Riding towards Dunblane

Another trip up East, I wrote about Monday’s, the first day run back over the country roads of Angus, then down to Carnoustie, finished by a dash into a strong breeze to Invergowrie in the last post.

The next day was taken up by the reason we headed E.

The first plan was to grab what I could and had only just the two days BUT a slight mistake WE made (I’m not taking the full blame).

We were to drop into my oldest daughter for a meal on the way home plus our Ailsa was to get a lift back home.

Nope, driver, passenger and a bike, no room for anyone else.

I offered to stay another night, I could finish the work and have a free day following, my options were a cycle, cycle and train home but after a quick check of the map, I’d meet Katie at halfway, Dunblane.

I created my route and downloaded to the Polar.

I woke early, opened the laptop and studied the route over and over, I wrote a crib sheet with towns and villages en route.

The forecast was for temperatures in the 20s, light breezes, not the best for a longer run but.

I arranged a meet-up time around 17.00 and I normally estimate a 10 mile per hour which gives me time for any hiccups etc.

I left slightly later.

I’d slathered my face in sunscreen, packed some scran in my top back pockets. I must remember not to put too much sunscreen on under my eyes as flying downhill along with it being a hot day meant the occasional nippy eye.

A check of the bike first, the Polar route screen on and it was off along Riverside Drive, Dundee first, a bit of diversion stuff before arriving at the lift on the north side of the Tay Road Bridge. This lift is fun. Rumbling across the raised platform that is a shared path which was busy this time across, I soon dropped down and I was in Newport on Tay. I pedalled up and through Newport on into Wormit. I spotted a CBM on a bridge so stopped to record and emailed myself the OS coords (I got another one later outside Bridge of Earn). I was following NCN route 777. I used OS Locate to email the location to me.

Tay Bridge cycle lane

Tay Bridge cycle lane

I was now enjoying the open countryside with occasional forays through cooler wooded areas.

I knew there was a big climb after Balermino but boy, my heart fell when I saw this as I rounded the bend, so it was down the gears, I pedalled steadily up and reached the bend, it looked even steeper now, oh boy. I finally topped out just under a mile at an average 8% gradient, tasty to have done that. I soon reached a junction, right and the Perth road, a quick sarnie then off again. I soon came out on  an open hillside with cracking views across the Tay Estuary, north, west and east. It was a slow descent to Newburgh, the route map was carefully watched to my next point, I passed by a new shopping development and I felt what felt like light rain, they had laid turf and were watering it with a sprinkler, I passed through this 3 times being laughed at by a couple of locals, it was cooling.

The Tay north west

The Tay north-west

Passing through the town, I headed along busy roads towards Abernethy, Aberargie then on to Bridge of Earn.

At Bridge of Earn, a break to take on some milk, sandwiches and a bag of Haribo.

Heading out the B935, my next port of call would be Dunning, it was now hot, very hot. I was glad of the odd woody area, passing Forgandenny, pedalling through the farming country I’d met more than my share of tractors on the road. About half a mile outside Dunning I stopped to ask a cyclist who was having gearing problems if all was okay, we headed towards the village, I asked him where the local shop was, I said I needed some water. We stopped at the start of the village, he took my bidon, filled it with ice cubes and water, an act of kindness I appreciated.

Dunning

Dunning

Passing the centre of Dunning it was out the B8062 and a stop to check out the site of Maggie Wall’s burning before heading for Auchterarder, this isn’t as it seems apparently see HERE and HERE. I placed an item on the stones, just for when. I was soon on the old main road heading into Auchterarder, boy, I never remembered how much of a drag uphill it was plus I knew Orchill Road, my next branch off point would be the same. The town was busy, I resisted a stop for fish and chips. I soon spotted Orchill Road on my right, it would take me up behind Gleneagles Hotel, funny, eh, in my last two ‘outs’ I’ve passed two championship golf courses, my next stop would be Braco, the road was a bit of a rollercoaster, strangely quiet with only a couple of cyclists passing but after Braco, I’d be within touching distance of Dunblane with the last part a downhill run. Braco was reached and out the B8033 I would head. I was surprised by how quiet these roads were especially as it was now late afternoon.

Gleneagles

Gleneagles

I stopped for a water break at the highest point of the road before dropping down through Dunbuck, a windy road. I soon could see the main A9 in the distance. I passed along a tree-lined road, welcome cooling run among a tree-lined road, I soon reached the top part of Dunblane, a downhill finish.

A quick run around M&S car park, I was early so a quick run out to the roundabout, back then up the hill out past the tennis courts, I wonder who learned his trade there?

Another clip downhill and I saw Katie was waiting.

The bike dismantled and soon I was in M&S getting cooled by the air conditioning which blasts you. Lovely!

A tub of fresh-cut pineapple and ginger beer for the journey home.

I made another boo-boo, I missed the first 100 km of the year by meters, I never thought to check the distance and just stopped the ride, ces’t la vie!!

I’ll be honest, due to the heat and the need to get to Dunblane on time, I never took as many photos as I would have liked.

I enjoyed the run even up over Balmerino, though next time I’ll take the main road through Gauldry.

I’ve another run planned along some of these roads but that will be for another day, I hope to explore some of the roads to the N of the A9.

 

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