Nae Limits.

Get on your Google maps, and work out where the “Thirties” are as we leave from the exT&P at 9:00 am! Heading to Nae Limits for coffee via Dunkeld. Its about 48miles return.

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Flour power. A tale of multiple parts!

With Andrew’s Road Bike still in for repair and suffering from a shortage of bike parts he was unable to do a long road ride. A plan was hatched. Simon and I would set off at 9 cycle 38 miles then Andrew would leave later on his Mountain Bike with the aim to meet at Flour in Meigle at 11.30.

Throw in also that Karen would set off from home and meet us too.

Just before setting off Tess disappeared straight into Andrew’s house to play with her new toy, Tom!

Dodging to road works and closed roads I’m the village it was a chillier than expected start to the ride. Simon was coughing away with his summer cold but was still able to find the lungs to go for every village sign and 30 signs 😁.

Scareytown was still devoid of visible habitation. However it didn’t stop a contested sprint for the 30 which was hotly disputed with the jury still not yet announced their findings. Then on through Glamis and on to some rough tarmac and the busiest section of today’s route as we headed to Forfar.

A quick check of Panzerotti and that it was still in business and worth a return visit. More rough tarmac and through Forfar onto the Kirrie road. Into Pandarammmaaa and Si suggests a turn off on to “off highlighter” road. But we carry on to Kirriemuir. More 30’s and Town and village signs for phlegm boy.

Checking the time we were still in schedule for Flour meet up.

Onward to 5 ways and the chase for the coffee was on. Simon tries the super tuck but big boy momentum carries me past.

11.20 and mission accomplished as we arrive at Flour ahead of schedule to see Andrew already there. His MTB route took less time than expected.

Scones and coffee ordered ( bit slow on the coffee) and then Karen arrives. After much chat it was time for the next part of today’s cycle.

With Andrew on his knobbly tyres and us on Road slicks it was a push for Andrew to keep the pace. We rolled along with more chat towards Ardler. Andrew tries a long range sprint to the village sign it in reality this was him goading Simon into action. I then went for it and made the sign 😁

Kettins now and Karen unwittingly uses distraction to claim the Kettins sign… Chivalry is not dead. Ha ha.

With Karen and Simon out front Andrew’s eyes light with the makings of a cunning plan as we leave Kettins. As the three of us take a left turn Andrew dives right using his local knowledge and for the only time on this journey an MTB advantage, for some despicable behaviour. As we approach the Campmuir sign Andrew is already waiting there and gently roles past the sign to claim his victory of the day.

Karen was needing a few more miles so her and Simon head back around the Kettins loop as Andrew and I head to the finish.

After their extra miles the duo appear back having added and extra leg to achieve the round for Karen. Tess reluctantly leaves her Tom toy and greets her other buddy Karen ignoring Simon 😁

After being cheeky to Karen about how clean her rear derailleur was I came home and gave my bike a good clean.

Another good day. Now where next.

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Mid Summer sunday

The year started with the intention of this weekend I’d cycle Inverness to Perth but not done enough long cycles to attempt that this weekend so instead………

9am (yes 9am) start in the Village by the ex T&P. Then it’s interception time. Last to Flour in Meigle buys the cake. There is a choice of routes –

Newtyle, Glamis, Forfar, Kirrie Alyth Meigle for those on road bikes

or

Campmuir Ballo Lundie Meigle for those on Mountain bikes. Or some such variation.

Aim to meet at Flour 11.30 ish.

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Flattish Glen and some more!

The seed was planted for Simon and I to do the Flattish Glen route. This being as the name suggests in relative terms a relatively flat route about Glen Isla and the surrounds! last time I did it I struggled really struggled but it had to be done again.

Setting off Simon suggest that Balintore could be added in. I remember the ramp up to the castle from a previous foray which wasn’t flattish. On down the Glen nattering away with the off ramp to warm us up. Talking of warming up, the forecast was to be toasty but for now it was grey breezy which took the edge off the warmth and I had started the day with arm warmers. The local brazened it out,

The Balintore turn approaches and Simon asks well shall we? Yes and off up the hill. The castle is atop a sharp after a gradual but steady climb. Down into granny and spin up best I could. I recall saying as I started that conversation will resume at the top! COnversation did resume as Simon found a balintore local he knew and stopped for a blether. Which also gave me some recovery time.

