The morning was still, definitely a slight autumnal feel to the temperatures, all is well. We roll down the village, collecting clinicians as we go. I am out again with the Whippet brothers. I do my best to keep the outbound speed down to a sensible level. Epic fail, we average 21 at Meigle. Strangely, I feel ok, my legs know what they are in for, we set off on the endless eight. We approached The Moon (I knew Kirrie was high but… ) and crested the hill then forded the river that was running down the main road. We are climbing a lot now, weaving our way through the town, waiting for the countryside to open up again.
Finally we leave Kirrie and head for Dykehead. We descend a lot, not steep, but long, my heart sinks knowing that I will have to drag my sorry butt back up these hills. Dykehead achieved. OMG what did they do to the Jubilee Inn? It looks like some poor publican has taken a sweet victorian building and bolted all that was bad about 70’s architecture to all sides of it. Anyway Prosen and Clova are up the road, we pedal on, feels like quite a lot of down hills. We go Clova, its a wee bit further than Prosen.
Clova, its full of sheep! They are in the fields to the left and fields to the right, they are also on the road. Joke of the day: The shepherds wife says to the shepherd; Ewe herd! Today, I had nothing in my pocket to sustain me, at 30 miles we stop, Bill generously hands me a cereal bar. I eat it like have have not seen food for days, let alone a couple of hours. We set off again, getting deeper and deeper into the hills. Without warning the road goes right, we have reached the head of the glen and a big sign announcing the presence of the Clova Hotel (it does scones). The sign is beside the Clove Church and grave yard..sponsorship? We are going back down the glen, there is a surprising amount of down hill. The return to Dykehead is surprisingly swift, even with the unscheduled stop for Bills bike making an intermittent noise. We are squirting down towards Kirrie, when temptation is put in our way, with nods and knowing looks, we chain up and howl past some poor unsuspecting Sunday cyclist. We all shout our hello’s and wave as we pass, what turns out to be quite an old man (mid fifties at a guess), with consummate ease.
Kirrie, and another regroup: yes I am definitely the Rangers team here, trying to play with the SPL but relegated to the third division. We head for the town centre and a very welcome cup of tea. Tea served in pots, with warmed cups. Disaster, no scones! We are reduced to bacon&egg rolls and traybakes.
Home leg now, its a swift run to the dreaded never ending eight mile road. The Whippets, take pity on me and allow me to draft, and draft quite a lot. Even this is not helping my tired limbs, I drop back. Then I spot it… a cyclist I can pass. I strengthen my resolve and go for it. I reel in the lone cyclist. Then it hits me, I know this blue Specialized mountain bike. I slow up, and talk to the lone rider. Bill shouts back… “look a double whamond”. Yes it was Sandra out on her “Pedal for Scotland” training run. I leave her to her toils and take off after Bill and Alan. I have to be home by 12:00 (fat chance). Meigle next, then the usual run home along the back roads. Bill, thinks he has pulled as a blonde flags him down. He stops and is all polite and gentlemanly as this octogenarian asks him for directions to Ardler Church. Gentleman, Pah, he could have offered her a “barrie”!
We are nearly home now, dragging our tired bodies up the main road, we go past Alan’s house. Yes all of us even Alan. Is he so tired he has forgotten where he lives? No, he just wanted his trip computer to turn 65 miles, like mine had done half a mile earlier and Bill’s half a mile before that.
So, in conclusion, a run to be done again? Undoubtedly. Visocci’s in Kirrie worth another visit? I think so. All the trip computers are super advanced computers that do estimates and not actuals! So the stats from my super accurate computer: distance – 65.54 miles, Average: 15.8, Elevation gain: 3979ft, 4hours and 5 minutes of actual crank turning.