Sportive Kinross 2013

The first Sportive of the year and the weather was pretty good – sunshine and dry, a bit chilly after Majorca though and certainly windier.

The HQ is the new school at Kinross and is a great facility with lots of parking at or near by and showers / changing facilities. I got there sharp without any detours up farm tracks trying to avoid the road works (eh Kate ūüôā ) but there was already a lot of folks getting ready.

Sign on was busy, but well organised, a common theme for the day, as Kinross CC do put on a good event. Electronic timing chip was a sticker on the helmet and a number for the bike and that was me good to go.

I bumped into Neil Crawford who invited me to tag along with him and some friends he was riding with (3 others). Then met Brian and Kate and we joined the queue to start. We were all¬†mentioning¬†how we were still recovering from Majorca and the legs weren’t quite there yet – the usual stuff… The start is in batches of 20 or so every minute so there is a queue to get going, but it moves along okay and it was dry and sunny.

So the 7 of us all started at the same time. It was about 10 seconds later I regretted saying I would ride with Neil’s friends as they shot out the start like a chaingang. Think Kate was dropped before we left the car park! As we sped along at 25mph my legs and lungs were busted and I did manage to mention this to Neil and Brian and so we eased slightly and let one of the group speed into the distance. That left 5 of us, soon to be 4, and we stayed together now, keeping it steady with everyone helping to push us along.

The route is a tale of two halves. The first half is fairly flat with just the easier side of Lomond Hill to climb before dropping to¬†Falkland¬†and following the Fife Reliability route round to Newburgh and Aberargie. Then the lumpy stuff starts, with what seemed a¬†constant¬†stream of shortish sharp hills (Wicks o’ Baiglie, Stronachie, Pathstruie) before dropping down to Dunning for the feed station. By the time we¬†approached¬†Dunning there were sore legs and I didn’t stop as I didn’t think I would get going again. The others did stop and so I set off up Dunning hill on my own.

The Dunning hill¬†climb¬†was timed which is a nice idea. It’s a good steady 3+ miles with no big¬†pitches¬†in gradient so you can get a good rhythm. After the climb is a descent down to Yetts and then round to Saline and some rolling roads and on up to Knockhill. By this point my legs were finished, but still Cleish Hill to come (I will not be breaking any records for my time up it)!

I knew from Cleish it was about 7 miles to the end, downhill with a flat run in, but today it was a headwind home! The last 3 miles into the wind had me really suffering and I was sooooo glad to enter Kinross and back to the HQ.

At the finish there was a souvenir mug, coaster and bag and some hot food, cakes and drinks. A much needed sit down and catch up as we recounted the tales of the day.

All in all a very well organised event, a cracking tough route, recommend it (but you need to register on the day it opens as it is very popular and sells out in hours).

Times are in, noticed in the results that Stevie and Karen Knight were there too, here’s the Dundee folks (apologies if anyone else was there and I missed you):



Graeme Carruthers


Neil Crawford


Brian Sproul


Kate Russell


Steve Knight


Karen Knight


Here’s a photo I found too, look at the fun we are having ūüėČ

Here’s my Garmin info, but it was¬†playing¬†up again – official stats are 88 miles and 7,000 feet of climbing.

Run report 22 April – Majorca day 7

Last day for me, 8 of Thistle and Wheelers were going for a big one while the others were being far more sensible.

A steady pace out to Inca, and a coffee stop at Santa Maria before heading up to Valldamossa, a very nice climb. Stopped for some food before the drop down to Soler and the climb up Puig Major. As we got near the top the rain started. We had agreed to wait at the Viaduct and by the time we go there the rain was bouncing down and the roads were really slippy. One by one we arrived, all frozen and in need of some hot chocolate. We even raided the bins to get plastic wrapping and cardboard to stuff down our jumpers for the descent to try and get warm. After shivering for a while waiting for it to clear, we had to leave.

Very carefully we descended to Lluc before the sun started to peek through and we started to get warmer. Then a good descent before the blast back to Pollensa with Joe doing another massive turn dragging us in at 30mph!

So that’s it for me for 2013, back home tomorrow. Been a great week.