Not knowing this area I was being led and directed by Simon. This will explain why some of the things from today may not be in the correct sequence, but they did happen!

Heading to Cortachy we see a couple of girls out walking but then catch up with them again later as we head to Kirriemuir.

Simon meets another pal for a chat. Unfortunately for me the stop was just onto a climb. I couldn’t get proper clipped back in again so turned and rolled the 50m back down to the flat spot, clipped in and then got up the hill.

The Cortachy road says road closed. being rebels we carry on. We eventually come to a narrow section some distance further on at Memus. Naturally no work was happening today.

After Memus Simon says lets take a left. It was at this point I had got my bearings and recognised where we were from the last time. I got there eventually! Turns out it was a cunning ploy to add more miles a Fortingall type loop EC and we join back onto the same road we’d come off having done 3 sides of a rectangle.

Normality had resumed at Kirriemuir gold club with the car park full and cars allover the verge. Simon claims his second 30 of the day (all uncontested) and then as we take 2nd left he claims his 3rd and final.

The previous time we came this way we turned off after Kingoldrum onto a swine of a climb which I walked. Today the route setter had taken pity on me and took me a different climb before we swung down to Lintrathen Loch for coffee and cake at the Wee Bear cafe. The German Rhubarb cake was excellent and they have invested heavily in outside seating and were busy. They even have their own cycle tops, which I expect we shall see on Simons Back before long.

It’s never nice getting going after a coffee stop but at least this was downhill past Peel farm coffee shop which wasn’t nearly as busy as the Wee Bear.

Kilry hill next and another climb which I vividly recall from both previous attempts. Attempt 1 loads of walking. Attempt 2 with Simon some walking and loads of stopping and starting. What would today hold. I won’t say that I sailed up but there was no stopping and I could still hold a conversation of sorts. Still slower then many but so what it was the best of my attempts. Looks like we may have had the weather gods with us today. On our way up the hill when passing under any trees the road was wet and you could smell off the dry ground that it had rained. We go lucky with the minute or two of light mist drizzle that we got.

Simon had mentioned about doing a loop of the glen to get some extra miles. So after saying no I changed my mind and off up to Forter castle and back down we went for an extra 5 miles.

Domestic management had been tracking my GPS progress and spotted that we went past out end point and did some more. By now the sun was out and I was certainly feeling the heat on my face as we ended the run. However not as knackered as expected but if we had gone off around the glen for another loop it would have been slower. So ended on a high instead.

Just shy of 52 mile / 83 Km and loads of climbing compared to my ride last week of similar distance.

Cracking day. Now where next.

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Still Summer

I was wrong on my last post about Summer being that one day!

A cracking weekend to be out.

I’d arranged to take my nephew for a cycle so his Mum and him brought his MTB to Perth I went to see them Thursday and was met by a sorry state. No not my sister but the MTB (Which had been mine until I passed it on). Flat Tyres, Chain dry and corroded, Front derailleur not changing properly, all minor quick fix issues as the bike had been in the shed all last year while he was at Uni. The worst was the brakes. No back brake pressure. I’d just acquired a bleed kit and oil so first time using it and success. Loads of air purged from the system and brakes functioning. So Friday was safely back on. A social 90 min pedal and catch up made for a good start to the weekend and nephew and his mother sent home with instructions on chain and mech cleaning.

Saturday dawned nice and bright and in a first for this year bare arms and knees saw the cycling fresh air.

Heading down Newhouse road to start, I was nearly taken out by an impatient driver pulling out on me. Then it was out the usual road to Tibbermore and towards St Davids. I had to remind myself not to loop back and to carry on to Crieff. A cut through on Southwood road meant I avoided the Saturday Morning shoppers on main street Crieff and the Aldi shoppers were not to troublesome. Out the Strowan road and it’s one of these least travelled road that each time I do I tell myself not to leave it so long to return next time. Its a most enjoyable road to cycle with cracking views over to the Monument above Comrie. A quick stop next to Comrie dead centre for a drink and refuel before the Culty Braggen climb.

