After our own Round 4 Trial was cancelled due to Snowmageddon, it was a lovely morning that welcomed the end of Reliability Season with the Thistle event. As per all the Reliability Trials there are runs and groups of various lengths and speeds to suit all. The fast group is for those that want to have a “good go” but the others are more club run social pace.
The fast group set off and was fairly swift from the off, surely won’t keep this up for 70 miles! The fast group does split as folks drop off, get mechanical issues etc and is usually a whittling down process as the run goes on. The first split usually happens in the run up Little Glenshee and this year was no different. However it was good to see the “comfort break” at the ford (which was calf deep after the snow and rain) was reinstated and we regrouped and sped down towards Bankfoot. The Little Gelnshee road is hairy at the best of times and the snow and rain hasn’t helped, as it is now a loosely connected series of potholes and boulders. Best avoid the puddles as don’t know if they are 2 inches or 2 feet deep!
A turn left at Bankfoot and a brisk climb up Waterloo and right at the top of Birnam Braes where we passed the steady 50 mile group looking like they were having a more relaxing time 🙂
The next test is the rolling roads towards Clunie where the young whippets got a slight gap that we just managed to close before the turn towards Blairgworie. The group was down to about 12 now and the pace hadn’t slowed any as I clung on at the back by the skin of my teeth! The bunch did split on the road to Newtyle and up Pitnappy where my legs finally gave in as 4-5 left me trailing. Did manage to catch Scott Taylor (Thistle) around Auchterhouse and we came home together.
The buffet was fabulous, great effort by the Thistle. The other groups soon arrived with various tales of mechanicals, punctures and sore legs. Sounds like a good job of marshalling on the other rides kept the groups together.
Strava says it was the fastest Thistle Reliability since they changed the route a fair few years ago, my stats were –