My usual riding buddies, Des and Robin were joined by Klaus, Gavin and myself for the first biggish ride of the year in the Leadhills, above Drumlanrig estate.
The ride starts at Drumlanrig estate with an 8 mile road section before heading onwards and up the mennock pass. It was here that klaus the bearded clown biker suffered a puncture, under the inquisitive eyes of a strangely tame group of herdie sheep.
So after successfully squeezing a 26er tube onto a 29er rim, we were off again, climbing up and over the southern upland way to the highest village in Britain, Wanlockhead. Also one of the bleakest villages, Wanlockhead has a lead mining museum and a cafe, which as usual was bloody shut. Carrying on up to the radar station, the road was still covered in a good 18 inches of snow, so we were glad to turn off onto the much vaunted enterkin pass decent.
I set off first, and perhaps a wee bit quicker than my skill levels allowed, which caught up with me after a few minutes. The trail here is really narrow, a sinuous ribbon which drops away precipitously down into the gorge below. Going over the bars at 20 mph wasn't my best idea, fortunately I managed not to roll all the way to the bottom, but my ribs are really painful as I type this.
This is the main decent of the ride, a cracker of a U shaped valley on nice, tightly munched grassy trails thanks to the sheep up there, but with the odd rocky section to catch out the unwary biker. We then headed on further down, crossing and recrossing the Enterkin burn many times, before eventually being spat out on tho the dalveen pass, and a big ring grind back to the cars at the drum.
An hour in the car later, I was back home for a lovely dinner of paella and then lemon drizzle cake from the hands of my good lady, and a bath whilst enjoying the equally good Craig Charles funk and soul show on 6music, and a bottle of erdinger.
Longest ride of the year so far, at over 52k, and a belter to boot. 2013 promise to be a good yin.