7/7 The Hook

Try as I might, to place the Dr Hook Classic of Sylvia’s Mother in Simon’s head as an earworm – I think I failed.

Simon greeted me with the wrong name, he the did the same to David and then Alan too – I then called him Sylvia. Why Sylvia, honestly I have no idea where it came from… starts with an S, he had set the “Plath” we were to follow.

Any way we three set out from Escape Routes and over the appropriately named Bridge Road in Pitlochry. The Bridge goes over the Tay. Then it was up the first of many inclines. Some might say too many inclines. We skirted along past Fonab and joined the road to the south of the Tummel River. I had done this road before, admittedly in the other direction, so i had a fair idea what was coming. We saw many many wild campers – too many? Probably. And probably less wild. More, domesticated, with their dome tents and BBQs. We did ask one camper if the breakfast was for us… they looked blankly back. The mood was good, and the pace surprising.

Oh what fresh hell is this, a ramp, not just any ramp, a gradually increasing one. You know the type, it sucks all your momentum away, and then presents the biggie (probably not much more than 15%) big enough for gears to get crunched and ground. Yes I went super granny.  Super granny is the smallest ring on the front to the one with the most teeth (unlike grannies) on the back.  Its a wake up call for what is ahead.


8 miles in I allow myself a wee celebration. Ton up for the week. We are in the general area called Foss now. The road just undulates, but it is really climbing. Before we hit the climb most feared, Sylvia, announces we had already done 300m of climbing.

At the junction with the Schiehallion road there is a teeny tiny brown sign, with an arrow and a picture of a bike… its down the way, I try to persuade Sylvia that is the way to go… to no avail. We start to climb, it is relentless, it is not overly steep. Yes, it has steeper sections and flatter too. We keep going.  I am not in super-granny, which is strange, maybe I have been going to the “easiest” gear too soon all this time.  Anyway, “just round the next corner”… aye right!… “next corner” gets called a fair few times.  Then into view comes the appropriately named “viewpoint”. We stop and regroup… read the lime-kiln stuff. Seriously, who in their right mind puts a lime-kiln at the top of a hill.

We are heading down, down towards Loch Rannoch.

The wind is in our faces, it actually feels cold on this slightly overcast Summers day. Its not all down hill you know! Again i have done this road in the opposite direction, it looks nothing like I remember – maybe its the lack of trees.  Descending now at pace, and using my fair share of the road, I have a little half crown tanner moment, as a Golf coming the other way is using its fair share of the road. (if this was a venn diagram, the overlap would not leave much outside). NO worries, we both move, carry on our way.

Some might call it Karma(n), i call it another Golf, who shot past at speed and quite close – Golf Telepathy? … Nah, just a poor driver in a hurry.  The descent to Rannoch is on at full speed NiatnuoM eht fo gniK Etape Cally the other way. Its the sort of descent you just live for.

Grinning like idiots all the way in to Rannoch now.

We stop for a warming drink and a scone or Borders tart or both at The Riverview Cafe in Kinloch Rannoch. we chat idly to some other cyclist who like  us arrived just as the cafe was opening.

Fed and watered we headed out towards Tummel, Passing a couple on mountain bikes. The Calvine/Trinafour turn off comes and we go up there. Now, in my head we are going to Calvine BA etc. In Sylvia’s head we are only going up to come down the other road to Tummel Bridge. We follow Sylvia’s route. Getting to the bottom of the hill we again meet the same couple that had left Kinloch Rannoch ahead of us. They are going for Lunch at StrathTummel Inn.  We are on a bit of a mission now, Queens View is the target.

Stopping short of QV, as David has a pseudo mechanical, well its sort of a mechanical, but its intermittent. Bike checked over and given the thumbs up, we set off.

Sylvia has put the suggestion  of Tenandry as an added loop to make up the miles. No, just no. I have done this road before, not doing it again.

Back in Pitlochry, we stop again at Escape Route for some welcome sustenance before heading home.

In writing this wee synopsis of today’s run, I have ignored the 30’s (Sylvia got them all with no skulduggery) and the chatter we have like the substitution of Foss into strained phraises… where did that even come from! Delirious perhaps?



About spokeclinic

The FB cyclist
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2 Responses to 7/7 The Hook

  1. David says:

    This was not summer weather. But was kinda glad of that on the climbs as I generated enough heat to steam my glasses on the climbs. The initial Tummel climb was the worst of the day by far. The Foss climb dragged I needed a stop to let the Heart rate get out of the red but after that climbed ok and wasn’t always with my granny. Saying that by the end of the ride granny was knackered from too much use. First weird bike nose of the day same in the last 100m before the lime kilns. I’m fairly sure I’ve met a few border tarts in my day but never one as nutty fruity or as tasty as this reviver at Rannoch. I was last down the hill not possessing disc brakes or a kamikaze gene like the other two. Interesting clear covers being worn by one of the other coffee stop cyclists. More weird noses leaving Rannoch but those weren’t from the bikes just 3 cyclists getting going again. Up the Trinafour road and away from camper vans and associated demon motorists led to another long smooth downhill. The kamikaze twins were off again and my bike started whining and I was getting a vibration from somewhere. At last some sun shine and wind in our tails for the 13 miles back. There are some nasty ramps and climbs on this stretch. The nippiest being the Fincastle hairbend into a climb. I tried for a cameo push at the end with vague intentions of making Simon have to work for the final 30 but nope. I was done for the day and a roll through town being watchful for errant grannies crossing the road and blind Volvo drivers led to a coffee and scone at ER. My granny enjoyed the exercise and so did I. Once home the 40 winks wasn’t allowed as livewire little niece and nephew arrived and Sherk 2 had to be watched and toys played with. However late on whilst lying on the floor doing my stretching exercises my own snoring woke me mid stretch.

  2. David says:

    Noisy Bike Update. Just dropped the bike off at Richards and explained the issue. Straight away, It’s a Mavic issue was the response. So keeping in mind the issues Sylvia had with Mavic, it would seem it’s the Freehub on the back wheel that is at issue on mine! They have a known issue going noisy and making the bike feel as if it is going to rattle to bits which is exactly what i was getting yesterday especially on the downhill to Tummel Bridge. Mavic Freehubs can’t just be greased they need specific Mineral oil! So bike in for freehub repair and general service. Something for “Other” David to remember for coming life of this bike.

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