Evans Ride It Callander

There were 4 Wheelers doing this event (Ciaran, Ian Stewart, Alan Davidson and myself) on what was a lovely morning, blue sky, crisp and not too windy (compared to what’s it been like). Registration was at the McLaren leisure centre and was fine, a bonus of a High5 pack full of goodies, all included in the bargain price (for sportives) of £17.50. The route had been amended as there was a running event on part of the original route, so was now 83 miles and only over Dukes Pass once – don’t think any of us were upset about that đŸ™‚

The new route was a loop round Thornhill, almost back to  Callander, out Doune way and loop back to Thornhill, then on to Cambusbarron, round Carron Valley reservoir to Fintry, Lake of Menteith, Aberfoyle, Dukes Pass and back to Callander.

They were setting us off in small groups, with a rider briefing and warnings that Dukes Pass was icy (not by the time we’d get there though). I was also meeting up with 3 from Kinross CC that I know and the 7 of us made a wee group as we walked through the start tent, over the pavement and on to the road. The signage was spot on with signs before, during and after every junction. The one exception being the very last right turn which most of us missed, adding an extra mile going through Callander rather than round it to the finish – probably had “get home” blinkers on by that point!

Highlight of the early part of the ride was Alan being told we were doing the 83 mile route and not the 54 miles he thought he was – Alan’s previous longest day was 63 miles!

The snow capped hills and the blue sky and the relaxed pace made for a very enjoyable day out. The state of a large part of the roads did not – think Cairan may have changed his mind about wanting to ride Paris Roubaix now! The route was pretty spectacular and had a few wee hills, coming out of Cambusbarron near Stirling was a surprise as it climbed and climbed.

We stuck together all the way round, stopping to regroup after hills, however with cracks appearing as we passed Lake of Menteith, we stopped at the last feed stop and ate cakes until we regrouped. The plan was then to ride the 5 miles to the foot of Dukes Pass and then every man for themselves on the climb and the 10 miles back home.

I enjoyed the climb of Dukes Pass, hadn’t done it before and wasn’t too bad after the initial switchback section. The descent and run back to the finish were excellent, mainly downhill and with a tailwind.

We all made it back safely and agreed it was a cracking day, beautiful route, well organised, but the roads are a pretty shocking state. Well done on Alan on his new PB!

Here’s my Garmin stats to see the route etc :

 

Dundee Thistle Reliability 2014

It was a lovely blue sky and warm weather, shame about the howling gales though – can’t have everything. Decisions, decisions on what to wear as too warm for winter gear and not warm enough for summer gear – there were some exposed legs.

The long ride was split into 2, with a steadier (“nobody gets dropped”) group off first and 15 minutes later the chase was on as the fast boys set off. Unfortunately the steady group had a puncture in the first 2 miles and so we caught them on Tully! The pace was hard going into the wind on an undulating route.

As per the normal script, the right turn after Luncarty and the drags up to and through Little Glenshee is where the first moves are made and the group split. The slog into the wind through the glen to the ford was particularly tough. As per usual, the “comfort break” at the ford let the group get back together and we did start the descent steady (road’s a bit dodgy) but the pace did pick up as we raced towards Bankfoot.

The drag up to Waterloo was tough and the damage was done as the front group was now whittled down to about 10 and the pace relentless. By the time we got past Caputh and the climb towards Loch Clunie the leading 5 disappeared, leaving 5 of us working away.

As I got past Blairgowrie and the guys I was clinging on to started doing through and off, I went through and then was off – game over just before Coupar Angus, neither the legs nor the inclination to hurt myself any more. Time to spin home and enjoy the sun, which I did.

The first guys back were around the 3:10 mark (20.5mph), the rest of us crawled home in varying degrees of shatteredness… Another tough day, but enjoyable (I think).

Another cracking turn out, with 96 across the 3 rides. Thanks to all the helpers and the food at the finish was excellent and much needed.

And that’s it another Racing Reliability season is over. Just need to hone the form for the Majorca racing week now đŸ™‚

Dundee Wheelers Jim Soutar Memorial Reliability Trials 2014

By the time I arrived at the Millennium Hall at 9:30 the car park was already very busy and a hive of activity. Seems the pretty good weather was going to result in a good turnout.

Hive of activity

A nice friendly greeting at sign on, and a quick check who was doing which route and already looking like having to split the long group into 2 and the 50 miler into at least 3 groups!

Sign On

So at 10am sharp the first 70 mile group sped off and kept a good pace to Newtyle and on to Glamis, knowing that the second fast group would be chasing us down! Sure enough, as we approached Kirri the second group made the catch and the pace picked up as we turned into the wind and on towards Blairgowrie.

Once through Blairgowrie, the tempo increased again as we started passing some of the 50 mile groups on the Lochs road. We didn’t hang about as the young uns kept driving us along. We did pick up a few 50 milers in our group as we descended to Dunkeld and the fast climb out. The bunch managed to stay together (only just in my case) pushing on with a tailwind to Coupar Angus. Jim Foulis was ignoring his man flu and putting in a good shift, but there was to be no escapees today. On towards Tully and it was at this point that I got cramp (again) and the end of another tough day for me as the group disappeared up the road. What I could see was the usual carnage on the Tully climb with people strung out all the way up, which then seemed to form into a couple of groups for the dash back.

Cracking pace by the fast folks, around 21.5mph average for the first home – good effort.

The post event buffet and banter was great. There were 100+ signed on for the 3 runs, a club record and very heartening. Hopefully everyone had a good day and definitely some personal bests and major achievements. A fair number of folks were unassigned to any club, which is a new trend we hope will continue and perhaps see some out on the club runs soon.

Unfortunately heard there was one casualty with Fiona coming off. Fiona’s husband Alan let me know that she has fractured her shoulder and chipped her elbow. Ouch. Speedy recovery and see you soon.

Thanks to all those that helped out and provided food on the day.

Food glorious food