Sunday 16th

Where will we find coffee and cake this week.

Option 1 – Leaves Perth 9.15 cycles 23 miles to Dunkeld via Tibbermore Methven Pitcairngreen & Bankfoot. Have coffee then head back via Caputh. 43 ish miles.

Option 2 – Leave Perth 9.15 and head to Tibbermore, Crieff, Comrie then back to Muthill Kinkell Bridge then back to Perth via Gloagburn. 50 ish miles.

Option 3 – Meet Dunkeld North Car park (near Hilton) 9.15 them up towards Amulree, cut down to Aberfeldy then along Strathtummel to Logierait and back via Dalguise and the Hilton Hotel path. 40 ish miles.

Let me know which is the preferred Option.

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Winds Hills and no more sense!

It was chilly, it was windy, we faffed around before getting going but we did it.

Today was a long overdue pedal with Si. After the debate of which gloves Si would find best we were off. Huntingtower first and it was a slow moving horse which we slowly and with a wide berth passed. Then off into the growing headwind out the Tibbermore road. Conversation flowed when the noise of the wind permitted. Next it was Mosside and into Methven. It was easy to see that I’m out of practise cycling with Si as when I was taking a swig of juice he edged forward to claim the 30 that I’d failed to spot.

Up Cog Brae which wasn’t has bad as had been anticipated. It wasn’t swift but it was steady for me and no dramas for first uphill of the year. At Glenalmond it was into the wind again but with shelter from hedges and trees it wasn’t too bad.

A photo stop was required as we joined the A822 Sma Glen road to allow us to send AW a “wish you were here” message. Now it really was off into the wind on the drag up to Foulford. Ok Si I admit it wasn’t all down hill to Gilmerton! I do like the use of the old baths as planters at the Foulford golf course. On we went down on the drop to help us push into the wind. Then we still needed to pedal down hill to Gilmerton No real landspeed records today. Si gets the 30! The reverse climb up the Sma Glen from Gilmerton has never been down by either of us so that is now on this year’s agenda.

Left and head to Kinkell Bridge down a stretch of “off highlighter” for Si. It was too breezy for anyone to be falling from the sky at Strathallen today. At this stage Si remarks about our downhill and when we get the climb back up. It was just around the corner but more of a gradual climb and with the added bonus of the tail wind.

Up to Findo Gask (Gask refers to the nearby Gask Ridge, in Gailic a gasg s a projecting tail or strip of land) Then down past Clathy Kirk and down to Balgown. Fingers were being crossed that Gloagburn was open for takeaway coffee.

You wait for years to see a motorbike and sidecars then 2 pass together. Interestingly both of the side cars were festoon with Teddy Bears! Nearing Gloagburn Si has a call of nature claiming the pressure from his lycra bib longs! I did say I was roll along until he caught up. Well with the tail wind the rolling along was after than anticipated, although it had crossed my mind to put the hammer down and make Si really chase. But even with the wind assisted rolling it was a puffing Si who caught me just at the Gloagburn entrance. Yes Coffee and traybake were available and a sit in one of the shed shelters while we consumed.

No horse on the way back through Huntingtower but another cyclist did pass us and then go through the red traffic lights at Dobbies!! Tut Tut! Si must have been feeling generous as I managed to claim the final 30 of the day before the drag up West Mains to home. There was one WTF moment to end the day with an impatient motorist cutting Si up near the Ambulance depot of all places.

All in all a cracking 43 miles and much much more of the same needed, This was apparently Si’s rest day tapering for a 104 mile ride with another Si later in the week.

Post Ride Strava check and a couple of segments were not shows on my strava that were in Si’s. Mr Google to the rescue yet again. Apparently as the segments start or end within my Strava Privacy zone they do no register. Well there you go.

Post Ride bike wash and no Bike light. Somewhere after the photo stop my See Sense back light has pinged off and has escaped for ever! Some bright spark did suggest I cycle the route looking for it, But maybe not!

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Easter Sunday 2021

Yes this really is a post about a run this weekend.

Meet at 9 at the usual Perth start then Almondbank Glenalmond Gilmerton to Kinkell Bridge.

From there it’s a choice of route home. Either via St David’s & Tibbermore. Or Dunning & Aberdaigie. Distance is between 35 & 45 miles.

