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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:22 am 
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At times a joy, at others a simple slog, pictures will follow (in the late pm) but here's how it went....

Edinburgh to Forth Road Bridge

Maybe the cycling gods were trying to tell us something, but leaving at 6am, bang on schedule, and having my brother's wheel develop that telltale faerie 'hiss' 100 yards down the road wasn't perhaps the best start.

Still, we navigated our way from the east of the city, through the centre, slowed only by an attraction to red lights, and used the 15 miles into a headwind to get some heat into the legs, finding out in the process that I do indeed climb faster on fixed.

This is a route I've done umpteen times, and somehow I was managing to see it as just that, a ride to the Bridge, disassociating it from the distance as a whole, something I managed to do for every little section we had planned.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:22 am 
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Forth Road Bridge to Kinross

We were aiming for a cycling average of 12mph to have a relaxed ride north. By the Bridge we were somewhere between 13.5 and 14.2 (the difference in our computers), but I was sure this would change. Coming up was the climb out of Inverkeithing on the north side of the Forth. I'd come down this road in an audax a few months earlier, and all a remember were a number of miles of lovely flowing downhill.

I also remember thinking at the time it would be an absolute bugger to go back up again.

As it was the gradient was gradual, though the climb lasted a few miles, and by the top I'd opened a 400 yard gap on my brother, giving me the luxury of a relaxed spin along the flat top while he made up the distance. On rejoining me he declared that I was definitely fitter than him now - something that had me incredulous given his 9 years greater youth than I.

We stuck to the 'main' B road north, rather than diverting via Glenrothes or Dunfermline as the Sustrans map suggested (both routes adding distance, and the Dunfermline route a great deal more climbing).

Remarkably our average speed actually increased (probably due to the headwind now being a sidewind as we'd turned north). It was 8.30am and we'd reached one of the highest points of the route.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:27 am 
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Kinross to Newburgh

I don't think either of us have enjoyed quite as quick a 12 miles or so as that between Kinross and Auchtermuchty. I'd like to think it was the tablet bought and consumed in Kinross, or the legs really rising to the challenge, but it was more likely our decision to again forego the Sustrans route, passing the turn right it suggested, and carrying on to Milnathort, where we picked up the A92 and flew with a tailwind and well-surfaced, slightly downward-trending tarmac beneath the wheels.

Aucthermuchty saw us turning for the banks of the Tay, reverentially stopping at the Jimmy Shand statue, before climbing shortly over a hill separating us from the silvery waters.

The drop down into Newburgh was fast and steep, and I'm glad we were heading in that direction, unlike the poor soul toiling his way up in full kit and pain-ridden face.

It hadn't exactly been 'easy' to this point, but we were both feeling great, and we were ahead of schedule...

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:35 am 
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Newburgh to Carnoustie

We were now in the laps of the Sustrans lords. At least, we would be after fixing Adam's second puncture of the trip.

I knew there was a climb in the middle of the section to the Tay Bridge, but I wasn't quite ready for it being as long, steep and merciless as it proved.

Again I dropped Adam as I bobbed in and out of the saddle trying to maintain a comfortable rhythm. It was one of those annoying climbs where, rather than a constant gradient, there are changes every ten to twenty yards.

It hurt.

A lot.

The top was an expletive-laden joy and after 5 minutes to compare the pain we rolled happily towards the bridge which was now in sight, and which, joy of joys, we could see actually sloped downhill!

We had planned for an early lunch in Dundee, but it was 11.30am and nothing opened till midday. Not wanting to waste 30 minutes just waiting we decided to push on to Carnoustie, probably the most fun section of the trip.

Here I have to give Sustrans credit where it's due. After clearing the security controlled port area, and negotiating past the terrible posh Broughty Ferry waterfront, we were onto smooth-tarmacced path between the railway line and an MOD area (complete with assault course, and 20 squaddies doing push-ups). It was fun here, qhuieter of walkers than nearer the town, and rocking and rolling like a BMX track.

It was almost a disappointment for everything to flatten out as we rolled alongside the championship course, passing golf buggies, and generally just wondering: why?

Following town centre signs, a pub was duly located, and with Rangers playing Kilmarnock in the background we indulged in large helpings of macaroni cheese.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:46 am 
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Carnoustie to Montrose

Everything from now becomes a slight blur.

Lunch didn't seem to have agreed with me, so it was lucky that from Carnoustie, after following the railway for a short while, before turning back into the wind, we finally got to try out a brand new path alongside the A92 (which here was dual carriageway). Again we tended downhill after climbing to it, and rolled nicely along to Arbroath.

