Run Report 29 Sept

You can tell that autumn is getting into full swing, not because the leaves are turning or the breeze is getting cooler, but because winter bikes are starting to surface again. Any bets on how long John O’s new white winter bike stays white?

Nice bright day, but ridiculously windy, which was great as we sped along from Baldovie,out to Friockheim and along some roads I don’t think I’ve ever been on. We were having so much fun that we ended up going close to Montrose before we turned and started into a driving head on gale. John M was trying his best to organise us to keep the speed up as we headed to Arbroath for the much needed cafe stop. Apparently we had just missed David McCallum when we arrived, he must have been speeding along.

The next 25 miles for me back to Dundee were hard work as we battled the wind trying to get ourselves organised – Teacher John M reckons we were better this time 🙂

A good run in nice sunny weather, and even though I tried telling myself that “the wind is my friend, it makes me stronger”  it didn’t feel like it. Until I got to The Bridge and flew home…


The details:


Fife Century Sportive

The drive to the start was interesting, through thick fog that I was sure would clear any minute now (it didn’t) and the temperature gauge barely nudging 1C. Even so there was the usual good turn out at Falkland, with around 60 signed up for the 68 mile route. Given the numbers and the good mix of abilities from the racers to the novices, the start was split into 2 groups. Representing the Wheelers was Captain Ian, John Osborne, Kate Russell and me (Graeme C). Kate headed out with the first group and I was a wee bit surprised to see Ian and John heading away too (they swear they never heard the start instructions and didn’t know there was 2 groups), so not to be too lonely I went along with them.
We rolled along in the freezing cold and fog with one brave soul riding in shorts with a short sleeve top, maybe just made of sterner stuff? Out to Yetts O’Muckhart and then swing right to climb up Glendevon, the first test of the day. As we started up the climb at a fairly relaxed pace it did cross my mind that the second group were to start 5 minutes down and would be 2-3mph faster and so would soon catch us. Soon a few started hurtling by up the climb at a nowhere near relaxed pace, the catch had been made! John O looked at me and said “go”. I said “you sure”. John said “go” and just then Captain Ian came flying by, the decision had been made. The “race” was on.
We were now a fast group climbing Glendevon at break neck pace, but not as ridiculous as the descent, which was bordering on crazy. I was mightily relieved to arrive at Dunning in one piece. The next section through Forteviot towards Bridge of Earn then Dron, on to Abernethy and Newburgh was a good pace, but seemed manageable as the group worked together, no doubt waiting for the Newburgh to Hazelton drag for the “fun” to start. And so it did. The first section out of Newburgh was fast, then it got faster, then we hit the last climb up to Hazelton and the damage was done. Ian had lost 50 yards on the leading group which was now down to about 15 as we crested the top and a blast down to Luthrie.
During the run in via Moonzie, Cupar and Bow of Fife the weather had finally improved with blue sky, sunshine and a warm 10C. There were now a handful of guys trying to pull away from us, but we managed to keep it all together for the final sprint at Falkland with John and myself coming home with the bunch in 3:20 for the 68.4 miles. Ian came in a few minutes down, with Kate not far behind. Time for tea and cakes.

Another cracking event from Fife Century. As they have the numbers turn up it is easy for groups of similar ability to form and get round. If you want a fast blast then you can. Equally if you want it more relaxed there are suitable groups. They also have a 41 mile route if you don’t fancy the longer ride.

Details from my Garmin showing the route etc:

Run Report 22nd Sept

In the absence of our own GC I thought I should mark the day. Fantastic run. A very cold start saw Lionel stamping his feet for warmth as is his wont. But the sunshine was brilliant. For me a quick beginning up to Muirhead and as usual just hanging in. Then off to Alyth for the Hill o’ 3 Cairns. These lads are so bloomin fit and strong. Very little wind where I was at the back. We got to the foot of the hill where I was immediately dropped but they waited at the top for me. But the top was amazing …. with fantastic air, colours and clear as a bell.