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Unintentional Despicable Behaviour

Due to weather forecast no real world cycling was planned. Instead, a Zwift ride led by Chris Hoy in aid of the Doddie Weir MND Charity was to be done.
Simon decide to give it a go too.
At 9.45 on Sunday the countdown clock hit 0 and we were off.
Now there wasn’t meant as a race but as a led ride where the aim is to stay at the pace set by Chris Hoy. This is easier said than done!
Other than one climb the Zwift route is mostly flat and fast.
No sign of Simon on the start line then I remembered that Zwift only shows your the 100 riders closest to you. Off we go and I’m mid pack. No sign still of Simon so send him a whatsapp saying which position i am 365, he is 460, Next 403 451 close but no cigar.
We roll on. I get in the mix with 2 others and swap positions and get a good pace going again. This is a 50km ride and by now some are already finishing but we plod on.
In the final 6 km i see Simons name pop up as being in the vicinity but then it’s all over.
I get a call from rather damp Simon after the event. it transpires that whilst he was trying to respond to my where are you messages that a combination of concentrating on text replies and the speed of the event and with each message Simon dropped back a number of places. OOPS It wasn’t intentional despicable behavior to nobble him Honest 🙂
Must arrange a proper zwift meet-up and try and properly ride together. But there again. spring is here and outdoor riding calls.

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Fresh Air Sunday

Woooooo Made it out for second real Sunday ride of 2021! Unfortunately solo due to the times we still in.

No Ordie and using Simon to fill in the potholes this year.

I was a bit unsure of the snow melt on the route so drove it on Saturday and all was good. So Sunday after a coffee or two and spectating as Mrs B continued her tour of Watopia I headed out at a sensible time.

Necessity Brae is just not fun straight out the gate. Never has been never will be. Today wasn’t about setting times just about getting out for a time. The low sun made for some blinding moments but still the world swathed in white did look spectacular.

Approaching the level crossing the lights come on and the barrier descends. On through Forteviot and the Kildinny sisters. So far only 2 other cyclists have been spotted.There is a new build house in Forgandenny just completed in the Autumn, the snow has brought down their gutters. OOOOPS Mr Builder!

I was warm as I cycled along, possibly dawdled would be a more accurate description, but if I had been any more active and chasing other cyclists or climbing any hills I would have been melting quick than the snow.

There must have been a light tail wind as the road from Bridge of Earn past quickly. Then it was Friarton and the months of easy zwifting have not helped with any times the road goes up!

All in a pleasant dawdle in the fresh air.

Management had finished their trip around Watopia, deciding that she prefers there or London over any of the other routes. Now the mission is to find her a smart trainer of her own to save me sharing and having to reconfigure for different wheel sizes each time.

Earn Bridge heading towards the Level Crossing
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HNY!

Well, happy New Year.

I thought that I would do a wee… reflection on last year as I will not be back on the bike… until the air and road temperatures get up quite significantly.

It was certainly a year of spills, and solo cycling. January was eventful, Knapp and worse at Ordie.

The rest of the year was mostly solo. My favourite run I think was through the grounds of Dunkeld House, new tarmac and scenery. I still have a little burbing to do in Perth… The Wedge mostly and then some tidying up including the new schemes up by Necessity Brae. The burbing is a time filler waiting for children to do their sporting activities.

Goals for 2021, do more than I did in 2020, climb higher, fill in more of the heat map and get back to enjoying cycling.

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Fresh air and drizzle

The temperature was on the fresh side at 3 degrees a second my fingers took their time to warm up. Some of the puddles were glistening with ice so route change and keeping to lower levels was the new order.

The drizzle started about Gloagburn and lasted until Clathy.

A couple of drivers were unaware of the width of their cars as the squeezed past me and the oncoming cars.

The Balgown to Clathy climb was straight into the low winter sun. The climb was not as bad as my memory had been telling me. My memory did have issues after the climb. I blame the cold as I was spinning along the straight Roman Road wondering what the rattle was then realised I hadn’t changed up to the big ring after the climb. Progress was much better after I was in the correct gear.

Two cyclists crossed Kinkell bridge as I approached and headed up to St David’s. I did think about chasing them but instead explores St David’s instead. I met a cyclist at Balgown who I had met earlier at Clathy.

The Garmin was now dropping charge very quickly and I was on a mission to get to Huntingtower before it died. Gloagburn seemed quiet today. Huntingtower reached with the Garmin now in battery save mode. Thankfully it still had enough juice to properly save the ride. The remainder was recorded on the phone as the my gps watch was also low on juice.

All 30’s were mine including the new St David’s one. West Mains came and went. Home coffee inhaled and bike washed ready for another week on the turbo.

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Type 2 Fun

The forecast said it would be mainly dry this morning. They lied!!

The start was slightly delayed as Simon was slower down from the Glen due to his dodgy car brakes. Anyway of we set off in the dry through the ghettos of Perth and out to The Brig of Earn where Simon took the first 30 of the day. Into the village 20 zone and Simon switched off. He didn’t spot the return to 30 mid village so I just had to take it.

Up through the Glen towards Glenfarg and the rain gets much heavier such that by the time we get to the Mawcarse Junction it’s raining hard. We debate a loop straight home but decide to press on to Kinross and around Loch Leven. We shall gloss over the next few 30’s for now until the final two as Simon claimed everything. The block paving in Kinross was gleaming like ice and slippy and therefore was taken with caution.

