The Spider Cave

Ride of the Month: Black Loch (August 2012)

Posted on: August 31, 2012

So here we are. I normally do a ride of the month and I picked this particular ride as my Ride of the Month.

I started off at 6 in the morning. The sun was just peeking out. I had left my sun shades at work so I had to wear my transparent ones which I mostly use for night riding. So I checked my bike and headed out. The first thing that hit me was the coldness. It was not windy but there was damp cold in the air which chilled me. But it only remained for 15 mins then my body adapted to the weather. This is one of the best things about a human body that it adapts to whatever the situation is. Not extreme situations but you have to be prepared for it and dress accordingly. The best time to test this is riding in January. I’ve cycled at minus three and you don’t really need an insulation for legs and arms or chest. You have to make sure your feet are properly safe and snug, your hands and lastly your ears. These three parts bug me a lot.

So I rode my way through then quiet busy roads and up my way towards Slamannan. I always loved this town. I was not expecting so much climbing but there were hills so I climbed never coming off the bike. The only time I had to stop and get off the bike when I had to take photos. And that was my big problem. The music player on my phone kept crashing and I had to stop to fix it. Taking photos cost me but it was worth it.

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I climbed and climbed to Slamannan. There was a little bit of up and down after and then finally I reached Black Loch, the highlight of this ride. I actually have seen it before last year when I was doing Freshnlo Pedal For Scotland 2011. I really loved the scenery.

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I had a little break as I was 13 miles in. I carried on taking a last look at this favourite loch of mine. This stretch of road was amazing. Up and down and quiet. Reminiscent of last year, this little stretch to Avonbridge I particularly enjoyed.

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I bought a bottle of water from a shop in Avonbridge and made my way up the road. There was a yellow road sign saying this road will be closed for Pedal For Scotland 2012 next week. I felt a bit sad as I am not going to attend this year because I have a wedding coming up. I had registered and even my number had come through the post. Number 299. Oh well, nothing can be done now.

There was a good amount of climb after Avon. I was around 650 feet up which was ok. I started to see school kids now in the little villages. And I came across this little village called

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which was pretty awesome. It was quite small though. I came to Shieldhill and turned right down. Yes I said down and it was a full descent for 2 miles. I hit 36.4 mph down that and it was fast and amazing. This was worth the whole ride. I am more of a fan of ascent and like a good climb but oh boy that descent was worth it. That made me join my normal route and 26 miles in I took a last break and had a sandwich from Tesco. Three more miles and I would reach home and that I did. 9 am. Took me 2 and a half hours excluding breaks.

I was expecting it to be and easy ride but all that climbing got me but I really enjoyed it to name it my ride of the month.

Black Loch

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