This blog is the story of how my dynamic crew crew took advantage of milder weather for #Lockdown2 Ride4 and enjoyed a sunny but windy ride to Gloagburn Farm Shop for “essential” balsamic dressing and glacé cherries (as you do!)
The “old git” and “old gal” woke to bright sunshine seeping thru the blind at Matildas Rest so were keen to get out for just their fourth fun #lockdown adventure – while adopting Cycling UK Scotland‘s #cyclingfromhome mantra in #tandem in rural Perthshire, mainly on Sustrans Scotland and The National Cycle Network routes.
Team Matilda needed some “essential” food shopping items – so decided on a fabulously scenic, but fairly hilly, route to visit Gloagburn – which also had the added attraction of offering take-away coffee and cake! You can check out the details of our route by clicking on the Strava map below.
It was a joy to be out in rural Perthshire with magnificent visibility over the valleys – even if Team Matilda were still feeling a bit rusty … and that wasn’t just this “old lady” #tandem!
But the only way of getting back into fitness is to grind out the miles and that’s exactly what my dynamic crew did on the Gask climb! They did however find it a good bit easier than expected – and really enjoyed the benefits from being a combined 4 stone lighter! There was much less heavy breathing! And of course the dramatic vista at the top made it all worthwhile!
Interesting to pass a cute home made sign which read “Please kill your speed – not the locals” designed to help protect the local wildlife … in particular red squirrels! Dutifully the “old git” followed the local rule and applied my brakes – tho I am sure any self-respecting red squirrel could easily outpace us!
On arrival at Gloagburn Farm Shop – which was basking in the winter sun – it was quickly mission accomplished as the “essential” purchases of balsamic dressing and glacé cherries were made by the “old gal”! The glacé cherries will be used in some home-made flapjack, so it truly was essential!
The farm shop was offering takeaway coffees, scones and cakes so it would have been rude not to support a local business – and some further purchases were made! These were consumed on a socially distanced bench in the grounds of the farm in almost warm sunshine. But if you think this was a picnic – think again! Your eyes are obviously deceiving you! But the coffee and goodies were absolutely delicious and a most welcome tandeming treat!
As always on the return leg from Gloagburn there seems to be a headwind – and today was no exception – and it was actually rather fierce in places which slowed progress on the homeward leg. The “old git” had to really concentrate in places where it switched to a cross-wind with strong gusts which at times seemed in danger of wanting to blow my dynamic crew over!
But the bright sunshine offered long shadows which provided a great opportunity for some shadow pictures and video! Click below for a short reflective shadow footage of Team Matilda in action!
The final stretch of the route would have seen my dynamic crew tackle their personal nemesis of East Hill but we came across a local road closure just 100 yards from where it starts. There was no way thru even for bikes – so we had to retrace our pedals and ended up returning to Matildas Rest by an even steeper climb back into Auchterarder, called the Castleton! This included an interesting “bit of a hump” – a sector appropriately called “The Final Hammer” on Strava as it rises over 100 feet in just 0.4 of a mile at 4.3%! Just what you need in the last mile of a pedal … not!
So another 30 miles on our #Lockdown2 milometer – which sees the total click up to 78 miles for the 4 rides completed so far! A slow start with the number of rides being heavily curtailed due to the recent severe winter weather in these parts.
Back at Matildas Rest – with my dynamic crew both pleased at the realisation that those “rusty” legs do in fact pedal up hills – the “old git” checked Strava which officially recorded the ride as as being worthy of 2 gongs – both 2nd bests.
The detailed Strava figures showed my dynamic crew tandemed a distance of 29.9 miles with a moving time of 2 hours 37 minutes. The average speed was a healthy 11.4mph despite battling that fierce headwind! Elevation was 1,340 feet. The maximum speed was 34.7 mph and Team Matilda managed to burn up 1,864 calories and produce an average power output of 177 W.
As always the route is brought to life in our Relive 3D mapping video – so take a look below.
Once again there were hugely positive endorphins from #Lockdown2 Ride 4 for my dynamic crew – underlining what fun it is being out pedalling on a bicycle made for two in our rural Perth and Kinross Cycle Campaign, Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, Auchterarder Community Cycling and Love Perthshire area.
Heavy rain and storm force winds forecast for the next few days but hopefully Team Matilda will be out in tandem again soon to clock up more #lockdown miles on another fun spirit-lifting adventure!
Now where did we put those glacé cherries – as there is some “essential” flapjack to be made!