a month out of the saddle was taking an early toil.

Momentarily leaving the Greenock-Port Glasgow section of the cycle path to wiggle up through the industrial estate, I resumed, choosing to remain on this route until Kilmacolm: there’s an exit point leading through a farm, across a nice stone bridge and up towards the Balrossie exit that rejoins B788.

Nothing too eventful, although the MP3 playlist suited a couple of perilous moments I conducted near-stationery maneuvers between fallen trees; Lalo Schifrin meets the drum and bass of E-Z Rollers.  Up through the village of Kilmacolm, I headed towards Lochwinnoch.

Pomillan is a stone residency at the foot of the small minor road leading up toSouth Newton campsite: I vaguely remember it beginning construction 1992, a building project if you like.  Surrounding fields sparkled silver under the moon – a planet burned on the western horizon: I had the Android phone, but the ‘Night Sky’ app would have had to be downloaded, etc.

I was slowed considerably from South Newtownand all the up to the heights overlooking Auchenfoyle Farm – where there’s the unmistakable electricity supply station – and I was reminded of the winds most the country has been experiencing.  On the way I noted that the ‘Christ Died For Our Sins’ signage had been deposed by the recent ill winds.  (I remember an earlier instantiation circa 1982 onwards, and presume that this had a similar fate, it was certainly a lot bigger).

The Magicshine was set to ‘stun’ and quickly green became blue; I noticed that it had survived on the second brightest setting.  I bombed home.  A night on the relatively quiet B-road had lifted my spirits considerably: a university essay and copious amounts of marking always seem to taint this family time.

The larger-sized Gore Oxygen overshoes performed well (they slip over my trainers comfortably) but there was very little rain to fully test them.  I had ordered some ‘real’ (I’ve never owned a pair!) Shimano SPD shoes, but cancelled them and Shimano cleats later.  Moreover, I am not sure that I detected some issue with my right DMR pedal.

My next purchase should be some eye-wear, and definitely more winter lube.  Oh, and a warmer base layer: the O’Neil skin just won’t suffice , as I could feel some cold sweat on my back.

A respectable 1:41:54 for 25.37k (or 15.76 miles, in old money).

Home, hugs and a spicy lamb kebab.  What a feeling!

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