Friday, 10 August 2012

Olympic Challenge 15 : 27 mile cycle 184 miles down, 21 miles to go

  Cycle, 27.5 miles, 2:07:04, Average HR 139, Calories 1164
  Total 184 miles
  Distance to go:  21 miles, on schedule.

I took Thursday off do rest my injured foot and today opted to cycle around route I had planned for the Triathlon. My route took through Callander town Centre and then south along the A81 along the Mollands straight, then road climbs up the flank for cock hill for two miles, finally at the top of the climb you reach Loch Rusky.

After the Loch Rusky the road heads downhill, great fun after the long slow climb.  I hit 35mph on the descent yehaaa!!!!

The road levels out and reaches Lake of Mentieth, home to lots of trout and fisherman of the human and bird kind - the Lake is home to several Osprey, alas I didn't spot them today.

Another 3 miles of undulating road I arrived at Aberfoyle, 12 miles and 55 minutes into the ride.

Out of Aberfoyle you head north and up over the Duke's pass.  The section is toughest of the whole route, with 700ft of ascent in 2.4 miles.  The views are well worth the effort, here looking north east towards Ben Ledi.

The descent takes a couple of miles with quite a few bends that I was too chicken to go at full speed, applying the breaks at blind bends.  One wouldn't want to go too fast down here anyway, views at too good to miss - here looking north west towards Ben A'an - the pimple at the left end of the ridge ahead.

The descent finishes at the shores of Loch Achray which you get to spy between the trees,  the calm conditions rewarded one with great reflections of the sky and terrain.

The route then takes you eastwards through  Brig O'Turk then past the north shore of Loch Venachar.

Once past Loch Venachar it's only a 4 miles further home, it's pretty flat - at least compared to the rest of the route so was able to average 16mph for the these last few miles.  I arrive back just before 10am in a time of 2hrs 7 minutes, I was hoping for a nice round number of 2 hours - taking too many photographs will obviously be the reason I didn't hit it!

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