Then down the hill and back to Blair. As we went, the guys ramped up the speed and it was exhilarating hanging onto the wheels as we wound up to 35 to 40 mph. This is as good as sport gets for me which is very good.

As ever I didnt stop ….. would never start again . Just a fabulous run on a Saturday morning.

Run Report 16 Sept

Bit of a poor turn out with only 6 Wheelers rolling away from the inaugural Sunday Run from The Gates (well for a long time anyway) – Ian A, John O, Jerry, Graeme C, Jim F and his daughter Megan on her second run out. We rolled out into a very strong headwind past Piperdam to Tully and into the first showers of the day. Then onto Collace, through Scone and a new cafe for me, the garden centre at Murrayshall for tea and cake. Headed back towards Rait and into some more rain, at least we had a tailwind now. Back via Inchture and Kingoodie and then some fun dodging the charity walkers on the cycle path from Invergowrie.

Two highlights of the day for me, having Megan out on the run dropped the average age of the team by a considerable amount and made sure we all stuck together (we can do it!). Secondly, John’s self washing shorts – what a cracking invention, just add rain and they get nice and soapy while you ride, arrive home clean and ready to hang up to dry.

I’m off to buy a lottery ticket to finance my winter in the southern hemisphere as if this is summer then winter’s going to be tough.

Hope to see more of you in the next few weeks.

Here’s the route and stats –


Run Report Sept 15

A lovely bright morning, if just a tad breezy, as 7 of us head out from the Gates (Ian A, Jerry, Jim F, John O, Graeme C, Neil Y and Lionel). Jim had his helmet cam with him so the events were captured for posterity. Lionel headed off early leaving the 6 of us rolling along well with everyone behaving themselves. Passed Donny, Bob and Frankie who were en route to Forfar. They must have been motoring well as after we headed off to find some rolling roads they beat us to the cafe and that was after we were drilling it for the last 5 miles to the cafe as John had a toilet emergency 🙂 Then a couple of minutes later Dave McCallum joined us for cake. Could be the last time it’s nice enought to sit outside this year, hope not?

Suitably refreshed, Donny, Bob and Frankie headed off one way leaving the 7 of us to take the usual route back to Newtyle into a strong wind. We picked up Joe just before Glamis and it was a welcome tailwind from Newtyle to home.

Here’s the route from my Garmin:



Run Report Sept 9 2012

A very nice warm morning as 7 of us met at Newtyle – Ian A, Jerry, John O, Andy Y, Graeme C, David McC and Andy (newish guy). I may have rose tinted specs, but I’m sure Sunday runs used to be a more relaxed pace? David turned off before Alyth and then followed a brisk pace over a rolling course where Jerry and John took it in turns to rip the legs off us – at least the weather was nice. Andy turned homewards leaving the 5 of us and I was never so pleased to see Peel Farm for a rest. Great place for cakes, less so if you want a bacon roll – no bacon, oh and no rolls either…The easy way home but still a good pace and new Andy made the mistake of saying he had driven to Newtyle, so in true team spirit we let him take a big turn at the front to drag us to Newtyle – thanks 🙂

A good day out, but legs are in pieces now.

Here’s my Garmin showing the route etc :


Run Report 8th Sept.

Great fun yet again. We met at the Gates with 2 visitors from Livingston – Charles and Mandy. Unusual start for Perth Newburgh as we went down the Kingsway. Kate and I went up the hill as everyone else went down. Unpromising. after the long flat against a stiff breeze, we went up the back of Kinnoul hill. 20% I was well dropped. Through Perth and up over to Bridge of Earn. As a well known wheel sucker I managed to stay on Jerry’s and John O’s wheel till Abernethy when I left. I am too elderly to stop ….. might never start again.