The rain kept coming and coming down hard. Loads of big puddles but we managed not to get drowned by the passing cars. Or for that matter it was the choice between cycling close to the other guy for the tow or if you did you they drowned from his wheel spray.

By now we both realised that our gloves were not waterproof and our overshoes weren’t much better. The free fall back down the Glen didn’t help our core temperatures. Si was aching a bit from his tumble yesterday and the lure of coffee and fresh scones were what was keeping us going. But not before we had a nice cavalcade of vehicles stuck behind us unable to pass 😁. Back into The Brig and Si was wary of any attempts of mine to sneak a 30. New tactics were required.

As we got closer to the 30 Simon was out front and kept looking over his shoulder to make sure I wasn’t trying for the 30. But each time he turned back to the front I put the power down then as soon as he turned back to check on me I eased off and looked to be coasting then when Si turned again I put the power down until the final time I managed to put the power down enough and sneak ahead of Si and claim the 30. 😷 The best spot of despicable behaviour I’ve ever managed.

Simon was demonstrating how soaked his gloves were by clenching his fist and showing the water coming out. My inner gloves were able to be wrung out when we stopped at the coffee shop. My actual gloves were sodden. The Earn coffee shop was thankfully open and let two soggy cyclists in. The coffee and scones were nearly as welcome as the hot air dryer in the toilets that warmed Simon’s hands and dried his gloves.

We left a large puddle in the coffee shop and ventured back out into the rain. It was a bit chilly and we were both close to teeth chattering. It didn’t stop the sprint at the Edinburgh Rd 30. I did try to do the Wilson Street burst but was in totally the wrong gear and stalled to a halt while Simon zipped past.

Despite the rain it was a great dose of fresh soggy air and 45 miles. However, the two of us are now on the look out for better gloves and overshoes and I’m after a long sleeved warmer jersey.

It was good to be out of the garage.

As much “fun” as the two of us had today it would have been more fun with others along for the ride. But the facts of life these days means we couldn’t have stopped for a coffee. Due to spacing the number of seats in the coffee shop were reduced and we got 2 in tow corner so not even options for socially distant pairs at different tables!

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Technology is Great, But fresh air cycling is better.

All dressed and ready to go and Simons Garmin is screeching an alarm! No amount of button prodding switched it off it even asked for a passcode which Si had no clues about. Quick dive into the house for the glasses and iPad and then it’s into the Garmin app on Si’s phone and the alarm is off. No idea how it got activated but it’s apparently and anti theft alarm.

Now ready to set off and it’s raining so we both change into waterproof jackets and eventually get on our way. If it hadn’t been for the alarm delay we may have been on our way and got wet.

Reaching the top of Necessity we hear the drone of pipes. It was my neighbour at his usual Sunday morning practise spot.

Down Dupplin and out to Dunning into the headwind. A few cyclists passed and met coming the other way but why did none have any kinda of be seen lights on such a grey grizzly day!

Left to Duchally and the colours on the trees were stunning enhanced by my “happy” orange lenses. The road were however slippery with wet leaves. Blustery at the turn to Gleneagles.

On to Muthill with thoughts of an “off highlighter” stretch back to Kinkell Bridge but we carried onto Crieff in search of coffee. No coffee our planned stop is now closed on a Sunday and only other one spied was full. Plan B Gloagburn. Rolling along nicely with the tailwind and it was an easy Trundle. Plan B was a fail too. Gloagburn queued out the door and no where safe to rack the bikes and keep the insight due to their tattie box wall and Shed coffee huts. We couldn’t think of anywhere else so it was time to head for home.

Leaving Gloagburn Simon has his second issue. The battery for Electronic gearshift dies and he is stuck spinning faster than Chris’s Froome! A short time later and much shifter prodding he gets it shifted into a higher gear but that’s it no more life. Being stuck in the high gear did make setting off from junctions and traffic lights an effort.

Miracle a couple of gear changes work just ready for West Mains which Simon still managed to ease.

End of the ride and another tech moment for Simon. His Garmin decided he had crashed and sent a message to his emergency contact! A quick call to Lucy to reassure her he was fine was needed.

44 miles of fun, it was great to be rolling along and staying upright over the leaves. Next time we will need Plans B C & D for coffee stops.

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RIP Strava Flyby

It would seem that Strava have been getting complaints about privacy intrusion due to “creeps and stalkers” using the flybys for means they weren’t intended for.

So In the same manner as Computer software is updated first and then publicised second regarding bugs. Strava did the same and set everyone’s flyby privacy setting to off around then 12th of October. If you want to appear on flybys you need to go into your privacy settings and reactivate.

So no more checking out to see who the fit person was that you cycled past (as if!) and probably no more kudos from strange unknowns in foreign lands.

During these covid days of travel restrictions it would seem some were also using Strava to check how far from home and out with the prescribed travel limit people strayed!

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