Members of Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club were well and truly ‘drookit’ at the weekend. With the south west of Scotland facing the worst of storm ‘Brian’ the exposed Mull of Galloway was not the best place to be.
However, a long-standing trip to the Mull had been arranged weeks ago by the club’s overseas member from Northern Ireland, Alan Thomson. Alan had arranged to meet his father at Portpatrick where the two had planned a weekend mini tour of the Rhinns of Galloway.
A short run taking in the northern section of the Rhinns was managed on the Friday, when the weather was dry but windy. Overnight things changed dramatically, when gale force winds and torrential rain hit the south west, with Galloway bearing the brunt of the storm. The weather forecast indicated that things were to get worst during Saturday. How worst? They were soon to find out! However, not deterred the pair ventured out.
On the outward leg along the exposed Luce Bay they faced gale force winds and as they approached Drummore, the coast road was obliterated by flying spray and debris. Fortuitously, the rain stayed off. The climb from Drummore to the Mull of Galloway lighthouse was another hard slog, especially for the elder Thomson, before a well earned rest at the Mull of Galloway tearoom, where they were advised that the coast road had now been closed due to flooding.
The thought of a good tail wind and the pair were looking forward to the return leg, via Port Logan on the Irish sea side of the Rhinns. With a photo call on the Mull the pair were soon on their way!
That’s when the weather broke. Monsoon rains hit them, with the roadway from Port Logan over to Luce Bay a torrent. With no shelter the pair battled on to the hamlet of Ardwell and homewards. Both reckoned it was one of the hardest days they had experienced on a bike.
The third outing of the Rhinns tour had to be postponed, as the coast road at Cairnryan had been closed and with Alan, having to head back to catch a ferry, a long detour by way of Newton Stewart prevented another morning on the bike.
Further north, club members out for the Sunday run, experienced similar conditions, with Ayrshire roads flooded.
A circuit from Low Coylton to Dalmellington was the favoured route, before taking the hill road to Straiton. At Bogton Loch, club captain Bobby McGhee was the first to test the water level on the flooded road, before approaching the climb to Straiton. Safely through, it was then by Straiton, Cloyntie Toll and Maybole onto home roads.
Meanwhile, the Roads club were well represented at the Scottish Cyclo Cross Lapierre Event 3 on Sunday, where five club members made the trip to Dunfermline. At the time of going to press, the full results had not yet been published.
Ayr Roads annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 3rd November 2017, at 7pm in The Citadel Leisure Centre, Ayr. An agenda will shortly be issued to all members.