Run report 21 April – Majorca Day 6

An easy day today and the weather was¬†decidedly¬†cooler – arm warmers required. We decided to see how slowly we could do 20 miles by taking it steady and stopping often (was needed). Rolled out to a bike fair in Alcudia, lots of shiny bikes, wheels and clothes and we managed to find the free jelly beans ūüôā Then we headed along a mile or so to another shop for some more¬†souvenir¬†purchases. It was then a steady run with David McCallum making a break for it during the natural break stop, but we worked hard to bring him back before heading into Santa Margarita for lunch ūüôā

The run home was a bit pacier with Joe dragging us back to Alcudia into the wind, a fine effort. We jumped on to a German train before deciding to ramp the pace up as we headed back along the bay and another fine effort by Joe saw the Dundonians drop the others, surely making us European or possibly World Champions for the day. All good fun.

As we were back early I carried on to Formentor at a steady pace. Fantastic scenery on a lumpy, rolling road. Good blast home in time to catch the end of the Leige race. Another grand day out.

Some folks with fresh legs arriving now, just as mine are stopping working, so in for a kicking on my last day tomorrow….

Run Report 20 April – Majorca Day 5

Started the day watching the 23 mile Time Trial from Tolo’s start off. A mixture of old pros (Barry Hoban) and current pros (Alex Dowset) and everyone else in between.

Here’s Barry about to start:

The 14 of us left heading to Santa Maria for coffee and cake. We have learned that it makes it easier if we all order the same thing at the cafes!  Nice steady run via Inca.

After the cafe three headed back a different route, with the rest heading to Bunyola where we split. Four of us heading off to do the Col de Soler and Puig Major with the other 7 heading home via the Orient climb. Well done to Fergus and David R for getting up the Puig for their first time.

It was then a blast down and a wee slog to the Monastery at Lluc for a (very) late lunch, but we had earned it. Then the usual blast down and home. A great day out, but the legs are starting to crack now….


Run Report 19 April – Majorca Day 4

A slightly cooler and windier day (but still wayyyy better weather than back home) saw 13 of us roll out, heading to Randa. Went out to Muro and on to Sineu where we had a wee go on the outdoor track Рgreat fun.

David McC and Dick decided tp head back their own way leaving 11 to push on.Then on to Montuiri and on to Randa and the climb up to the Monastery (just a 5k climb today). News reached the tope that Fergus’s chain had snapped at the bottom and Peem had gone back to fix it, so they didn’t make the climb.

Lunch at the top and back down to pick up Fergus and Peem again and a very quick blast back down to the main road – Joe does lead you astray ūüôā ¬†After waiting too long to regroup, we¬†were¬†quick but not that quick, the others should have been there by now, we rolled back to find them. Peem had a rear puncture and was just putting his wheel back on as we¬†arrived¬† So off we head again, only to get 50 yards down the road before Peem shouts “puncture” again! In need of a tube with a long valve, Frankie D started to take his front tube out to swap for Peem, but another was found and Peem made the change again. As we set off Peem’s front punctured. So now Frankie did need to swap out his front tube to give to Peem. As Frankie and Peem swapped tubes and got their front wheels ready, Peem noticed his new rear tube was going down, he’d only trun it for 10 feet! So Frankie now swapped out his rear tube to give to Peem! It was a nice sunny afternoon, so not a bad place to wait….

No more mechanical’s, so we had a run back home, pretty much all in a strong headwind. Bit of a slog back to Montuiri then on to San Joan and back again to Sineu, Muro and then home the “usual” route via C’an Picafort and Alcudia. A blast back along the bay with Peem winning the sprint for the signs, not bad on borrowed tubes!

Another 80+ miles and some sore legs tonight.


Run Report 18 April – Majorca Day 3

You could get used to this…

Teamed up with the Thistle folks today, so was a good crowd heading out to Campanet then on to the climb of Col de sa Batalla up to Lluc. We all went at our own pace up the climb which is possibly my favourite in Majorca. Then we split up at the top with some heading on to do some extra miles and others stopping for a coffee, so there were various groups on the road. After the rolling road from Lluc, the descent into Sa Calobra is simply stunning, I was grinning the whole way down (trying not to think about having to climb back up it).

Stopped for a quick refreshment before the climb back up.

The Sa Calobra climb is steady, and long, and Wiggins time of 22 minutes wasn’t in any trouble today! It was hot work. We regrouped at the Viaduct before the lumpy road back to Lluc and then the quick blast home, stopping off at Tollo’s for a quick drink.

A fantastic day again.


Run Report 17 April – Majorca Day 2

What a fantastic day on the bike. Great route, great weather, just marvelous.

