First Club Run of 2016 – Fortrose (2nd Jan)

Arriving at the roundabout today, there was a distinct lack of cyclists – Argh! I didn’t check the email, maybe the club run was either not on or we were meant to be meeting somewhere else today... Thankfully Alistair arrived shortly after and was followed by Katrina and Kevin. Where was everyone else? Perhaps it was due to the lack of Clifford – have a speedy recovery Margaret – or were they worried about whether any cafes would be open (see last week’s report), or maybe even still hungover from Hogmanay? It didn’t matter as our small but select (‘elite’ to quote Kevin) peloton set off for Fortrose, as the Eilean Dubh was thought most likely to be open.

Off we went up the Leanaig at a good steady pace, then down Mulbuie and towards Redcastle. The weather was much better than had been promised, a slight headwind on the way out but a nice temperature and no rain. We had a lovely ride along the shore road to North Kessock, then up the hill to Drumsmittal, and on to Fortrose.

Now the moment has come to describe my moment of glory... Approaching the 30 sign to Fortrose I made a move off the front of the peloton and sped towards the finishing line, with every turn of the pedals expecting to see the others flying past me, but no, the line got closer and closer and... I won the sprint!! I turned round to see the others casually wheeling in - it seems that in the absence of Clifford nobody else actually contested it. This fact didn’t bother me though – does this make me a full Ross-shire Roads Club member now I have won my first sprint?

Anyway that’s enough about that; the main concern was now if the Eilean Dubh was actually open. As we came up the High Street there were lots of cars outside – promising. Then we saw the outside lights on – even more hopeful, until finally it was obvious there were people inside – fantastic, an open cafe! This was an unusual coffee stop as no-one got their phone out, until I thought to phone Corinna, my step-daughter, to see if she wanted to join us for the second half of the ride. Alistair treated us to the tea and scones, thank you very much.

We left the Eilean Dubh with our new larger peloton of five and headed up the Fairy Glen. A super speedy cyclist shot past us up the hill at about 100mph, ‘Don’t worry’ said Kevin, ‘we’ll catch him’. The benefit of the headwind on the way out was that we had a tailwind home for a change! Along Killen, there were so many potholes to be pointed out that we wondered if Kevin had learnt a new, weird cycling dance. But we made it all the way back to the roundabout without any punctures. Thanks to everyone for a great first club run of the year!


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