The weather took a definite turn for the worse on Sunday. Strong winds gusting to 40 mph, heavy rain, mist, poor visibility and more rain. FWCC's reputation for true grit and determination was well evident as less than two percent of the membership (i.e. Garry Arneil, Mikey Allan, Guy Walker and Allie Kinnaird) pedalled their way through the murk to The Portal in Irvine, for the less than grand depart at 09:30. One option was to make straight for the cafe at Sprockets Cycles but it was decided to put the youngest rider in our elite group to the test with a sprint up to the Barnweil Monument. To get there required a tailwind assisted ride across to Drybridge, Old Rome, Earlston, and past DeWaldens garden centre where a wave to the staff inside reserved our table for later. Then it was right at the Caprington Golf Course to the foot of the climb towards Craigie. The small peloton pedalled out of view as the drizzle thickened towards the summit, and the normally fast descent from Craigie village was severely stunted by the strengthening headwind. The Barnweil Monument, which is normally visible for miles around, was hidden in the clouds. This climb is well known among local cyclists and even mentioned in world champion Graeme Obree's book. Our young elite rider was none other than Ally Kinnaird who, if not Kilmarnock's best young rider, is certainly in the top five hundred. He tackled the climb with aplomb and the group convened at the top for a celebratory picture. Only then did the grimness of the weather really hit home. It was like something out of a Thomas Hardy novel. The gothic Barnweil tower was shrouded in mist and looked rather sinister in the grey half-light. The wind was howling through the telephone wires, water was streaming back down the hillside, and the riders were all completely soaked. Fortunately a restorative bacon roll and coffee at DeWaldens Garden Centre got everyone back in good shape ready for a ride home which included Dundonald Hill. The headwind on the downhill section needed almost as much pedalling effort as going up had. Total distances ranged between 30 and 40 miles. Certainly not the longest Sunday Run in FWCC history, and with an average speed of 15 mph not the fastest either, but in the conditions it was a good effort. But then again, it is only rain?