Sustrans refound it's annoying voice here as the path that had been along the dual carriageway continued as the road narrowed to enter the town, becoming a shared-use path, and declaring every 10 yards that cyclists must dismount. The strangest of these was an 'End of Route: Cyclists Dismount' sign as the path finished and joined the road.

Apparently we're not allowed to ride on the road...

We rebelled and diced with the traffic.

Not feeling the need to stop we pressed on, and hit the hill out of Arbroath. Another slow-burner of a hill, at least my legs were certainly burning here. I managed to spend most of the time in the saddle, but again dropped Adam, before we rolled along country lanes back downhill towards Lunan (where the profile on the map hinted at a bit of a bugger of a climb).

We turned the corner at the bottom of the climb, and I decided I needed a breather after the last 15 miles before tackling it. Adam pulled up alongside, stopped, and hissed at me.

Oh no, it wasn't Adam.

It was his rear tyre.

Puncture number three was tracked down to dodgy rim tape, something I had neglected to bring after thinking 'what on earth would happen that I'd need that?' We sat and rested for a good 20 minutes, happy for some shade from the now strong sun, then set about a bodge of the rim tape with puncture repair kit patches.

The climb here was every bit as hard as envisaged, and near the top I had to admit defeat, get off, and push the 30 yards of the steepest section.

But again we had reached a high point, before plunging (all the downhills seemed really really steep and I was glad we werne't going in the opposite direction) towards Montrose, where I had already made up my mind I wanted to bail out.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:57 am 
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Montrose to Stonehaven

It's amazing what 15 minutes sitting outside a filling station, eating tablet, drinking lucozade, and getting texts saying 'but you're almost there!' will do for your spirits (despite the fact that with 40 miles still to go we definitely weren't 'almost' there).

We'd both cleared 100 miles for the first time ever, and we decided to press on at least as far as Stonehaven and see how we felt.

Almost as soon as the decision was made the wind decided that we'd had quite enough gentle help, and spun round to become a headwind, as once again we began a slow and painful climb.

Every slight incline was seeing Adam disappear from my wheel now (I'd wondered earlier in the ride, why I was doing all the pace-setting, it was clear now it was because he simply couldn't). With the descent to Onverbervie about to start I waiting for him to come back into view - it turns out he'd dropped all the way down to his lowest gear, and even at that had had to stop once on the climb.

The downhill to Inverbervie was therefore very welcome, and definitely needed.

It was here that the decision was made to stop at Stonehaven - the climb out of there would simply be too much, and a second reason arose. I got a call from Mel to let me know that her dad had blown up our heating system, so I offered to jump on a train straight home from Stonehaven.

Knowing that it was almost over we just got on with the last ten miles, with a final slow climb, and another 15 minute advantage opened by the top, before the steep descent into the town.

Of course the railway station is positioned higher up the hill, and I ground my way up there as Adam spotted, and waited for, his girlfriend who had come to collect him.

And that was that.

125.11 miles, with an average riding speed of around 14.5mph, the only lasting pain the following morning being a small muscle in the side of each knee doing it's best to twang like a banjo.

Happy? Yes, at getting 100 miles under my belt (it was an aim this year) on the back of training which simply consisted of riding to and from work and the occasional pootle with Mel.

Disappointed? Yes, we were only 15 miles away, and I KNOW that I could have got there.

Annoyed? Well I've not spoken to Mel's dad yet....

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:29 am 
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Congratulations young man!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image[/url]

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:49 pm 
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Well done!

Adam's tyres. He's not using Conti Ultra Sport with Kevlar, is he? I have found such tyres to be made of Dairylea, such is the lack of resistance to punctures. They are fit for one thing only - burning.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:04 pm 
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blackpuddinonnabike wrote:
Image





You boys should market yourselves as a replacement for HRT for we ladies of a certain age :c+grin:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:01 am 
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blackpuddinonnabike wrote:
Image



You stopped for an accordion solo? :?

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Last edited by clarion on Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:05 am 
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blackpuddinonnabike wrote:

Image



So you met Charlotte en route?

http://www.goreydetails.net/images/item ... 908414.jpg

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:28 am 
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wafflycat wrote:
blackpuddinonnabike wrote:
Image





You boys should market yourselves as a replacement for HRT for we ladies of a certain age :c+grin:


But that's my campest pose ever....! :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:34 am 
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Gentlemen of a certain age, then? ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:36 am 
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clarion wrote:
Gentlemen of a certain age, then? ;)


Jimmy Shand didn't seem interested....

(for tis he statuefied in Auchtermuchty)

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