I posted this earlier it is exciting. I am told that Iljo Keiss is cooler than Andy
Schleck –

Bealach Mor 2012

The organisers decided before the start that the wind was just too ferocious and so the route was amended to go straight on at Tornapress to Shieldaig, cutting out the Bealach Na Ba climb and the “rolling” road round the headland. This also cut the route down to 62.5 miles, rather than the sapping 90 it usually is. Felt gutted for the Welsh bloke I was chatting to before the start who had driven up especially to do the climb, but a sensible decision by the organisers. The weather was mainly wet and very very windy, even at sea level. It seemed like a fair few had decided against coming as the start seemed quieter than usual, but it turned out there were 297 starters, compared to about 420 last year, so about 70% were daft enough to be here….

There was not even the pretence of trying to stick together for this one, it is every man for himself so the only time there was more than 3 of us together was at the start line 🙂

Kate and Joe had set off a wee bit earlier as advance scouts, then Ian, John, Graeme (me) and  Neil Young from the Thistle set off. After last year, and given the weather was even worse this time, it was a relief to see everyone had made it safely over “John’s Grid” as it is now known – they even have an ambulance with full flashing lights parked at it ready and waiting (no joke).

The 4 of us had joined up into a group of 10 or so as we hit the climb out of Kinlochewe, which was at a good pace and when I first found out my legs just weren’t playing today (a common occurrence for the day). Ian was behind me and I was dropped by John and Neil as they effortlessly crested the hill and with a bit of a tailwind soon disappeared off to Achnasheen. I then spent the next 6 miles trying to close a 15 second gap. I don’t think my heart rate had been below 175 since the start, but knowing that if I didn’t catch them before the wind direction changed I would have had no chance of seeing them again. I did a last dig and finally caught them at the Achnasheen roundabout as we turned towards Lochcarron and into a ridiculous headwind. The group now swelled to about 20 or so as we passed groups battling through the wind and rain. The run down to Lochcarron was interesting as we tried to do through and off in a bunch even worse disciplined at it than we were that day going to Forfar. Lots of slow, slow, fast, fast, jumping over gaps people left, guys 6 back deciding they wanted to take a flyer – all good stuff.

The climb out of Lochcarron always splits a group and today was no different, with Neil and a couple of others heading off with John and me just behind. The descent is then down towards what should have been the start of the Bealach climb, but we were now routed straight on, became another chase as John and I bridged across to Neil and 3 others and I clung on for all I was worth to Shieldaig. Neil was leading the way, all those Alpine miles in the Haute Route must be paying off.

We then stuck together to Torridon and turn right to finish the last drag up all hoping for a tailwind that took too long to materialise. Neil was doing a fine job of keeping the pace up, dragging my sorry legs up the last rise. A few glances round and then the boot went in the guy in the CSC top put in one dig too many with only John able to respond. The two of them headed up the road leaving Neil, me and a young chap Hugh to battle on. Then with 5 miles to go the tailwind really kicked in and we were flying home, John just a little ahead in the distance.

Finally the end was in sight and one last burst for all it is worth and stop to dib, done for the day and my last event of the year.

Turns out John, Neil and me all had the same time – if you don’t count the seconds, which I don’t, but John certainly will 🙂

A big WELL DONE to John for getting the third best time of the day and an even bigger thank you to Neil from me for dragging my sorry carcass round as I really couldn’t have done it without the help. Looking at my Garmin stats post ride my average heart rate for the whole ride was 86% of max (168 bpm for 3 hours) so a tough day for me, my ride stats are here.

It was then time to grab some food and drinks and find out how the rest of the Dundee folks did as they arrived back. The fastest two times of the day were 2:58, 2:59 and then John with 3:03:

John Osborne Dundee Wheelers M48 03:03:00
Graeme Carruthers Dundee Wheelers M45 03:03:37
Neil Young Dundee Thistle M40 03:03:51
Angus Wilson Dundee Thistle M43 03:05:11
Ian Anderson Dundee Wheelers M51 03:16:00
Kate Russell Dundee Wheelers W47 03:33:53
Joe Mcfadyen Dundee Wheelers M52 03:37:29
Lionel Wylie Dundee Thistle M68 03:39:50

John basking in the glory of first Dundonian and a podium finish and the well wishes from his team mate :

Must be due some sunshine and a full route next year…..