Saturday 25th February 2017

Percentages and the joy of sax
In recent times, wet and windy weather has often meant that I've made up 50% of the Saturday club turnout, so with the remnants of storm Doris still evident, my hopes of a big group at the roundabout were low.  The Old Master was the first to arrive.  An early morning text from Ironman Keith had brought news of man-flu, and Julian was apparently in some sort of thermal decompression chamber attempting to acclimatise to the Scottish weather after months spent in the sun.  To our surprise we were joined by Pilot John and Irish John.  So 50% of our group hailed from across the water, 50% of our group were called John and 25% of our group had not got any mudguards...
Tomich was the instruction from the Old Master and off we set.  Standing water masked deep potholes and spray was causing problems for some of our number, but spirits were lifted by a brief tailwind between Alness and Scotsburn.   
By the time we reached Tomich, the sun was shining and waterproofs could be dispensed with.   Over refreshments (75% bacon roll uptake, a new club record?) the major socio-economic topics of the day were discussed.   The various meanings of a "double-bagger", followed by John's tales of seduction whilst playing sax on stage.  Apparently few things appeal to the fairer sex more than a melodious sax solo.  Memories were shared of middle-aged pole dancing in front of John mid-solo, fortunately the faraway look which appeared in his eyes was our cue to get back on the road, so we shall never know whether the lady in question was actually wrapped around a pole or merely of Polish descent.   Or both.  Or indeed a lady.
The sun had given way to more rain, and a brutal headwind awaited us almost as soon as we left the cafe.   The Old Master instructed single file with 2 minute stints on the front.   However as we turned onto the Old Evanton Road the pace was too much for me. Unable to keep on the back of the pack, I had the character-building solo ride up to Mount Gerald into the wind.   "Proper Cyclist" to "Proper Passenger" in just 7 days, another club record??
In a final dramatic twist, the Saxman picked up a slow puncture on the drag through Dingwall, which he backdated to Mount Gerald in order to allow it to be used as an excuse for losing the sprint for the 30's.
So a great ride, but improvement needed for me - I'm 110% certain of that.
Al

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