Me and my big mouth putting on here that I was going to do the ELN distance on Sunday.
I set Lesley up with the Garmin Live tracker and asked if she could meet me at Cherrybank at the end of lap 3 with a fresh bottle of water. Of onto the circuit with the first of my 4 climbs of Necessity Brae. I never like climbing it first out of the box as my lungs need a while to clear. It was a chilly start and blooming cold freewheeling down Dupplin brae. Crossing the earn I spot at least 20 swans the river, On through Forteviot and it’s now my brain starts on the mind games and the thought of this as the first of 4 laps starts to nip away. On I roll, today will not be a day for land speed records as although I feel fit enough to do the distance I’m no where near fit enough to do the real ELN. Up the rise out of Forgandenny and this stretch of tarmac is rough as anything it’s an art to pick a reasonably pot hole free track across it. On to Bridge of Earn and avoiding the turn to Rhynd and on back into Perth. With Legs as fresh as they would ever be all day I have a dig at the Wilson Street Burst segment. Got the gearing wrong but managed my second best time, So close to my PR. Up through Craigie and onto Lap 2. Back up Necessity and down Dupplin. The Swans are still there. Rolling into Forgandenny I spy 3 cyclists gathered by the village hall. Going by their ageing years they are not from the same house and shouldn’t have been out together. Back over the rough tarmac and down to Bridge of earn. Past a group of 6!!! A Family of 4 and Granny and Granda out for a walk. This time it’s turn right for Rhynd. The entrance to the Moncrieff Hill carpark is chained off but 4 cars are still parked up at the entrance. It’s just after here that I spy a Tiger casually leaning on the hedge watching the world go by. I wave but no acknowledgment back. On and up the Rhynd climb, slowly, Yup not really ELN fit enough but still manage to click up through the gears as I reach the crest. Onto Rhynd village and I see a local safety conscious chicken wearing a Hi Viz Jacket! A couple of girls were looking well puggled coming the opposite way, I’m sure I will look more puggled than them later on. Get to the the junction and another down moment as I’m slower than I had hoped for. Maybe a speedy 36 miles the day before wasn’t such a wise idea. Oh well back up through Craigie, no attempt at Wilson Street and onto Lap 3. Scott the owner of the Cherrybank Inn is out getting the walls painted.
Have I ever said how much I hate Necessity Brae? Well I do!
The swans are still in the earn and the temperature is rising. A pleasant day for a pedal. Loads more cyclists and runners now out but all as singles or pairs. I wonder how many of those pairs have one cyclist or runner who is more keen and usually goes cycling with friends but due to lockdown can’t so is dragging their other half out as company! Some rather pleasant sights to be seen!
Down to Bridge of Earn and spy the Grandparents from earlier now without the other 4 and see them turning to wave back having gone their separate ways and heading to their own home. GRRR! Now it’s the another extended family washing cars at one of their house.
Back into Perth and up through Craigie to end lap 3. On each pass of the Edinburgh road Tescos this morning there have been no queues of hopeful shoppers.
My support crew is at the Cherrybank Corner with camera filming my approach and more importantly carrying water supplies. A quick chat and an inhale of fuel and it’s off for the final ascent of Necessity Brae. I get passed by an extremely skinny fit cyclist who zooms off up the hill but still exchanges nice day chat. I’m feeling more tired now and another cyclist passes. Like many of us in lockdown looking greyer and more hairy but the voice is familiar it was Bill P. We have a socially distant chat at the top. He is on call and already been out 3 times that morning so just doing an hour of hill reps. He is still hoping the the Etape Du Tour in Nice happens so keeping training. I guess in my way so am I for London and today was part of the stepping stones to that. Anyway on I roll, loads of standing on the pedals to stretch my back is needed. My Monday stretch class is going to be interesting and needed.
Nothing much to report on this final lap. The swans were still there the car washers had finished. The runners and cyclists were out. But the miles to the end were ticking down.
Wilson street approached and I thought to have a wee dig at the segment. Around the corner and i go to stand up on the pedals and power up and rise but my legs just laughed, Who am I kidding and I was back down into the saddle. No life left in the legs! The legs for this final stretch are turning but no extra power. Thankfully I didn’t get stopped at the traffic lights and trudged up the final climbs to home. I did spy that I was .3 away from the next whole number distance and for a nano second contemplated rolling down the street and back again but dismissed that thought. Now I find I’m .2 behind Sandra in the weekly leader table for total distance. Oh well she can have it.
Glad I did it, but no way near the level of fitness needed for the real thing although adrenaline excitement and atmosphere at the real event would have aided but all of those were missing today. Time for coffee and an isotonic recovery drink. Oh and I’ve attached photos of proof of the Tiger and Hi-Vis Chicken!