Dundee Thistle Reliability

A cold morning with snow on the hills, but was soon to heat up.

A very good turn out this year for the Thistle, now moved to the larger and warmer Millenium Hall, with about 30 on the long run. There was an attempt to keep it reasonably steady at the start as we rolled towards Tully but the truce didn’t last long and the pace picked up. It seemed to be the Fife Century and Leslie Teams who were doing the damage again.

After Luncarty the pace really picked up as the lumpy stuff started and some were starting to get shelled out the back. As we hit the start of the Little Glenshee road the damage was done and the lead bunch sped up over the rolling road. My legs weren’t working too well this week and a group of 5 or 6 of us were about 20 seconds down with the remainder of the group spread out behind us. There was a truce called at the ford for a “natural break” which let the majority of us regroup and head down the glen. The road is pretty awful, lots of holes and lots of debris, so thankfully weren’t flying too fast.

The climb out of Bankfoot was okay but then the pace picked up again as we sped towards Murthly. We caught the shorter run large group soon after and then very soon after that was disaster for me as the unmistakable bang and hiss of a rear puncture put an end to my fast run. I’m sure nobody was gloating (too much) as all the riders we had just passed cruised past me as I started to change my tube 🙂 There were a fair few who did make sure I was okay as they passed, which is nice to know help is out there if you need it.

As I was putting my wheel back on Iain Anderson came past soon followed by young Calum who had some mechanical issues for the third week in a row and who helped bring me home! Was glad to get back to the hall, with very tired legs. Don’t think I would have made it with the fast bunch up Pitknappy, oh well always next week… Andy Yorke did well getting most of the way with the lead bunch, just at the end 6 or so got a small break with Andy just behind them.

As is the norm for these events now, the post event food and chat was excellent. A very good turn out for the shorter runs, saw more than 90 in total taking part. Great stuff.

No Garmin stats as my legs weren’t the only things playing up and so I don’t have a complete route saved, but reckon the fast boys must have been around 20 mph average for the run (as that’s what my Garmin was staying before it and me stopped). Sounds like the shorter run was more social, difficult to chat on the longer run when you’re struggling to breathe!

Hopefully the weather will be kind for our run next Sunday and we get as good a turn out. Any chance we can set the pace most of the way round and save my legs a bit 🙂

Three down, one to go.

Kennoway Reliability

A mild morning, almost spring like, saw a good turn out for the Kennoway Reliability. There was Iain Anderson, Andy York and me from the Wheelers and Brian Sproul and young Calum too on the fast run with Fergus on the steadier run. The fast run set off 5 minutes before the steadier one and it was fast from the start with The Leslie Bike and Fife Century teams driving us along at a good pace. Didn’t get any slower or easier for the next 3 hours!

A mention in dispatches to Andy and Iain A who I did see at the front doing a turn. I was doing all I could to hang on. After Crail the pace increased and the casualties started..

Hairing down to St Andrews and on to Leuchars and back home for me to Tayport. I ride these same roads a lot, but not at this pace and I was so tempted to swing off as we passed my house, knowing the lumpy stuff was still to come.

As is the norm, the hill into Gauldrie was where the blue touch paper was lit and I really was biting the handlebars now to stay with them. Bodies being shed out the back with only Brian and me from the Dundee folks with the lead bunch now. No idea where everyone else had gone as I couldn’t look back and wouldn’t see much through the tears anyway.

The descent to Rathillet is pretty dodgy with a lot of potholes and water, but at least it was brief respite to get some recovery.  The road to Cupar is rolling and the pace was still steady, with about 15 or so left in the group. Then we hit the Hill Of Tarvitt for some more agony. Just made it over the top but was in bits by now. Then to top it all off some more rolling roads until we picked up Andy York and companions and the last run in to the finish.

A really tough day for me, think it is the fastest average I’ve ever done, 67 miles at a moving speed of 21.6mph. The food at the finish was fabulous and really needed. The rest of the guys made it back soon after with tales of sore legs, dodgy chainsets and punctures…

Half way there, on home soil the next two weeks. Remember, we do this for fun 🙂





Run Report February 17 2013

A crisp morning (bloomin freezing) saw 9 leave the Gates and 6 leave on the steadier run.

