Poppy Scotland 2018

It was that sociable we even stopped for coffee.

It was a rude start to the day with a very early alarm call and on the road for 5:30am! There were around 20 Wheelers signed up to do this lumpy event from Prestonpans in support of the Poppy Scotland charity. Some were doing the medium 66 mile route, 16 of us lined up at 7:30am for the 100 and off we went.

The initial run out was flattish with nice views of the Forth on quite good roads and then some lumps started. After about 25-30 miles we decided to split into 2 groups with 10 of us setting off and 6 in a group just behind, just like a Saturday Club Run ๐Ÿ™‚

We kept a fairly social pace, regrouping on any climbs and rolled along well, but the wind was getting up! After 57 miles we stopped at the feed station, which was inside a nice looking new build school. I very rarely stop when doing events so was a bit twitchy, even more so when everyone decided to get a coffee and have a seat and a blether! This being sociable takes some getting used to ๐Ÿ™‚ We were then joined by 3 of the other 6 group (Gill P, Graeme D, Ian S) with the other 3 electing to do the medium route.

We set off as 13 now and immediately hit hills, lots of hills, with lots of howling headwind! Ian S told us to go on without him, and Graeme D stayed to keep him company as the now 11 of us slogged our way round. It was tough going. It was however, beautiful scenery, dry and bright, good roads (mainly) and very very little traffic – so not all bad.

After descending to Gifford, there is a final longish drag before mainly downhill and flat run in, we even had a tailwind for the last 2 miles. All back safely we got a very nice commemorative medal followed by coffee and toast.

A very well run event, great challenging route, well signposted and marshalled, would recommend it.

Our official time was 7:27, so not troubling the podium, but a good club run. The 11 of us who stuck together have the same time of 7:27 – Graeme C, Helen W, Cheryl W, Abigail C, Gus G, Dave P, Gill P, Ralph C, Stephen McM, Len J, Davie R

Graeme Davidson supported Ian Stewart round for a time of 7:59

The times for the 66 miles were –
Andrea, Brian B, Ian Aย  – 4:50
Kenny F – 5:33
Jim B, Gary K , Stephen Kย  – 6:46

Special mentions to Abigail on her first century ride and welcome back Gary Kilcullen (you could have picked an easier ride for it!).

Garmin stats below, 100 miles, 7,900 feet of climbing and moving time of 6:30:

Highland Perthshire Challenge 2018

Nice to have an event close to home, starting at Scone Airport. Weather was pretty good too, dry with a bit of a strong breeze.

All the organisation was very good, sign on, marshals and good signs on the route and some food and drink at the end. Considering it is for charity then happy to have the money go to the charity and not on goody bags, t-shirts or anything like that. This is part of a series of 3 events for the Malawi Fruits Charity and this event raised more than ยฃ8,000, so some fun and for a good cause.

The 4 Wheelers (Ciaran, Ally, Andy A and Graeme C) set off, keeping it pretty sensible and not pushing too hard as 100 miles to go!ย  A wee group of 6-7 formed and we worked away well. Unfortunately after 14 miles at Murthly Andy punctured. Did we stop and help. No. Are we crap team mates. Yes. I’m sure it was what he would have wanted ๐Ÿ˜‰

Route went out the middle road to Birnam, then under the A9 on the cycle path which was interesting (CX training!). Then the drag up and over Loch Na Craige and the descent to Aberfeldy where we stopped for some water. Joined up with a few others to head to Logierait, Pitlochry and over the Moulin Moors. We split up on the climb but got back together on the descent. It was now I got cramp! With a loud cry I pulled over and let the group pass. Thanks to one of the group who pulled up with me, once the cramp had reduced he paced me back to the group just as we hit the rise out of Kirkmichael. I just about made it over without too much cramping and the group of 6-7 of us set off to catch up with Ciaran as we got to Bridge of Cally. My legs were just about working as long as we didn’t push too hard, but the twinges were always there to remind me to keep it sensible! Ally stopped for more water and we pushed on.