Plenty of cyclists piling down the hill towards Comrie as I headed up. I spied a MTB’er and decided not to blast on to catch him. Small blue car passed me as I neared this cyclist but then the car got held behind him on the blind bends. Which in turn then made me back off and slow down. Yes I had to slow on a climb and not because if my inadequacies. Once the car got passed I was able to carry on my merry way past the MTB’er who was dressed in tartan shorts and jersey. Not quite at the top at Culach I took the Muthill turn which to me was “off highlighter” A cracking road which which be revisited. Again in Saturdays sunshine it was a pleasant road and cracking views taking you down past Muthil Golf Course.

Back road now with plans to reach Kinkell Bridge. However I was distracted when passed by a Lincoln car on UK plates and missed my turn. No issue on up to Tallibardine and then hand a left to Kinkell Bridge.

Right on to the Findo Gask Road and I quickly regretted the decision. The fresh smooth tarmac of the previous week has now been overlayed and top dressed with granite chips. The fresh piles of chips were not fun to cycle over and none of the passing motorists could understand the “Max Speed 10” signs. No coffee stop at Gloagburn today but straight home.

Sunday was a short loop after the previous days 55 miles. My legs were not happy going up Necessity Brae or later when I tried the Wilson Street Burst but at least there was more fresh tarmac to end the ride on and this time without the top dressing of granite chips! The legs felt much better for that ride.

Cracking weekend and what would appear to have been my longest ride of the year which is a shocking admission. But there again, not as far and as sore as Si on the Cairn o’Mount.

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Summer was today!

The forecast told us we would have summer today but the morning reality was somewhat different for our departure with a Haar blanketing Perthshire. Simon was most annoyed as Angus already had the blue skies as he left home and descended into the murk.

Simon and I opted for shorts and arm warmers with a light jacket to start in. Andrew went for full winter bibs and jacket. He must not have trusted the weather forecast. This was on top of his sleep deprived hangover.

Any thoughts of a neutralised village zone were promptly dispelled as Andrew and Simon surges for the Woodside 30. Andrew amended the rules in the spot and claimed it for himself disqualifying Simon and for just trying to beat home 😡

On through Balathie on a rarely cycled road to Stanley. I pulled off a long range power surge passing Simon at pace and claiming the combined village sign and 30 sign. For good measure I also claimed the 30 later in the village but Andrew disqualified that as there was no village sign. Only the speed! Leaving Stanley Simon starts to pull ahead making his early bid for the Luncarty sign. We leave him to it.

Up through redgorton and the we are warming up and it’s time to remove some layers. Andrew commented that it was like being with the Chippendales. Must be our physiques that made home think that!! 🤢

Time for a regroup and kill some weeds before heading up to the Little Glenshee Ford. Being the good citizens that we are we pull over and let a car through and get a thumbs up from the driver. The road up to the ford is one of my favourites for the views. On this occasion we also had some bleating spectators race us up the road with their chase stopped by the fence of the field they were in. I’m not sure if they were impressed by our shouting name back of mint sauce and jelly.

On we went at a nice pace and so far no need for anyone to have a seat in a passing place.

It’s always nicer going downhill into the Ford and not having the nippy climb out of it. Our feet for splashed and a bit damp but nothing worse. At the hairpin at the top Simon and I stop but no sign of Andrew. He appears shortly after a stopping to take this photo I think that’s me crossing the Ford.

Downhill now heading to Tullybelton and meet a couple of cyclist who we had seen earlier.

Route options presented and the climb to ice cream at Stewart Towers won. It’s a nippy climb up from Bankfoot thankfully the RangeRover hung behind a peching Andrew and the oncoming bus gave us plenty of room on the narrow road. Unlike the driver of the wee blue car who flicked the V’s.

Ice cream and coffee ordered and delivered to us by the tangerine tanned young assistant. As we were heading back to our bikes we got talking to a couple of other cyclist who had just arrived. They liked my “we ride for cake” jersey. Simon asked one what she did on the other days of the week. Puzzled looks all round until the penny dropped and it was pointed out that her shirt said “Friday I’m in love” so a perfectly justified question of what she did the rest of the week. These old folk think they can get away with saying anything 😁 Could have been a great chat up line though!!! We didn’t take the conversation further after saying we had started from Burrelton and the Friday lover saying that she used to live there.

Today’s movie discovery was that James Bonds ancestral home of Skyfall is near Stanley.

Another long range charge from Simon saw the Murthly sign claimed. Uisige was busy as was the car park at bluebell wood. Still some cars parked on the roadside and a no parking cone In the field as we debated how it had gotten there.