Headed out past Piperdam, down Tully and on to Coupar Angus. Keeping a sensible steady pace (saving legs for Kennoway tomorrow). Some of the back roads were a bit icy, so a loop round and on to Blairgowrie for the cafe. For once we got there before the steadier run! David McCallum also joined us at the cafe, as did Ian Galbraith and Donny on his motorbike.

Back via the Iron Bridge, Newtyle route. A fine run on a fine morning. Have a hunch that tomorrow’s reliability trial may be a different proposition.


Fife Century Reliability 2013

You know you’re getting old when there are guys not just half your age, but a third of it signing on. Still, at least the snow stayed away for most of the day, so wasn’t all bad news.

There was a good turn out at Falkland without 45+ on the steady run and 30 ish on the faster run. The fast run set off with Iain Anderson and Graeme C from the Wheelers and Brian S, Jim OCD, Steve Knight and young Calum from the Thistle. On the steadier run was Dr Kate, Andy York, Fergus, Dave Ross from the Wheelers and Chris from the Thistle (apologies if I missed anyone).

The fast run started fast as we “enjoyed” a tailwind and followed the usual route to Freuchie, Lindores and down into Newburgh. The wind pushed us along to Aberargie and then on to Forgandenny. It was start / stop at times which meant you had to keep your wits about you and wasn’t a huge surprise when there was a crash just before Dunning. No real damage as two seemed to clip wheels and go down, thankfully no damage to them, but some broken wheels and the end of their day. On the plus side the stop did allow Iain to get back on to the group as he had lost contact (being polite here 🙂

After the crash break it was full gas on to Auchterarder where the leg softening started and a few started to make the moves ahead of the big climb up Glendevon. The snow was now starting and set to make the second half interesting. Everyone knows it’s coming, and so as we hit the start of the climb the speed increases and the carnage begins. Must have been a dozen or so made it over the top and down the other side, taking more care than usual as the roads were sleety now as we hit the turn at Yetts of Muckhart.

Now into a strong headwind all the way home there was some attempts at through and off and trying to split the group. Must have worked as with about 10 miles to go there were 7 or so left in the leading bunch as we turned at Strathmiglo for the drag back to the start.

Just under 63 miles done in exactly 3 hours of riding.

The grub after was great, soup, stovies, rolls sandwiches and more cake than most cafe stops we have. All served by smiling happy volunteers. Marvellous it was too. I managed to leave some for the rest of the Dundee folks as they started to appear, all back home safely.

Next stop Milton of Balgonie for the Kennoway Trial.


Run Report 3 February

Most folks must be resting themselves ahead of the Reliability Season, but there was 6 of us that left The Gates. Usual slog out past Piperdam in a strong headwind, then out to Campmuir and Murthly where the strong headwind continued. Quote of the day from Phil, “Brian, are you trying to start an echelon, or just half wheeling me?” 🙂

Glad to get to Birnam for a rest and looking forward to the tailwind home. It also gave Fergus time to fix his puncture.

On leaving Birnam, Brian decided to head out towards the top Lochs road, oh well, makes a change. Only to spring another surprise and veer right and up a very steep track (Spoutwell), could be a good challenge if they ever convert it to a road! More grit, potholes and mud than tarmac, just what you need after leaving the cafe.

Up onto the Lochs road home where Brian and Calum then decided to head over the Col De Pointless leaving the rest of us to make our way to Blairgowrie. Over the Iron Bridge / Ardler route, with some legs now starting to feel it. Crawl up from Newtyle and tailwind back home.


Run Report 2nd February

There was 9 of us braving the cold morning as we headed from the Gates, to Newtyle, Meigle and towards Alyth. Right at the roundabout, past the golf course, right at the junction and then……black ice. Jerry hit the deck first, closely followed by 3 or 4 others, no idea how I stayed upright. Thankfully, no major damage to anyone or their bikes. Road was an ice rink and walking was hard enough. So we decided Peel Farm was a no go, and headed back towards Kirri. All except Lionel who walked on past the ice and set off towards his friends house…hope he made it okay.

Rest of the run was not as eventful as we made it to the cafe for some heat. Then back via Glamis and Lumley Den where the legs were stretched. Rolling back towards The Ferry the sun was shining and it had a hint of warmth, spring is getting closer 🙂