Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Etape Caledonia

Been doing a few road rides since my last post but haven't really posted about them....think I'm actually in denial about how much I'm enjoying the tarmac.

Anyway, official result: 4:41 for the 81 miles, an average speed of about 17.3 including stops which I am pretty chuffed about. I was hoping for around the five hour mark but thought we would both have to be having a really good days to make it.

Both of us really enjoyed it (yes, even Jez), the closed roads thing is just fantastic. The organisation was superb, marshalling was superb as was the local support. I'm not really a fan of bagpipes but the pipers dotted around the course really raised a smile. Pitlochry had a real buzz about the place, don't think I've ever seen so many cyclists in one place as I did at the start on Sunday morning.

Actual ride time on the Garmin was 4:34 with an average speed of 17.8, we didn't stop much! As can be gathered from the time it was a fast course and a fast day, bit of a wind on the outward section but pretty fast other than that.

We did take advantage of a group for a while on the outward leg into the wind, cruising along at about 20mph effortlessly, which was nice. I was a bit wary but was getting quite happy in the group until suddenly the guy next to me seemed to be resting his right hand shifter on the guy in front of him's arse! A bit of wobbling and they separate but not without them nearly taking me off, I was a bit more cautious after that!

The Schiehallion climb wasn't too bad at all though I messed up my KOTM stage timing due to me not stopping when Jez had a comfort break. I rolled on a bit, crossed the timing mat without thinking then stopped to wait, d'oh. No real matter, took it quite easy anyway as not sure exactly what to expect. The scenery up there was stunning and it was nice to get a good look at Schiehallion as it was the first Munro I ever walked up.

Even though we weren't really tagging on to groups the sheer number of cyclists around just spurred us on to keep pedalling hard and coming up behind people before overtaking them must have been giving us some slipstream benefit.

My legs were certainly feeling it on the last 5% climb to the finish, I thought that was uncalled for. Jez coped with that one better than me but waited til I caught him up before we crossed the finish

Would I do it again...definitely!


  1. Was this the event that got tacks put all over the road last year?

  2. It was, no repeat thankfully

  3. wow, that sounds really fast! well done. i love the idea of riding on closed roads, must be almost as good as fat tyre riding ;)

  4. Wow how speedy! Sounds like fun!

  5. The closed roads really were fabulous, as I say Jez enjoyed it and he has never said that about any other road ride.