EDAM Run to Wanlochhead

At least I think that is how it is spelled. Went out on a Non Group Organised Run with EDAM yesterday, the clue in the title is that Group Organised Runs have to be run to a set of rules, and as a result get insurance cover whereas Non Group Organised Runs do not have cover, albeit that group members and friends may be out there.

It was my first run with EDAM and as my Senior Observer was organising it, I got the task of being at the Tail End. The idea was to run a drop off marker system, i.e. the Leader always stays at the front, the tail end rider is always at the back. The second rider at any point in time stops at any marked deviation from route (i.e. a junction when a turn is not simply straight ahead). Once the tail end rider appears (i.e. me) the marker heads off and I follow the route.

Things went generally well, but disintegrated a bit at the first stop. Two folks stuck to the marker and marked the route to Wanlochhead, the highest village in Scotland. I was at the tail following a rider at their own pace, which is fine by me – though I need to watch my old habit of following too closely. Unfortunately nobody had marked the turn off to the cafe at Wanlochhead (that said, it is a very small place and there is only one cafe) so the rider ahead kept going, I followed and we ended up about 15 miles later at a junction with no marker. At the back of my mind when I had been scanning I had been sure that I saw a group of bikes in a carpark below us on the right, but wasn’t sure.

Anyways, I fired up the bluetooth gps, fired up TomTom on the phone and plotted a route to Moffat which had been mentioned. The Satnav reckoned the shortest / quickest route was back the way we had come and over to Elvanfoot. So I fired off a couple of SMS Text messages to two of the folks on the ride whos numbers I had then we turned and headed back. I led because the other chap wasn’t sure of his bearings, so several miles later I cut off at a junction and there were the rest of the ride getting ready to leave.

So we rejoined and then there was a bit of confusion. I had checked the route and the plan had been to return via Elvanfoot (or whatever it is called) as the shortest route to Moffat, but most of the riders turned in the opposite direction. I couldn’t see our Leader that direction, so looked around and right enough he was following the route the GPS had suggested. So I did a U-Turn (narrowly missing a red vfr popping out of a give way – such is) and joined. We waited for a short while but the rest of the group disappeared off the other way. Such is, the three of us headed off at a brisk but safe and legal pace. Off to Moffat and we didn’t see anyone again (apart from one!).

Being as I missed my roll at Wanlochhead, I got a nice pie at the place we stopped at in Moffat that was called The Hammerlands Centre. For those of you that like such things, they have waittress service – I nice tradition and they even served us rufty tufty biker types. Then up the road past St Mary’s Loch, over Tweedsmuir and another stop in Broughton at the team room there – very friendly, suprisingly busy and excellent.

I had good fun, and my i2imca skills are really helping my cornering. What happened with the rest of the group gave rise to some concerns, but I think it was a case of being a bit of a victim of its own success with a bigger turnout and wider level of experience in the riders than anticipated. I’m sure procedures will get tweaked and everyone will have fun.