The Lockerbie Loop with the Cycle to Syracuse team! Another learning curb!
So much to learn so little time.
It was another very early start and back to Lockerbie (242 miles each way I know that trip well)
Yesterday we were taking part in the cycle event The Lockerbie Loop in aid of “Children’s first”
SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CHARITY
Some children have little to smile about. We’re determined to give them reasons to.
We help Scotland’s families to put children first, with practical advice and with support in difficult times. And when the worst happens, we support survivors of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events in childhood, to recover. They organised the event and did a great job looking after us a well and still smiling at the end of a long day for them thank you all.
The route is 75 miles over hill and dale (Colin Dorrance) the first 25 pretty steep and over 4500 feet of climbing in the day.
The Event started at 0930 and was busy with three options 20 mile loop, 50mile and our 75 mile loop. There were lots of folk about and a lot of kids and families up for the event considering the weather forecast it was a good turn out
The forecast was for showers in the morning and clearing up in the afternoon. It had improved but poured on the journey down the roads would be tricky!
Not being a cyclist it was with trepidation I joined our group of 5 from the “Cycle to Syracuse”team. This is a team that are cycling to Syracuse University in late October early November in memory of those who died in the Lockerbie Disaster. Sadly 35 students were on the plane and Lockerbie and the university in the USA have been close since ! I am the only outsider as the team all come from Lockerbie. Colin Dorrance the man behind the idea was a policeman, Paul was a fireman Dave is a para medic,Brian is the headmaster of Lockerbie school.
It is a great honour to be part of the team and representing the Mountain Rescue Teams and the military who helped in the aftermath !
After the start we stayed together the hills were hard at the beginning but I was well looked after. “Get in the right gear granny gear and other advice “ I am a mechanical dyslexic but I am getting there I hope!
We had some rain at the start then the sun came out and a few PR shots with a stop at Tundergarh primary school. This was very poignant as this was near where the nose cone of the aircraft landed in 1988.
It took some time for me to realise where we were. As this was a well known part in the Lockerbie story where the aircraft fuselage landed.
For me it took a bit for that to sink in as this area was a place of many memories.
The team were patient with me and it was a long day for them as well. Dave Walpole hasd just completed a busy night shift as an ambulance man. Yet with no sleep he kept coming back to check but Brian and Paul were looking after me and Colin the wise owl giving the odd bit of advice.
In the end it went well I was a bit slow for some but I felt I had plenty left in the tank at the end for the 2 hour drive to Ayr.
Some of the roads on the route were badly potholed and wet it needed care . So in places I took it easy especially down hill. Better safe than sorry old bones do not mend easy.There were a few new road surfaces with plenty of loose gravel just been done. This meant Lots of learning for me. We had some great support from the marshals and the charity. The odd stop for water food and tea in the MOFFAT Rugby club and village hall.
It was a long day and everyone was gone apart from the charity volunteers and marshals but they looked after us. It was then a drive to Ayr 2 hour 45 min. I arrived about 1945 to Ayr but stopped twice to enjoy a Bonnie night ending up with a great view of Arran.
I learned lots today and though I will never be a cyclist I can’t thank all for their help yet who would have thought that this old boy would cycle 70 miles and 4500 feet at nearly 66.
I have done some great hill days in the past but this was so different with a lot of concentration in a new sport especially in the wet. Usually on a big day I was with a few mates or on my own this was different and way out of my usual
Comfort zone but worth doing!
The countryside was superb as was the support by the team. I had some memories of this area from 1988 but to see it after the rain it is a beautiful place . When cycling you do get time to think and yes I did struggle at times with my thoughts of what this area means to me and so many of my friends.
As always the fresh air the rain the lush rolling hills, the forest make it all worth doing. Even those hills that keep coming with views ever expanding. They along with physical effort clear the head and mind.
You have to accept that the body is not what it was 50 years in the mountains take their toll but it was great to be out and learning so much.
Thank you all for your patience and support.