There were 13 of us as the sun was cracking the pavements on the way from the hotel out towards Santa Maria, then a turn off to Sancellas. We lost David McCallum but he knew where we were going, so it was a surprise to pass him coming the other way as we turned towards Lloret? Round to San Juan then Petra for lunch.

Home via C’an Picafort and on to Alcudia where someone started shouting abuse at us and then tagged along before ripping legs on the run in to home (it was Brian Sproul). We stopped off at Tolo’s for a quick refreshment.

Peem then took Scot, Joe, Fergus and myself off to see some classic cars and fantastic views at Cala Sant Vicenc. Beautiful.

It was a cracking day out.


Run Report 16 April – Majorca Day 1

I didn’t care that my alarm went off at 2:45am and that I was at the airport at 4am, all paled into insignificance as we rolled away from the hotel just after 2pm. This is what we’ve been waiting for! Sunshine and warmth, marvelous.

I must have the record for shortest distance before a puncture as I had just left the car park, all of 500 yards or so. I was just testing the bike was okay before everyone else was ready! So quick change of tube and tyre…

There were 12 of us out for a leg spinner. Out towards Campanet, turn to sa Pobla, over the marshes and stop at the cafe next to the bike shops in Alcudia for coffee. Then home to the hotel, dodging too many folks that were coming the wrong way – Fergus sorted them out in his best Scots!

Back to the hotel after 30 miles (1hr 45 mins) and 4 of us decided to spin up to the viewpoint on the way to Formentor. The first of many climbs to come. Views are fabulous. I got another puncture (front this time) on the way up – hope that’s my bad luck for the week out the way. Some good luck on the descent as a car just missed me on a bend, far far too close for comfort. An extra 9 miles and 30 mins for us and the first hill bagged.

No Garmin stats, as that wasn’t playing today, hopefully okay for tomorrow. So here’s some photos instead.

Run Report 14 April

Huddling at The Gates in the pouring rain, thinking I must be mad, I was kind of hoping nobody else would be daft enough to join me, so I could slope back home to the warmth. But no, RAF Andy is also stupid hard enough to get the miles in.

We decided to head out towards Alyth and make a decision from there. The rain eased off so Andy decided it was nice enough to do the published route and so off we headed to some hills. Then the rain started.

Passed Blacklunans at least we seemed to have a bit of a tailwind, but it was wet, so no nice views to draw in as we pushed along. The loch at Drumore was still completely frozen, and so were we! The roads through Kirkton of Glenisla were in a bit of a state with one particularly load bang as Andy hit a large hole in the middle of the road, thankfully no damage done. At one point we were cycling up a hill, in a headwind and rain, and the whole road had a river of water running down it. Bad enough fighting gravity without battling a current too. Oh what fun we were having.

Made it to Peel Farm, just as the rain was going off. Soaked and frozen. Think I had early stage hypothermia as when my black coffee arrived that I thought I had asked for, it was a large Mocha – which I have never drunk before nor am I even sure what it is! The¬†waitress¬†and Andy both assured me I had asked for a Mocha….in my head I said black coffee….

The weather had now cleared, blue sky and the sun peaking through, so just the wind to contend with on the way home. To add to the day’s fun I had a puncture just as we passed the Glenisla Golf Club – at least by then my hands had thawed out and I could actually make the change.

Tired legs for Andy, manfully dragging his winter bike round, so an easy pace back home.

My next run report will be from Majorca, it better be warm, dry and calm ūüôā

Run Report 13 April

Nicer morning, but still chilly out there. Only 4 of us at The Gates but we picked up Andy Yorke at Birkhill and headed to Newtyle. Leaving Newtyle for Meigle we passed the other run and there were 10 of them which is good turn out.

Out past Glenisla Golf Club, up some nasty wee climbs, where Bill turned off (he’s still not 100% healthy but was pushing¬†better¬†this week so hopefully back to full fitness soon). The 4 of us continued out past Peel Farm and an Andy detour over some rolling roads heading to Kingoldrum. Disaster struck as Andy’s rear mech shattered and he tried to convert to a single speed to no avail. So help was phoned, glad he knew where he was as no chance I could have told anyone where in the middle of nowhere we were at that time!

The trio made it to the cafe in Kirri just as the others were leaving. After some much needed R & R we pushed on home at a brisk pace via Balkeerie and on to Newtyle. Some tired legs for the final push home.

A good run, some good hills and a good pace (I forgot to stop my Garmin at the cafe, so stats aren’t quite right, it was a 17.7mph moving average, pretty good given the climbing).