The sun was still shining when we arrived in Dundee at 09.20 bikes had been unloaded and everyone was ready for the off. The first 13 miles lulled you into a false sense of security as you followed the route along the banks of The Tay into Invergowrie… Only a mile in when we had our first ‘casualty’ Bryan’s chain snapped! Everyone mucked into help out, with a couple of ladies using it as an excuse for a wee bit of sunbathing though…that’ll be Louise and Sandra!
Poor Gary’s bike was the second ‘casualty’ with his pedal breaking only after a couple of miles into the cycle. He was gutted, but with a phone call to Halfords in Perth we arranged for a new one to be fitted. Into the van went the bike and within half an hour Gary was back on route with a new pedal.
The stretch between Longforgan and Errol proved troublesome to a few members of the group with Paul and the M&S boys, Sandy, Bryan and David, taking a wrong turn at Longforgan and found themselves on the A90. With Laura and Cody suffering the same fate too! With the initial confusion sorted it was time for our group to make the most of the flat, straight roads before their water stop at Errol. No we didn’t have a cat joining us…it’s Loz and her kitty helmet!
Blair declared on his Facebook page that he’d complete the cycle in his German Morph suit if Germany won the World Cup…well he was still smiling come the first water stop in Errol!
With the first 8 or so miles in it was time to beef it up a bit, bring on the start of the climb at Goukton…this was to last 3 miles with some breath taking views on route. Lunch done and dusted with everyone keeping good time considering the climb they’d just completed.
Now it was down hill into Perth, across the bridge and through the park following the River Tay for a couple of miles before heading west towards Almondbank. Smooth cycle along past Pitcairngreen then the long and winding road, up hill and down dale for 5 miles until Bankfoot where some of the group took the opportunity to visit the local shop for a cool drink. Six miles of countryside still to be covered until the group found themselves coming into the beautiful grounds of The Hilton Dunkeld for their final water stop.After a well earned rest the team got back into their saddles and followed the Strath Tay through the grounds of the Hilton House Hotel for a mile before crossing over the river and following the route along the edge of Craigviean Forest.
The next seven miles covered the route up the back road past Dalguise to Logierait where they had a steep hill to climb before crossing the Victorian railway bridge at Logierait over to Ballinluig. The stunning scenery kept everyone going a further eight miles up through the High Street in Pitlochry to their final destination Faskally Campsite. On arrival we set up our tents and chilled out with some homemade burgers and salad made by David’s own fair hands, followed by a delicious chocolate cake made by Alison LeGood. Some of the younger crew investigated the pub on site whilst others had a wee dip in the swimming pool. All in all a very relaxing night with some great company.
Day 2 – Pitlochry to Perth – 33 miles
All the group had decamped by 11.00 and had set off on the same route back down through Pitlochry were some cyclists took the opportunity to stop for some breakfast, others chose to keep going and not stop until they’d cleared most of the hilly region and were back on the flat before allowing themselves a break. Dunkeld saw the first break down of the day with Cody suffering a puncture on the bridge, wasn’t long before we got his inner tube replaced and he was on his way.
As the route began to flatten out the pub in Pitcairngreen proved to be popular with some of the lads were a well deserved pint or two awaited them.
With everyone reunited in Perth it was time to make our way to the train station, unfortunately we were delayed for an hour, but managed to get a connection which came down to Aberdour instead of the express to Inverkeithing. Our M&S boys were able to get off in Kirkcaldy whilst the majority of the group made it back to Aberdour where a bacon roll and a glass of wine was waiting for them.
We would like to thank the following people who helped make this event happen,John McTaggart and his wife Liz whofacilitated our meeting in their cafe in Aberdour, ScotRail for providing free rail travel, Arnold Clark Van Hire in Kirkcaldyfor giving us reduced van hire rates, Faskally Campsite who accommodated us for our night in Pitlochry, and last but certainly not least….Andrew LeGood…you are a God send, without your support at water stops and points along the route our cyclists would have been lost…David and I cannot thank you enough!