I’m crawling into bed exhausted after an epic cycle. 120kms of sun soaked riding a point to point route I’d masterminded after Tina sewed a seed earlier in the week. The weekend was to be sunny so I’d planned to do a long ride and due to commitments my ride would be on the Sunday. God only knows if i could run when I’d be able to slot the long run in (yes it’s a worry I’m not running since I’m doing a marathon in 4wks)
I’d aimed to follow a railway line in the event of knee failure and I think Tina had said something about cycling from Pitlochry to home was the same distance we’d done previously. The cogs in my head started turning and before I knew it I was on Garmin Connect checking out a decent route.
Route found now to make sure there was a cycle reservation space. There was! And what’s better Tina had decided that Saturday was gonna be too windy to ride and that she’d join me on my ride! Bonus!
So there we were catching the 9:37 train to Pitlochry – what a nice time to start. Makes a chance from the 5am alarms!
Entering Pitlochry I was filled with anticipation and worry. My knees are a constant battle of pain and recovery.
Leaving Pitlochry we took the back roads along to Dunkeld, following partly the etape caledonia route. The sun was hot with some warm breeze. I’m glad I had put the P20 suncream on. We were taking a steady pace, the terrain was good but undulating.
Taking regular water breaks was necessary as we really were sweating. After a long cold winter this was a different experience all together.
Entering a village we descended a steep hill with an immediate t junction. A cycle event sign was pinned to a lamppost and I thought to myself what’s the event? I’d stopped after the junction for Tina to catch up but was soon passed by a motorbike with flashing lights. I thought the leader must be coming. Tina came round the bend and continued past me and was being waved the wrong way by a Marshall. After shouting that we were not part of the event she ignored the marshal and turned right, I slowly, fumbling to clip in followed but by this time the marshal was shouting quite loudly and with some force. “Fast riders behind you now!! Quick!!” All this was too much to take in but before I knew it I could hear the roar of 60 carbon fibre wheels roll past me at 40miles an hour there must have been 30people in that peloton and I very nearly got caught underneath it! Phew! Close close shave and a lot of adrenaline!
Heading into Perth now and we weren’t half way. Perth was a low point a long steep drag of a hill was all I really remember apart from stopping to buy more juice. We’d ran out!
Steadily rising again we were out of Perth we were headed for the flat plains of the Allan Valley where the monster of the hill awaited. Our spirits were up and Tina actually recognised more routes this time part of the Kinross sportive. We headed nearer and nearer toward the hill. The hill on the OS map that had 3 ^ on them signifying strep gradients.
We eventually arrived at the hill. 12% incline. Yikes. By this point we were at 19kmph av speed. This was slow. Slow enough that on ironman I’d not make cut off. This was worrying. Never mind. Onward and upwards and boy did it go up! 300m and two false summits – we were spent. The next 20km through Milnathort and Kinross were real tough. We stopped to buy more drink in Cowdenbeath. This perked us up. Downhill to inverkeithing and finally the bridge was in sight. Happy to see these familiar sights on such a tough ride.
We arrived back after 120kms and 6hours which included stopping.
My right knee held out my left though was tender toward the end -new injury? Hope not!
Some low points but also some highs too. A good day out!!