A Tale of Wind and Woe
Met Elvis, Donna Matrix, and Kenny before heading to the Roundabout. A Large bunch of riders from Henley with an apparent death wish, who Donna and Kenny had already spoken to, were en route from Lands End to John o Groats sticking to the main road and ignoring any linked cycle paths or quieter roads. As they were on the main road of the Bridge, Donna spoke to them from behind the barrier but they had a route on the Garmin and they were following it …
At the roundabout we were joined by Debbie, Ali, Mary, El Parrot, Innes, Iain, Jamie, Ken.
With an increasing SW’ly wind and forecast to build with significant gusts, Cannich was the route with expected tail wind home. Riding in a tight group we set course up over the Lenaig and headed out across Mulbuie. As we crossed the exposed open plain of Mulbuie Ken was encountering major difficulty, struggling to hold a line as the gusts enjoyed blowing his deep rimmed wheels and not insignificant body profile, like a numbered ping pong ball in a lottery machine. Mary working hard was toiling to stay on his wheel.
At the Ord junction he’d had enough and declared the bike unrideable and that turning back was his best option. El Parrot and the group convinced him otherwise and pledged that the bunch would protect him until he reached the shelter of Eskdale.
Captain Rabbit declared on that note, the bunch would split with a steady 12mph/14mph group and a faster 14mph/12mph in the interest of safety which would be equivalent to 16mph/18mph … the logic was lost on some but fully understood by Iain, (must be a Lochaber thing) who clarified …14mph/12mph in the conditions was essentially a 16mph/18mph pace if it were calm … umph?, but in the absence of the Boatman to explain the physics everyone in faster group had just to follow his and Jamie’s wheel … a fateful declaration that unfortunately became a painful reality south of Cannich when homeward bound.
The gruppetto was working well into the head wind through Eskdale when we came upon the lead group stopped with Elvis attending to a puncture … taking full advantage as he looked to throw his bike over the fence with the repair not going well, we pushed through as you do with token platitudes …It did not last long as the peloton once again overhauled us making it first to Bog Cotton.
The lead group headed off first a good ten minutes ahead of the gruppetto. On the single track after the bridge at Cannich road we singled out long enough to feel the heat of two passing cars with foreign plates … it was time to double up and hold a tight group using passing paces as required.
We had only been riding a few miles when we came upon the peloton stopped by the side of the road. There had been a crash with two casualties. Iain with a dislocated finger and damaged shoulder joint and Jamie with some road rash and bruised hip and ribs. The cause … well its really not known which is quite bizarre. Elvis was on the inside at the front with Jamie when he saw him roll forward and hit the ground as his wheel seemed to turn under him. Iain who was third wheel behind him had nowhere to go other than over the top and down. Second wheel was offset enough to the right and stayed upright. A painful experience for Jamie and Iain with a visit for Iain to A&E.
No fractures to the hand or finger with ligament damage sustained to the shoulder for Iain. Jamie light road rash but painful bruising to the shoulder, ribs and hips, so both sore for a while to come. Jamie will also need a replacement gilet and club top.