All go

Walkers CC members had a busy weekend again with trips out of the area abounding Fiona & Neil Walker made the early morning trip through to the Kingdom of Fife for the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championships, Neil Walker writes:. Rather than the usual “out and back” dual carriageway course, the Freuchie course started with an extremely fast downhill stretch of the A92, with a very strong cross-tailwind making for some exciting riding at over 40mph! Once down into the valley floor, the course snaked out to a roundabout, and then the course got interesting on the return leg, with a series of tight corners on minor roads, and the cross wind now predominantly in the riders faces, especially on the singletrack run to the finish.

Jay Burgess (Sandy Wallace Cycles) won the Womens event in 22.46, with Fiona recording one of her best ever times (26.46) – not sure of placing yet.

Ben Peacock (Paisley Velo RT) won the Mens event in 20.14, with Neil achieving his top 15 goal with 12th place in 21.24.

To their west, in rural Perthshire, another event was unfolding. Catherine Logan takes up the story: Several Walkers CC members and friends took part the annual Etape Caledonia Challenge Ride. Starting and ending in Pitlochry, the event is the only closed road cycle event in Scotland, and one which attracts competitors from all over the UK and surrounding islands – 5361 entries to be precise.

The events starts at 6.30am with riders set off in groups of between 100 and 200 in intervals of 2 minutes part, with the last group leaving at 7.30am. At this time on a Sunday morning it is pretty cold but thankfully it was dry and once the riders were off they soon warmed up a bit. The first folk to set off from WCC were Steve Flindall and Steve Lockhart starting at 6.34am, and even at this time Pitlochry town centre was full of spectators cheering them off.

As the roads are closed the cyclists have the whole of the road to cycle on but it does take a wee while to realise/remember this. This year the weather conditions were much improved on last years in that it was dry at the start and the wind was greatly reduced. The roads surface was great compared to Ayrshire and the council had finally filled the pot holes in the worst section of the route which meant more over taking could be done safely.

Catherine Logan and Russell Mowat had a 6.50 am start time and managed to get to the front line of the group to ensure a swift get away. This pair had set themselves a target time of 4hrs 30mins to complete the route – challenging but not impossible. At times there was a strong head wind but this helped a lot on the return leg. Rain did fall twice and the second time it was quite heavy and looked like it might have been on for the day but luckily enough this wasn’t the case as dry roads again helped keep the average speed up. By jumping on and off various groups throughout the day Catherine managed to complete the course in 4hrs 29mins 09 sec closely followed by Russell at 4hrs 33mins 45 secs.

The number of spectators on the route is very encouraging as every where there is a dwelling there were people out cheering, clapping or ringing bells, great encouragement when your flagging! And considering this event never seems to be done in warm water, the spectators and the marshals must have been freezing.

Unfortunately this year there appeared to be more serious accidents than before so we hope all involved are recovering well.

Results to date from WCC members are:

Catherine Logan 4.29.09
Russell Mowat 4.33.45
John Maccracken 4.40.01
Steve Findall 4.23.06
Steve Lockhart 4.34.46
David Knox 4.05.22
Neil Beveridge 5.51.29
Richard Rutngar 5.19.22