Saturday 2nd June 2018

Ytramorc
With apologies coming in thick and fast during the week, hopes were not high for a large turnout at the roundabout this morning. Captain Rabbit was at a rowing event in deepest Englandshire, rumoured to be being held on the streets of Birmingham town centre, Ken was starting yet another Gap month touring the continent and Mr and Mrs El Parrot also had other plans. The whereabouts of Julian were less clear - his claim to be in London was supported by the UK-wide collapse of the Visa payment system being triggered by a sizeable transaction in a cycle emporium in the Shadwell area, but he had also been posting surprisingly fast 10km TT times on Strava in Invergordon earlier that day??

Notwithstanding that, a group of 8 riders amassed, the Boatman (resplendent in the yellow jersey of a leader), Elvis, Davy, Innes, Ian, Iain, Lianne and yours truly. The temperature was already in the mid twenties and everybody seemed to need to be somewhere else. Elvis had posted a cyptic message on Facebook the previous evening which roughly translated as he would need to miss out the coffee stop. Ian also wanted an early finish, and new recruit Danny was so short of time that he didn't even make the start. With everyone in such a hurry, Cannich was dismissed, and in a moment of inspiration the Boatman exclaimed "what about Cromarty backwards"! The collective nodded, more in sympathy than agreement, but before anyone could ask questions we were off, beginning the ascent of the Leanig's North face, heading for Ytramorc.

Lianne's week had already seen her smash a PB in a 10TT and stick with the chain gang on Thursday, but this combination seemed to have depleted her energy reserves, and as we reached Mount High at the end of Killen she and Iain decided to turn for home. Approaching Cromarty, we also lost Elvis, and the remaining group of 5 were marshaled by the Boatman into a chain gang formation on 30 second rotations. The Boatman had been working on a complex algorithm for the last couple of weeks and today we saw the phenomenal result - the half-minute rotations, over a 5 mile approach to the 30 signs of Cromarty, saw him take the front literally yards from the signs, and he modestly sprinted forwards to claim the victory. To help him celebrate, we decided to break with tradition and head With apologies coming in thick and fast during the week, hopes were not high for a large turnout at the roundabout this morning. Captain Rabbit was at a rowing event in deepest Englandshire, rumoured to be being held on the streets of Birmingham town centre, Ken was starting yet another Gap month touring the continent and Mr and Mrs El Parrot also had other plans. The whereabouts of Julian were less clear - his claim to be in London was supported by the UK-wide collapse of the Visa payment system being triggered by a sizeable transaction in a cycle emporium in the Shadwell area, but he had also been posting surprisingly fast 10km TT times on Strava in Invergordon earlier that day??

Notwithstanding that, a group of 8 riders amassed, the Boatman (resplendent in the yellow jersey of a leader), Elvis, Davy, Innes, Ian, Iain, Lianne and yours truly. The temperature was already in the mid twenties and everybody seemed to need to be somewhere else. Elvis had posted a cyptic message on Facebook the previous evening which roughly translated as he would need to miss out the coffee stop. Ian also wanted an early finish, and new recruit Danny was so short of time that he didn't even make the start. With everyone in such a hurry, Cannich was dismissed, and in a moment of inspiration the Boatman exclaimed "what about Cromarty backwards"! The collective nodded, more in sympathy than agreement, but before anyone could ask questions we were off, beginning the ascent of the Leanig's North face, heading for Ytramorc.

Lianne's week had already seen her smash a PB in a 10TT and stick with the chain gang on Thursday, but this combination seemed to have depleted her energy reserves, and as we reached Mount High at the end of Killen she and Iain decided to turn for home. Approaching Cromarty, we also lost Elvis, and the remaining group of 5 were marshaled by the Boatman into a chain gang formation on 30 second rotations. The Boatman had been working on a complex algorithm for the last couple of weeks and today we saw the phenomenal result - the half-minute rotations, over a 5 mile approach to the 30 signs of Cromarty, saw him take the front literally yards from the signs, and he modestly sprinted forwards to claim the victory. To help him celebrate, we decided to break with tradition and head for the Slaughterhouse.

With the Ferry having resumed operations for the Summer, the cafe was busy. Even outside, the Seating arrangements, comprising 10 RRCC buttocks atop 3 upturned milk crates, were on the intimate side of cosy. The table next to us was occupied by a crew of offshore rowers, and eventually the Boatman could contain himself no longer. Spotting the opportunity when one of their number vacated a crate to go inside, he pounced, and before long he had sparked a heated debate on the relative merits of a fixed vs a sliding seat. It was all we could do to prise him away, eventually managing to do so with the promise of a selfie for the RRCC page, but not before he had been offered a lucrative coaching role by the Cromba crew.

Our numbers were depleted further when Ian left us shortly after Resolis, and the remaining crew of 4 enjoyed a light Easterly wind on our backs as we flew home. It was only when we stopped at the junction with the A9 that we realised just how warm the weather was.

45 miles done and home for 12:30, great craic with a great group today in perfect Highland weather, doesn't get much better than that.

Al
45 miles done and home for 12:30, great craic with a great group today in perfect Highland weather, doesn't get much better than that.

Al

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