The route then heads to Blairgowrie and out over the Iron Bridge road and round to Kettins. The final sting is the climb at Collace up to the quarry before dropping to Balbeggie and back to the airport.

A really nice route, not too hard but a good challenge, some lumps but nothing too severe.

I did hear that there was a bad accident on the A9 and traffic was being re-routed on to the course which caused some issues for later riders. As the organisers said – any inconvenience is a bit irrelevant alongside what was a tragedy for someone and their families.

Results were:

Ciaran Hannon – 4:59
Graeme Carruthers – 4:59
Ally Mills – 5:13

Fiona Davidson did the the 50 mile route (with Alan D) with a time of 2:36 for 3rd fastest on the day for that route!

Here is my Garmin details, including a few laps of the car park as my OCD got the better of me and had to round it up to 100 miles ๐Ÿ™‚

Etape du Tour 2018

There is nothing like driving past revelers on their way home from a night out as you set off at 5am for a bike race to make you re-evaluate your holiday choices!

Getting an old hand at these European events, but the Etape is still the biggest of them all. The Etape Village is basically a bike show with a lot of bike candy for those with a bulging wallet and money to burn. Sign on all very easy as long as you have your paperwork in order and your medical certificate. You get a rucksack and various bits of tat, this year we got a top tube bag, so if there any triathletes out there who want it let me know ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are 16 start pens for the 15,000 riders, with Pen 0 reserved for the proper racers and the VIPโ€™s and then you are allocated to a start pen on some mysterious French Algorithm. Pen allocation definitely helps to be either French, local or have a previous good time at an Etape. We were all in different pens, so no chance to catch up with anyone on the morning.

It was dark but already 15 degrees at 5:30am when I rode into Pen 1, surrounded by Frenchmen. Then the wait until the start. Bang on 6:30am Pen 0 set off and then we shuffled up and off bang on our allotted 6:37am time as we were waved off by Didi the Devil.

As I predicted, the start was fast, busy and chaotic as we sped out of Annecy and round the lake. There was a lot of street furniture and a lot of riders already jockeying for position and pretty much no group riding discipline! After 2 miles, at 25mph+, there was a traffic island in the middle of the road. The bunch split to avoid it and someone touched the kerb right beside me! How I stayed upright in the melee I will never know, as riders, broken bikes, wheels and contents of pockets spread out over the road with an almighty crash and lots shouting! I came to a stop inches from rolling over the top of someone. The day was already over for a fair few!

So, it was a deep breath and decision to really keep it sensible and safe! The group did split over the next few miles as we swung inland from the lake and over the first two, unnamed, uncategorised hills of the day which were both around 1-2km and 6% long!

Then it was fast blast round to Thones for the first โ€œrealโ€ climb of the day.The Col de la Croix Fry is 12Km long and an average of 6.5%, and a climb of 2 halves. A nice steady first section and then a flattish Km through a village before a couple of Kms hit the 9-10% mark before settling down again. Kept it nice and easy, no point blasting it and suffering later. Once over the top, the descent was great (a theme for the day) as we sped down through ski resorts towards Entremont and the next climb. About half way down the descent you pass within 1 mile of the finish, you swing left away from it to start a big hilly loop – just to mess with your mind!

Wheeeeee

The Montee du Plateau des Glieres is the one all the pre ride chat was about. It is only 6km long but with an average of 11.2%, some ramps way steeper than that and no respite at all. It was brutal and an effort to just slog up without going deep into the red. Again, I tried to keep something back as the last 2 big climbs are not easy. Made it over the top to hit the famous gravel section. Have to say it was nothing to worry about at all. Only 2Kms and surface was not bad at all, the cycle path to Dalwhinnie is way way worse. The descent was pretty technical then opened up before you hit the Col des Fleuries which wasnโ€™t even named on the route map! It is around 5km at 5% average, a bit like Tully and a bit! After what we had just climbed it felt pretty easy and could push on a little. Soon enough it was over and another fast descent into the valley.

