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Ride of the Falling Rain

Pompino fan Adam Leadbetter (@adamleadbetter) enjoyed a beautiful Sunday ride on the Scottish island of Islay- the aptly named "Ride of the Falling Rain". Here's his story. And if you'd like to share any accounts of great rides- on or off roads we'd love to here from you- just drop us a line at [email protected]


When I first started perusing the On-One website, many moons ago, the slogan on the banner was “bikes for riding”, which exactly why I found myself and my Il Pompino on Islay for a week in August. There was riding to be done, and in particular the Ride of the Falling Rain to be enjoyed.

If you’ve never come across this ride before, it happens on the first Sunday of August each year on the roads around the island. It’s not a sportive or an Audax, it’s an invitation to join the regular Sunday ride from Debbie’s café in Bruichladdich; only on this given day the full ride is around 100 miles. The fact that the route is full of loops means that there are plenty of options for short cuts and the main goal is to get over to Ardbeg for lunch, wee dram, and back to Bruichladdich for coffee and cake. The ride gives you everything from what would pass for off road conditions in many parts of the country, to cattle grids, to smooth tarmac, and stunning views over both coast and peat moor. It’s not hilly, but rolls nicely and once you’re chatting away to friends old or new, the miles just tick by blissfully.
Pompinos at the  Islay
At the après velo pasta party there’s always a light hearted prize giving. This year, due to the proliferation of a certain bike on the island, there was even a “best looking Pompino” prize. I’m sorry to say that my battered old specimen didn’t win, but then again it wasn’t bedecked in Carradice touring kit either which the top bike was. One of those Pompinos also took the prize for being ridden to first place in the equally light hearted Bruichladdich - Connisby hill climb on the previous day – I shan’t tell you which though!
Pompinos at the  Islay
Heading off that far from home means staying on Islay for a week, which gave me the chance to ride some of the bits I skipped from the main event and even to take the Pomp up into the woods at Bridgend and have a bit of a cyclocross session;  just brilliant riding for a whole week. Nowadays that website slogan is “all about the ride”, which is what the Ride of the Falling Rain in particular, and Islay in general, is for me and why I keep going back. Except it’s also all about the people – or even the whisky…
Pompinos at the  Islay

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Photos by Eleanor Leadbetter (@eleblob)

20 October 2011

Comments

  • tony_m

    That'll be my Carradiced-up Pomp then... :-) Nice report and pics Adam & Eleanor, hope to see you again next year (though I may be on the Kaffenback, just for a change!).