Snow Roads ride report (again!)

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by Noodley, 17 May 2008.

  1. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    My first Snow Roads of the audax season was ridden alone, the second time there were two of us and I suppose it was only fitting that on the third attempt three of us set off at 8am.

    The forecast for the day was “not very sure so we’ll put up as many different types of weather as we can get away with”, but one thing the forecasters were sure of was that it would be chilly and overcast in the morning…so why, at 7am when I awoke did I find glorious sunshine? Still, the first climb of the day (Cairn O’Mount) was about 40kms away and had been shrouded in mist and been decidedly less than warm on Sunday past when I had last ridden it so I decided a Merino top and long sleeve jersey would be in order. Having reached the summit I made a mental note to never ever (ever ever ever ever) believe the lying charlatans who masquerade as “forecasters” again! The sun shone, the temperature sored, and I sweated like a dog! I suppose I could have stopped to change, but I’d rather complain than be sensible.

    One of my companions assured me the “newly found” café at Banchory would cheer my mood and he was right. A bacon roll and a mug of coffee for less than 3 quid lifted my spirit. This was tempered by the realisation that the small sore (you can imagine where!) which had developed last week was now becoming larger…

    Despite re-fuelling my legs were not working very well at all and continued to feel bad for the next few stages. It was with dread that I approached the Lecht. The approach to the climb was (and I apologise if this sounds a bit dramatic) torture. No matter how hard I pushed I seemed to be going nowhere fast. My riding companions disappeared from sight as I nodded along the relatively flat (although upward) approach road. However I surprised myself, and the watching game birds (no, not that sort of “game” nor that sort of “bird”!) as I hauled myself to the top. Once at the top I think my legs decided to work a bit better and the next few climbs were not too bad at all, I even managed to catch and overtake one of my companions.

    The stop at Braemar was well needed, mostly as the not predicted rain had began about 25km earlier. After a brief stop for a sandwich and a bit of heat we set off again. The rain continued, head-on. The climb up Cairnwell, the highest point of the route, was steady although the normally speedy descent was tempered by the thick fog, heavy rain and dark. Yet it felt as if we were speeding along quite well….

    On reaching “home” we discovered we had indeed made good time for the last 65km…about 2hr 45min. Which, considering it was after 240km and involved the Cairnwell (rising to about 700m) and the many short climbs of Glen Isla was not too bloody bad at all…

    Today I have been speaking to the pharmasist and been given some “tincture” to apply. I may be off the bike for a few days. But not too long, as I have to ride the Lecht in the opposite direction next week. Oh how I wish I had not looked over my shoulder on the descent…

    I did not take any pics this week, but here is a link to a pic of me not even bothering to look happy:
  2. Speicher

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Ever so slightly off topic. Is Banchory where the "Transatlantic Sessions" is recorded for BBC3. They show lots of landscape/scenery as well as the musicians, and it looks a lovely part of Scotland. I enjoy reading your Ride reports. :biggrin:

    Is there also a steam railway near there?
  3. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Nice report Noodley...

    How's the Tincture working? :biggrin::biggrin:
  4. OP

    Noodley Guest

    Speicher, I'm not a steam train officianado but I found info on one railway which is located in Dufftown (on the route):

    and another which is a wee bit off route:

    Re Transatlantic sessions: I think they are filmed in and aroud Perthshire so there may have been some scenery from around the route. I have seen 2 film crews out on my past 2 rides, one filming from the back of a 4x4 which overtook me and which I kept pace with for a wee while with them filming me :ohmy:, and the other on Sunday at the carpark near the top of Cairn O'Mount as I struggled up the climb.

    I hope to take a few more pics this weekend as I have not taken too many of late...depends how much I am struggling :blush:

    FF, the tincture has done it's job very well - aided by a well aimed sharp pin to the offending area :ohmy:
  5. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    So should we call you Noodley 3 cheeks now :blush:
  6. OP

    Noodley Guest

    Not far off it! :ohmy::ohmy:
  7. Speicher

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    I have visited the Strathspey Railway. I seem to recall a long journey to get there as I was staying at the Boat hotel at the Boat of Garten.;)
    (Excellent puddings).

    The other Railways were the Caledonian at Brechin, and the Alford Steam Railway. (Plus many other railways in or near Aberdeen and Inverness). I still have the full itinerary from 1995 :biggrin::ohmy:

    I think we fitted in a few distilleries, but cannot remember very clearly. This is because most of the party did not like "neat" Whiskey, but I do. :smile:
    I think this autumn I must start plotting another visit to Scotland by train for next spring. :smile:
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