Gravel, easy, peasy

There was about 10k of valley up next, so got in a big group as we sped along very nicely. We picked up lots on the way and swelled to 100+ in our peleton. The heat now was building, even though it was still morning! I was now acutely aware I was out of drinks and had not been drinking anywhere near enough! So I stopped at the feed at the end of the valley road, ready for the last 2 climbs.

The Col de Romme was brutal! At 8.8km and 8.9% it was hard going. The Km markers on the road always seemed to say then next Km was 9 or 10%, no respite at all. I was starting to really struggle to keep any kind of pace and ducking across the road to find shade whenever I could. The summit was a long time coming, but we then had a 5km descent to spin the legs out.

As we hit the bottom of the descent, the Col de la Colombiere starts immediately. The last climb of the day, at 7.5km and 8.5% it starts steep and gets steeper as you crawl up it! As soon as it started I got really bad cramp in both quads. I sat up, kneading my thighs as best I could, trying not to stop. It is pretty hard to ease back on a 9% climb, but I tried my best to keep it at bay and after a few minutes it stopped. I kept the pace as slow as I could to try and prevent it coming back. Eventually you hit a straight and you can see the summit, 3Km away in one big soul destroying straight line. It took forever to get there. The last km of climbing and the cramp returned and I pushed through it with gritted teeth to get over the top and the run down to the finish.

Ouch!

The descent to the finish at Grand Bornand was fantastic, fast and not too technical until a few wee switchbacks later on. As you hit the village the road swung to the left and 300 metres to the finish. With the tannoy blaring and the crowd cheering I did my best at a sprint finish! A medal for all my efforts and then wander down to the feed stop to get water and meet up with Lindsay. If you think I had a hard day, try navigating round closed roads and traffic jams to get to the finish to spectate 😊

DONE!

There was a very neat Etape du Tour tracker app so it was easy to find out where everyone else was on course and catch-up with them once finished. We wandered over to the Pasta Party for some much need food and a celebratory beer and sat in the shade watching the pros ride Le Tour. Caught up with Fraser M, Jamie and Jim F once they were home and tales of suffering aplenty.

Overall another cracking well run event, towns and villages all supportive and cheering you along. If only they ran it in June or September when itโ€™s not as hot, would be much more suitable for us Scots ๐Ÿ™‚

The results for Wheelers:
โ€ข Graeme C 7:08
โ€ข Jerry T 8:18
โ€ข Jamie C 8:44
โ€ข Jim F 8:47
โ€ข Karen K 9:12
โ€ข Steve K 10:12
โ€ข Friend of the Wheelers, Fraser Millar was also there with a time of 7:30.
The winner was a 22 year old who has signed a contract to ride for Cofidis next season, his time an incomprehensible 5:15!!!

Route from Garmin was 105 miles and 12,700 feet of climbing and the top temperature I recorded was 37 degrees!

My official results certificate, 1746 out of 13,000 who started and 190 in my age category. I’m happy enough with that.ย 

Ochil Hills 100

How the other half live ๐Ÿ™‚
Still no idea why, but Jamie and me were members of the Brewin Dolphin Velo Club for this event, so VIP all the way, and you could get used to it.
We arrived to our private Club Members car park and private registration marquee for Members only where they were serving up bacon rolls, pastries, coffee etc and proper toilets!
We were all called together and brought to the front of the start gate and set off as a group with a ride leader at a very social pace – for a while anyway.
Weather was ideal, warm, cloudy and no wind.

The ride leader kept us together for the first 5-10 miles and then a few shot off the front, which we joined and a group of 10-12 of us then picked up the pace. Social had now become less so ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t feeling too great, so hung on, hoping it would pass, which it eventually did. The first 40 miles or so were pretty straightforward, no big climbs as such, but the second half of the course was back loaded with some killers! The first major obstacle is the climb out of Dunning where we stayed pretty much as a group over the top and sped down towards Yetts O’ Muckhart and double back to head towards Auchterarder up Glendevon. It was here a cry of “on your right” was heard and a group sped past. So what else can you do, we joined up and did through and off UP Glendevon at a ridiculous pace.

