After last week’s non starter, this was the first road event of 2016 for most and what a difference a week makes. The weather was much better, a balmy 4 degrees, sunny, but as usual a bit of a gale wind!
There were 7 Wheelers signed on, Jamie, Ciaran and me for the fast group with Ian A, Rob, Davie R and Andy A on the steady group. Bang on 10am we set off on the tailwind fast section! The first hour was a blur as we averaged 24mph out through Colinsburgh and round to Kingsbarns and through St Andrews. Then on to the Guardbridge bypass due to the road closure and it was here a load bang was heard and shout of puncture. So very sportingly, and a first I think, we pulled in at the top of the rise out of Guardbridge to wait. A couple of riders then came up to say the guys tyre was ripped to bits and pointed to me and Cairan and said “one of your guys”! We thought Jamie was missing! Ever the good teammate Cairan said we should turn back but there really was nothing we could do so…..we all set off for Dairsie then Balmullo and drop down to St Mikes to get back on the route.
As usual Gauldrie marked the start of the “race” as the strong boys (and girl) made a break for it. About 6-7 got away with 3 of us trying to chase back on in a headwind – was never going to happen. The descent down from Gauldrie was awful, road really broken up, lots of rubble and just not safe at all, so caution here was the sensible option. There were 4 of us together as we crossed the A92 and could see Rachel C about 30 seconds up the road, with the rest of them out of site now. It took the 4 of us working very hard together to reel Rachel back in on the road to Cupar, but I really think she had sat up and waited for us as she didn’t know where to go! Up the Hill of Tarvit I took it at my own pace, which was about 100 metres behind the others, and managed to get back on at the top as they slowed to let us regroup. There was now 4 of working into the wind on the section towards Kennoway on the way home, bit of a slog. The little downhill section to Windygates was welcome and we were soon back home where we started.
My stats were 64 miles in 3:10, so 20.2 mph average, which given the windy day I can’t complain.
Glad to see Jamie made it back to the hall ahead of me, but surprised to also see Davie R and Ian A too as I couldn’t remember them passing me en route 🙂 Turns out Jamie had been rescued by Ian Stewart (early entry for clubman of the year coming out to rescue him) and Davie and Ian had decided at Dairsie to carry straight on to Cupar, missing out the loop round Gauldrie. Cairan soon arrived and a little later Andy A who had done the full 64 mile loop. That just left Rob out on the road and soon enough he arrived home safely too.
The post event buffet was excellent, soup, stovies, and loads and loads of sandwiches and cakes, well worth the effort.
So one down, 2 to go….