Nearly the end but still time for an impatient driver crossing the Isla bridge. I went for the village square 30. Simon went hunting for the T&P one but didn’t see it. It is there.

40 miles of steady cycling and banter and you could even have thought it really was summer.

DIY efforts for next 2 weeks. Normal service resumes on the 20th.

Ps. After the removing of layers due to the sun eventually shining I now have red slightly burnt arms. Whereas I think Andrew just melted!

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May 30th

9.00 am meet at ex T&P.

Murthly, Stanley, Redgorton Little Glenshee then back via coffee either at Stewarts Ice Cream or Uisge Murthly.

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laurence llewelyn-Bowen-Evans

The promise of warmer weather and permission from domestic management for a mid week cycle was too good and opportunity to miss.

Off to Pitlochry to meet up with LLB-Evans and after a coffee we headed north. There must be more money in Caravans and Campervans compared with tents as the Faskally campsite has turned their tent camp ground in to hard stands with power hookups.

Tenandry was suggested but thankfully half heartedly and bypassed. Killiecrankie has some nippy climbs to get you through the pass.

Today was to be a day of Simon getting all 30’s and all village signs to be doubly sure. Blair saw us take a detour to check out the Wasted Degrees brewery and Taproom. Must go back at the end of a cycle not the start.

The first part of today’s route to Trinafour was all off highlighter for me with new roads and scenery to spot and not see the upcoming 30’s!

The road rises and then you turn for Tummel and it carries on UP. Then it was free fall. We discovered that Fatmentum trumps the Froome Super Tuck position for ease of down hill speed. Then Si makes the break on out braking me on the bends and opens a gap.

It’s then up to Foss and along past Clunie dam. A very nice truck driver backed up to let us past. Later we let a small white car past which I turn struggled to get past an oncoming car nearly tucked into a passing place. Another driver who doesn’t know the width of their own car.

On the track past Fonab Castle and two pushchair pushing mothers let us past and in our merry way.

ER for coffee and cake and the end of a pleasant mornings cycle. The mothers who let us past earlier arrive along with their buddies for Pitlochry mothers who lunch.

Oh as for LLB-Evans. He was off home to get his ruffle cuffs on and decorate and set dress the big house ready for the photographer. All his veg and flowers and to be exactly placed.

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Another Vom Hill

Setting off from Davids, we made our way to Newhouse Road. Local knowledge comes into play. There had been a fuel spillage at one of the roundabouts… neatly avoided. 

Onward to Almondbank, and Mr local knowledge is at it again to claim the first 30 of the day. 

It’s a bit lumpy getting out of Almondbank and Pitcairngreen and heading for Buchanty. The ride is slow and the chat good until. Omg was it an until…i am going to quote David here “I see there was a tweet about Perth chiropractors and physios… about a weak back” 

My climbing is as rubbish as the joke… worse actually! 

Through the spout and we are climbing up to go over to Fowlis. We meet a guy coming the other way, who is pointing out a white duck nesting in the ditch side. David missed it. Onward and upwards we go, David has dropped me. He graciously waits at nearly the top. I dismount and sit on the road in a passing place. All is not well with me, I am feeling nauseated 🤢 it’s coming in waves. I consider abandoning. I sit for a while, drink and eat. Feeling better, we head off, cresting the hill, and dropping down towards Fowlis. I can do descending. The road is a shambles. I free fall into Fowlis, well maybe not free fall, I am on the brakes. As I claim the 30. We drop down and cross the Crieff road. 

There were lots of alternatives at St Davids… I chose the easiest and flattest route. I group of ladies cycling the other way are all smiles and waves as we head back towards Perth. It rains a little bit. 

We stop at Gloagburn, and realise that Simon has not supplied us with his credit card or bank details, but its OK, we opened a tab! 😁 nah really, I paid!

After Gloagburn (interesting scenery as we leave!) We trundle back to Perth. David claims the last 30 before I toil up Wetmains. 

Route all done, tired but happy. Would have been happier with out the terrible joke/performance Pre Fowlis… you chose! 

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Buchanty

With my ever present desire to colour in routes on the strava heat map. Sunday’s run will be from Perth to Perth via Almondbank, Pitcairngreen, Harrietfield, Buchanty, Fowlis Wester, New Fowlis, St Davids, Madderty and Tibbermore. Kick off is at 9am

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