This group pretty much stayed together through Auchterarder and back to Dunning where we fractured on the awful Dragon climb with it’s pitches of 16-20%. The road to Path of Condie and finally back to Milnathort is a slog of up, down, up down and our legs were feeling it. As we went through Kinross, only Cleish hill to go – thankfully as we were bust by now. Managed to catch one of the original group on the descent, the three of us working as best we could back to the finish.

Once we dropped off the bikes and got changed it was back to the marquee for food – great choice of hot foods, drinks, snacks, really was pretty good. Free massage available too. There were also the guests of honour – Dean Downing and Mark Beaumont being interviewed on stage with lots of tips around all sorts from nutrition, to training, to gearing to saddle sore tips! They really did look after you.

The best stash of goodies from any event I’ve ever done, and possibly worth the money to be in the Club – t-shirt and medal for all, but we also got a cap, Le Col jersey, socks, razor(?!), as many gels and bars as you could handle –

Goody, goody, goodies!

A well organised event. A good, challenging route on mainly quiet roads. There is a choice of 3 routes, the 100 mile and 6,000+ feet of climbing we did but also 75 mile and 42 mile loops too. Would recommend it.

The Garmin stats for me (official time of 5:15):

Sportive Kinross 2018

It’s 5 years since I last did this event and it has grown into a very well organised and supported event, a credit to the Kinross club. Theer are a choice of 3 routes : Black is 89 miles, Red is 68 miles and Blue is 44 miles.

Wasn’t sure who from the Wheelers was doing the Black route so was prepared to go solo, but bumped into Deeside Thistle’s Steve Cunningham at registration and joined a group of his club mates and Perth United at the start. We set off at a good pace, with 12 or so working well dodging the inevitable pot holes and passing the slower groups. Unfortunately after only a few miles one of the Deeside guys punctured, but apparently it was every man for himself and his club mates left him to it , so I carried on too ๐Ÿ™‚

The rise up to Leslie saw the group split with Deeside Steve in good form as we hit the first climb up Lomond Hill. I decided there was no way I fancied trying to keep this pace for the next 80 miles, so sat up and Steve disappeared never to be seen by me again. We regrouped at Falkland and was a good bunch working well on the flatter section to Newburgh and on to Wicks o’ Baiglie. The group split on this tough climb and from here on to the finish I was pretty much on my own!

The middle section of the route is very undulating as we go over Stronachie, Pathstruie and a number of unnamed short sharp shocks before the technical descent to Dunning. The climb up Dunning is the longest of the day and a good test, but by now my legs were pretty shot so it was steady as she goes for me.

The weather was non too pleasant now with rain, hail and then a really heavy downpour, so pretty cold and wet through. Bad for the riders, must be even worse for the marshals on the course (big thanks to them all). It’s a slog from the bottom of Dunning to the finish. The route climbs up to Knockhill then a blast down to the last climb of the day at Cleish. Tried as best I could to get in under 5 hours, but the headwind for the least 5 miles saw an end to that.

A tough day on a tough lumpy course, would recommend it.

Good setup at the end with plenty of free food to choose from and showers etc too.

Very well run and marshalled with a load of folks at pretty much every junction. The event raises aย  lot of money for various charities, so supporting this event helps a lot.

My time was 5:03 for the 89 miles and about 7,000 feet of climbing for around 16th quickest overall and 4th in my old man age category. The results for the Wheelers over the 3 routes are available, click here – http://dundeewheelers.co.uk/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=395&sid=b9cb3d162e4751fc94d93abe11aff0f0
Here’s my Garmin stats:

 

Roubaix Challenge 2018

The conventional wisdom say to hit the cobbles hard and fast, best way to ride them. What they don’t tell you is that it is really really really hard to do that. Think the hardest turbo interval sessions you do, 5-8 mins in length. It’s that kind of effort while you are being violently shaken and trying to steer any kind of line and avoid other riders, debris being launched off bikes as they dance all over the cobbles and pot holes. Then repeat 28 times. Mentally and physically exhausting.

