Saturday 24th September 2016

It seemed the Old master had been following American politics and the importance of transparency, as El Parrot received an email from him saying he would not be out as he was about to develop Pneumonia .

Thus a rather damp El Parrot found a small group of rudderless cyclists at the roundabout. Having consulted various weather apps it was decided that Cromarty was the only dry place in Scotland, and a blind eye was turned to that north westerly wind. Boatman seemed anxious at the prospect of an El Parrot special EXTRA hilly route.

My little pony was in frisky mode and she and El Parrot headed up hill reps. At the top the peloton seemed a long way behind and El Parrot's enthusiasm for hills had diminished significantly!  It seemed, as punishment, the peloton had decided to ostracise El Parrot and My little pony as they continued to leave a large gap!  A right turn at Knockbain then Greenleonachs . Too hot was the cry and some bare arms were revealed, then along the Culbo road. As El Parrot neared his special corner he of course knew a lower gear in good time would be wise. He changed down 2 gears (amazing things these electronic gears he thought) then the gradient went from -15 to +20 and 2 gears lower was not the right choice. By the time he reached level ground the peloton were a fast receding speck in the distance.   By now Cromarty was in sight although still some way off. It seemed only fair to allow My little pony a break from the front. Soon EL Parrot and Red Adair were guiding the group at a good pace towards coffee/tea etc. Then Boatman and Rabbit did the decent thing and came to the front without being asked! Wait a moment …. Why were they now a 100 meters down the road?

A dastardly breakaway seemed the only explanation, El Parrot gave chase ….. The peloton receeded the breakaway broke away, curses thought El Parrot . No mans land!! With supreme effect he made contact, and the 3 sped on. The peloton enlisted mechanical support in the form of a passing tractor but even it was no match for Rabbit on who rode on and on and on( It was in fact a really long way to Cromarty) El Parrot hung on , Boatman having enjoyed a rather long leadout cruised across the line - the tractor was 4th.

Mrs El Parrot went shopping, her new bike being far too light she bought a kilo of cheese to put things to right. This delay did mean all the scones were spoken for! My little pony made the ultimate sacrifice and forced herself to eat cake.

Uphill and into the wind, not a good combination, even worse when combined with a kilo of cheese! After Learnie hard pedalling was need to progress on the downhill, although Boatman was heard to complain about needing to brake ( NO prizes for who wasn’t at the front. Through Killin, where My little pony left us, with dire warnings about mud. Ha, we are real men, what’s a little mud.

On reaching the foot of Knockbain , a rather mud splattered peloton muttered, about mud.

Over the hill and back and an afternoon of bike washing awaited El Parrot. He is still awaiting some cheese!

El Parrot.

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