6:30am: Not really the time I would normally choose to get up on a weekend but Ironman training beckoned and I had Tina (Ironmum) coming to collect me. It was cold and the sun was just rising over the horizon. It promised to be a good day.
7:15 we arrived at our start point and it was chilly, 2C to be exact but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We set off from just North of Braco, Perthshire and headed to Comrie. It was a delight cycling with the sun on our backs into stunning scenery over a lovely quiet road.
8:30: It quickly became clear that this ride was going to be great, the warm sun on our backs was a welcome change from the snow, hail, rain and sub zero temperatures we’d experienced recently. It was also lovely to see the wildlife such as birds of prey soaring over the plateau.
We started our descent into Comrie which was brilliant to glide down a smooth road for almost 6kms.
I was flying down the road looking up to snow covered hills and I felt the same feeling of snowboarding down a mountain, awe and a little bit of danger mixed in together!
I noted to Tina that the trip back wouldn’t be as quick! It was noticeably cool in the shade with frost still on the road.
Arriving into Comrie, quick pit stop and off we were taking the road to St Fillians (Loch Earn).
The wind was coming towards us, but it was different as it was warm. This was a most strange feeling. We arrived at the Loch for another pit stop.
I first had the idea of riding up this way when I stayed at Loch Earn last year with the family, and boy did I get that right! The Loch looked amazing and it was a nice quick ride to the other side along the North main road.
Not before we stopped to look at some ducks…
Then I spotted something move on the verge, it was a deer that had been knocked over and was in a bad way but still alive. I was on the phone to the SSPCA when a farmer arrived with his gun and put the poor thing out of his misery. Tina cycled off so as not to hear the shot and then it was another pitstop time! Not sure Ironman will have as many pit stops but they were welcome to refuel!
9:30 and we were on our way back, this time via the South Road. This was still in darkness due to the low sun and was very chilly and the road surface wasn’t the best. It was also undulating but we managed well, even with the ice patches.
Full of wildlife this part of the world but this animal took me by surprise! I was spooked and the GOAT was also spooked! Not an animal I was expecting.
The ride from St Fillians back to Comrie was fast! Maybe a tail wind, maybe down hill but it was a great run. We decided to stop short of Comrie so we could fuel in time for the hill that we knew was coming.
Fueled and ready we tackled the hill, full of high spirits with the warm sun in our face. The gradient wasn’t too bad and we managed a good run up it.
We finished on a high! It really was amazing and such a good boost for me as I hadn’t been further than 50kms prior to this. It was slow but I finished knowing I could have gone further. I thank Tina for keeping me in my threshold so that I didn’t bonk!