So the day began very early with a bus ride out to Busigny for the start of 172Kms, 28 sections of pave over 55Kms (we miss out the pretend last one) and 6000 riders! Weather could not have been better, warm, dry, a south east wind. Met Ciaran and Jamie at the start which is not crowded (we were all on different buses), and you set off whenever you like. So perhaps not as big a razzamatazz as some events with mass starts, but a lot less stressful than starting with thousands of others!

The plan was to get round, we didn’t care how long, just finish in the velodrome. So no racing around, a long day planned, save the legs for the pave, stay together and help each other.

After a nice 11k warm up we hit the first section of pave, my first ever, and what a shock to the system. Nothing prepares you for the bone and bike rattling and how difficult it is to maintain any kind of speed, your legs burn. You try and pick a good line trying to stay on the crown, but that’s not easy with everyone else having the same plan. Then you need to pass slower riders and try and judge the best route to stray off the centre and swing round them as the rougher sections are even harder to ride.ย  Going slower is not an option as that just makes things even worse! After 2.2Km it was over, first section conquered. It was awful and it was only *** (sections are rated 1 – 5 stars), there are harder and longer to come, and lots of them!

There are 3 timed sections and the first of those is early on. Ciaran and I came to the end to find Jamie missing. So we waited and waited and then after 20 minutes Jamie appeared – 2 punctures in the same section. We all thought the same things, is this the start of things to come for us all?ย  Thankfully not, as these were the only punctures of the day and other than Jamie shipping a chain once, no other mechanicals! We were very very lucky. The whole route is littered with folks changing punctures, bikes in bits and sadly the aftermath of a few bad looking accidents!

We made our way round, taking it easy on the tarmac, slogging through the cobbles. By the first feed stop (6 sectors down) my hands were raw with blisters and bruises (how do you even get bruises on your hands?!).ย  Thankfully Ciaran had some tape and I taped my hands under my mitts to stop rubbing – pretty sure without it I would not have made it round.

The pattern of taking it easy on the tarmac and slogging through the cobbles continued relentlessly. I confess I did get goosebumps in the ride up to Arenberg as we passed the old mine, but was so pleased once it was over.

The rest of the ride was just a slog, after any initial enthusiasm, the love of cobbles had well and truly gone and we just wanted to get round. Sectors, villages and tarmac came and went as we ticked them off, counting down to the end. The last ***** section is Carrefour de l’Arbe, 17Km from the end. Get through that then surely we will finish okay. It was awful, legs and mind tired, trying to find a line in the gutter on the edge, I touched the side and down I came, narrowly avoiding taking Jamie out too. Thankfully I was not going at Sagan speed and was more like the slow motion fall at the traffic lights we have all done! No harm done, me and bike okay, lets get this over with!

After the last section, we were home and dry, just had to navigate through the traffic jam in Roubaix (no closed roads for us) which was a bit hairy.

Then, there it was, the Roubaix velodrome and we cycled in the path of all of the greats, it was utterly amazing. We rolled round the track and crossed the line together. I was in bits, physically and emotionally.

Slumped on the track, the ever wonderful Team Wheelers DS Lindsay went off to get the beers in. It tasted fabulous. As we sat there we all said the same thing – thank god we all finished it as there is no way we are ever coming back to do that again.

No official time for the event, just the 3 cobbled sections, but those that had working Garmins, tell me it was 6:26 riding time and 7:28 elapsed time. Couldn’t care less what the time was, we all finished ๐Ÿ™‚ The only century ride I have ever done all in the big ring, but one of the toughest ever!

Organisation was fine, although not in the same league as some of the other events I have done. It was well marshaled but no food and drink at the end and closing (or coning off a lane) of the road for the last 2-3Km would be a lot better. You should try it, just the once, just to appreciate it, as no words or video or TV can truly explain the feeling. It is like no other bike ride, truly unique. Many times we said, how on earth can you race on this, it is phenomenal what the pros do.

