Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Matrix Fitness Grand Prix

On Tuesday (26th May) Motherwell was host to some spectacular cycling around the streets of the town centre. It was a sunny, if very cold, day but this did not deter the many spectators who came to watch the top cyclists in action.

During the day there were races and events for amateur riders before the professionals took to the streets in a display of fast cycling action. The main events of the day were the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix and the Pearl Izumi Tour Series Round 4.

Matrix Fitness Grand Prix

Two Scottish ladies took part in the Matrix Fitness Race - Katie Archibald of the Pearl Izumi team who was the winner and Eileen Roe of Wiggle Honda who was third.

Below are some photographs from the race. (Click to enlarge). More photographs can be seen here.

Katie Archibald
Mens Race Pearl Izumi Tour Series
This was won by Kristian House of JLT Condor with Chris Opie of One Cycling and Mike Northey of Madison Genesis coming second and third.
Kristian House, Chris Opie and  Mike Northey
These three riders were out on their own for a large part of the race with the bunch frantically trying to close the gap.
One smart rider who stood out was Australian Criterium Champion Steele Von Hoff who was wearing his Australian champions jersey. He was also wearing gold plated Oakley sunglasses which looked nice.
As well as the cycling there was entertainment laid on for the fans during the day. There were also refreshments and merchandise for sale. Soreen, makers of malt loaf, were giving away free samples of the different flavours of their product. a local hotel had a barbeque in the front garden of the establishment and was selling burgers. These were very nice.
It was a great day out and a big thank you to all the sponsors and North Lanarkshire Leisure who hosted the event.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Loch Humphrey

Today I walked up the service road to Loch Humphrey in West Dunbartonshire despite my badly swollen right knee. I was with a group of friends and I didn't want to miss the walk, as the weather was warm and sunny and days like these are quite rare in Scotland. Whether my doctor would approve is a discussion for another time!

Sunny and Warm

It was also the first day when I was applying large amounts of sun screen to avoid burning. The weather up to now has been cold and wet, so there has been little chance for getting sunburn.

Loch Humphrey is easy to get to by train as the station (Kilpatrick) is just a short distance from start of the walk.

The walk is also a good one for winter, as the service road up to the loch is well maintained by the Forestry Commission. You cannot get lost unless you decide to follow the other paths near the loch, when a map and compass could be required.

Start of the climb
Steep Path

The road to the loch is quite steep at the start, then levels off before a more gentle climb until the loch comes into view. From there it is downhill until the loch is reached.

Great Views

On the way up there were great views of the River Clyde, Old Kilpatrick and Erskine. The Erskine bridge, which connects Dunbartonshire with Renfrewshire, was also in view.

Erskine Bridge.
On the walk up a Cuckoo could be heard quite nearby. Cuckoos are in decline in the UK and are rarely ever heard.

River Clyde in the Distance

The Waverley Paddle Steamer on the Clyde
Paddle Steamer - the Waverley

In the above picture the paddle steamer, the Waverley, can be seen in the distance. This is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world and it is possible to take a cruise on it during the summer.

At the Top

Near the top the path levelled out and Loch Humphrey could be seen in the distance.

Near the top
After all the climbing, the final part of the walk was fairly easy.
Loch Humphrey
Loch Humphrey
Nice Lunch Spot

At Loch Humphrey we had lunch before walking back down the hill and back to Old Kilpatrick.

Information Board

Historical Area

The sign above says "Antonine Wall 140 AD. The Roman Empire Northwest Frontier" in the circle at the top. Below it says Erskine Bridge 1971. This sign was just after the railway station and a reminder to everyone of this historical area.

It was a good day out.  

 Further Information

Train for Kilpatrick are on the Airdrie - Balloch line. If travelling from Motherwell there is a change of trains at Partick to get onto the correct line.