Was it because BP was hungover again, that we cruised out to Murthly at a more sedate pace than last week… or was it just because we all knew it was a 65 mile round trip taking in the heights of Amulree and Giffin and the lows of Dunkeld? The pace was both comfortable and relaxed.
We run up the side of the A9 (Its a bit further than the 400m that I had thought)to get to the bottom of the Amulree road. Amulree 10 miles, I don’t know how far short of this we will be when we head off to Aberfeldy.
Nothing much happens on the way to the Aber-junction – except BP took his turn on the front). We all take our turn on the front. BP is still feeling a bit sh!t… We stop and regroup at the junction. BP and I set off with Bluebell and DB in pursuit. The climb to beyond Giffin is constant (we spot a sign that says Dunkeld 12 miles… This could be an MTB run I am thinking… but how to do the preceding 22 miles… hmm) Anyway we crest the top of the hill and BP stops to fix his saddlebag… I press on, loving the sweeping bends and the 7 and 8% descents. I am conscious of a wee red van behind me, as I brake for the corners and accelerate out… 1000m to Aberfeldy and it finally gets past… I give it 50m and then stay about that distance behind (an appropriate braking distance). Count down to the 30’s 300 200 100 … I claim my first of the day. (having been robbed at Murthly).
We regroup in Aberfeldy and roll down the main street in to the Habitat Cafe. Tea/coffee/odd coffee our cake order taken by Bluebell. We wait for our stuff to be delivered impatiently. The chef calls for Bluebell, but SE answers… the cat is out of the bag, his weekend name is Bluebell.
We pop back up the hill to the junction to take us over the Tay. It is apparent that a red road sign with white writing always says “Road Closed”, but that is the way we want to go. It is an age thing, not one of us is wearing glasses that allow us to read at a distance – its a work access road. Now reliving our Etape experiences along the road and declaring how bonny the scenery is – none of us has ever noticed it before.
Logierait now and heading for Balinluig.
We are on the cyclepath now (and I have not noticed my trip computer is not recording – its a blind age thing – it will be Caputh before I switch it back on). The path is better in most of its length than we were expecting. We are approaching Dowally (pronunced dow – lay not doo-wally) when the navigator (me) does not spot the right turn until it is 5m too late. Anchors on. DB leaves a 4m skid mark, on the road, I stop with out drama. Bluebell stops. BP squawks squeals and stops with a stumbling dismount – he would like to think it looked as elegant as that Tour of Britain rider who stepped off his bike and ran down the road. Anyway drama over we set off for Dunkeld. (DB – From my vantage point BP did an interesting front wheel balance and dismount without damage to the family jewels 🙂 )
We are going the Boat Road. I am still smiling from my claiming of the Dunkeld 30’s as we turn on to the Boat Road, which is closed… yes actually closed… concrete bollards across the road 3 miles in… we pass this with care and regroup at Caputh. We climb out of Caputh and go through Murthly. Regrouping at Bridge of Isla, we decide to take the Graveyard road. The Cycletta is on, and we are cycling against the tide of riders – most nod or smile or say hello … but there are a few who just scowl.
Stats: 64 miles, avg 15 or there abouts 🙂