Was deeply saddened to hear on Monday of the tragedy that struck and the death of young proย Michael Goolaerts. Such a sad reminder of how tough and sometimes dangerous our sport can be. Thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates.

Reliability Season 2018 Round 5 โ€“ Dundee Thistle

After our own Round 4 Trial was cancelled due to Snowmageddon, it was a lovely morning that welcomed the end of Reliability Season with the Thistle event. As per all the Reliability Trials there are runs and groups of various lengths and speeds to suit all. The fast group is for those that want to have a “good go” but the others are more club run social pace.

The fast group set off and was fairly swift from the off, surely won’t keep this up for 70 miles! The fast group does split as folks drop off, get mechanical issues etc and is usually a whittling down process as the run goes on. The first split usually happens in the run up Little Glenshee and this year was no different. However it was good to see the “comfort break” at the ford (which was calf deep after the snow and rain) was reinstated and we regrouped and sped down towards Bankfoot. The Little Gelnshee road is hairy at the best of times and the snow and rain hasn’t helped, as it is now a loosely connected series of potholes and boulders. Best avoid the puddles as don’t know if they are 2 inches or 2 feet deep!

A turn left at Bankfoot and a brisk climb up Waterloo and right at the top of Birnam Braes where we passed the steady 50 mile group looking like they were having a more relaxing time ๐Ÿ™‚

The next test is the rolling roads towards Clunie where the young whippets got a slight gap that we just managed to close before the turn towards Blairgworie. The group was down to about 12 now and the pace hadn’t slowed any as I clung on at the back by the skin of my teeth! The bunch did split on the road to Newtyle and up Pitnappy where my legs finally gave in as 4-5 left me trailing. Did manage to catch Scott Taylor (Thistle) around Auchterhouse and we came home together.

The buffet was fabulous, great effort by the Thistle. The other groups soon arrived with various tales of mechanicals, punctures and sore legs. Sounds like a good job of marshalling on the other rides kept the groups together.

Thistle Reliability – DONE

Strava says it was the fastest Thistle Reliability since they changed the route a fair few years ago, my stats were –

 

Reliability Season 2018 Round 3 โ€“ Perth United

The traditional middle weekend off is no more with this new event hosted by Perth United CC.

Some idiot (me) had the bright idea to suggest riding out to the start at Murthly. A fair few Wheelers met at Millennium Hall at 9:15 for a social ride out and sign on at the Uisge Restaurant at Murthly. There were long and shorter routes for faster and steadier groups, catering for all. Time for a coffee and then just before 11am the fast group were called out to the start. PUCC had a very nice start clock and an official flag waver set us off bang on 11am.

A fairly frenetic pace as we sped along back towards High Kettins and the first slope of the day saw some shelled out the back. The group then pretty much stayed together all the way round at a tempo, but not brutal, pace. Route was good, rolling rather than monster hills, just the usual state of some roads to contend with. We kept it steady over the lumps and all were working well to speed us along back to the start and a wee dig at the end to see us over the finish line.

Thanks to PUCC for hosting this event, all went very well and hopefully be a permanent fixture on the calendar. They even managed to organise fine weather for a February morning.

The steady groups then all came home safely as we enjoyed the post event buffet of soup, sandwiches and big cakes ๐Ÿ™‚ Have to say the ride back wasn’t filled with joy as we battled sore legs and a headwind at a relaxed pace. If I suggest riding out next year, talk me out of it or organise a bus back ๐Ÿ™‚

Garmin stats (include sitting around at the start and end, so around 2:53 moving time @ 19.9mph for the actual reliability run):

