20th Anniversary Year

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Sunday 15 June 2014

20-Milers on the Lepra ride

About a dozen of our members decided to forsake yesterday's 20-Milers ride, and instead to devote our energies to the Lepra run: an annual 68-mile charity ride to St. Andrews via the Fife hills.

Although we all met up at the start point in Inverleith Park (along with several hundred other cyclists), we didn't try to ride together as a group. This was sensible. On a long ride like this, it's better to cycle at your own pace, rather than feeling pressured to keep up.

The route took us out of Edinburgh via Dalmeny and the Forth Road Bridge, and then to the west and north of Dunfermline. The scenery for these first 20-odd miles was not the most beautiful, but it improved noticeably after we turned off a main road and into the Cleish woods. After traversing the summit of Cleish Hill, we had a fast 3-mile downhill run to the lunch stop at Kinross. In the afternoon, we skirted Loch Leven and the Lomond Hills, and then into the delightful wooded Cults Hill. There was inevitably a lot of climbing, but once past the Chance Inn, we had a long gentle descent all the way to St. Andrews.

The weather was reasonably good to us, apart from a heavy burst of rain in the middle of the afternoon - nothing like as bad as the last time I did the ride, in 2012, when we endured solid rain and high winds the whole day. This time, it was mostly dry and warm, with some nice sunshine at the end.

As always, the catering arrangements were first class. The burghers of Kinross had laid on their usual extensive lunch for us (and I must say how nice it was to be personally welcomed and directed by marshals stationed along the road near the lunch point). And the much-appreciated tea stop at Freuchie was as superb as ever - see photo, right.

I finally arrived at St. Andrews at about half past four - earlier than my usual time. By this time I was a long way behind the faster members of our group, but ahead of several others. And, unusually for me, I wasn't totally exhausted. Those training runs over the last few weeks had clearly paid off.

Report and photos:  Mike

1 comment:

Michael said...

Congratulations to all those 20 Milers who took part on this ride, with commiserations to Logan who was forced to drop out because of a knee injury. Well done all!