Reliability Season 2018 Round 1 – Fife Century

Definitely comes round quicker every year – yes it’s the early season Reliability Rides (also known as people who race trying to pretend they aren’t racing ๐Ÿ™‚ ).
First off is the Fife Century run on Feb 11th. It was a very cold morning, with ice patches on the main roads, so no surprise that the route was changed to avoid the worst of the conditions. Numbers seemed down, but the arrival of Team Spokes en masse swelled the numbers of the fast group to around 25. Off we went on the A92 from Freuchie to Parbroath and then down to Newburgh. Pace was tempo rather than full gas and even managed to chat at one point! All that changed as we hit the climb of the day at Glenfarg where the decision seemed to be to ride uphill faster than we had been riding on the flat. This had the unsurprising effect of splitting the bunch as the climb dragged on longer than I remembered. I was in no mans land, solo. I pressed on as best I could as now had a tailwind as we headed back along the main road toward Strathmiglo. It was here that with the help of the cars managed to get back to the bunch. Back to Melville Lodges and then Cupar and a left turn for the drag back toward Parbroath where we lost a few riders. It was through and off time back to Melville Lodges for the 3rd time -I could barely make out 28mph on my Garmin through the tears. My legs were shot and it was all I could do to cling on at the back. The final stretch back to Strathmiglo and then the sprint back to Falkland finished me off. The run was just a shade under the 60 miles in 2:45 at about a 21.5mph moving average so a bit quicker than my usual Sunday Club Run! It’s all worth it for the buffet though and this year didn’t disappoint ๐Ÿ™‚ Note that there are rides and groups to suit all, you don’t have to be in the fast group, so I’d recommend it for everyone.

Presentation Lunch 2017

Around 60 Wheelers and guests had another fabulous Presentation Lunch at The Woodlands Hotel. The scene was set with the prizes and the raffle all ready for the post meal presentations.

Glad to see so many folks made it out on a cold afternoon.






After a lovely meal we were presented with the extended trailer for the film “Roadworthy – Life on Two Wheels“, that Rising View and 81 Films have been making of the Club. It was fantastic and showed off the Club and Scotland very well. We cannot wait for the finished film in 2018! We then had a round up of the year from Niall Elliott again highlighting all the amazing things the members have got up to this year on and off the bike and a plea for more selfies, even if it’s just to keep Mike T from posting them all ๐Ÿ™‚

Then the official business of the prize giving. All the well deserved winners were (apologies for having my grinning mug in all of them):

Fastest 10-mile Time Trial with a time of 23:03, fastest 25-mile Time Trial with a time of 58:29 and fastest 50-mile Time Trial with a time of 2:17:30 all awarded to Jim Petrie in recognition of another amazing year.

Hill Climb Award (Male) awarded to Ciaran Hannon with a time of 7:52 on the Rait hill climb.

Hill Climb Award (Female) and the Sportive Award (Female) awarded to Gill Peters with a time of 10:25 on the Rait hill climb and 176 miles in 2 sportive events.

Cyclocross Award – in recognition of his efforts in racing the cyclocross events across Scotland this is awarded to Jim Foulis. Jim was unable to pick up his award as he was on Mull, doing what he loves, racing cyclocross!

Tourist Trophy awarded by the Club Captain to Ian Anderson for his continued great work and support of the Club in all areas and for his knowledge and experience on the Club Runs.

Sportive Award (Male) with 898 miles in 12 sportive events and the Bob Kilhooley Most Improved Rider 2017 (voted by the Club Members) both awarded to Brian Barr for his great improvement this year and all the events he rode to raise money for charity.

Club Member of the Year 2017 (voted by the Club Members) was awarded to Gillian Elliott for her great work as our Social Convener, leisure clothing organising and all round support for the Club.

There was also a special award to Frankie Daillie nominated by the Club Captain Ian Simpson as Inspirational Rider of the Year. A much deserved award for Frankie who continues to help and inspire the club members. There was even a special video message from Round the World Record Holder Mark Beaumont to congratulate Frankie and to wish the Club well.

Well done to all the recipients.

Then the raffle was held where an array of wines and chocolates found some new homes before the official lunch was closed and the unofficial drinking competition started.

Thanks to the Woodlands for putting on a great lunch. Thanks again to Dale and Steve for a wonderful film. Once again, thanks to Gillian, Niall, Ian Anderson, Ally Mills and everyone who helped organise and host the lunch.