Lepra Charity Ride from Edinburgh to St Andrews. (Scotland)

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currystomper's picture
currystomper
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The ride is 65 miles (plus 15 mile ride to the start) is generally fairly hilly (3388 ft.of climbing). So in Metric 100km long and 1km of climb ( sounds good that way!!)

The day started off cloudy and wet on the ground. Its interesting where you get wet on a Silvio 1.5 - mainly the back of your head!! 

The ride to the start was OK apart from the very light drizzle that soaked me though, I got to the start of the ride - 99% of the riders were on standard diamond frame bike there were three or four tandems and a couple of folding bikes. While we waited for start time I eat the MacDonald's I had purchased a few minutes before getting to the start line - there where quit a few glances in my direction - was it the bike or the breakfast?? 

The rain stopped in time for the start, the riders are sent off in groups so I tagged along at the back of group 2 - I didn't want to be in the middle of a pack as I can wobble a bit for the first two pedal strokes. The announcer noticed me at the back of the bunch and asked for a cheer " for the guy going all the way to St Andrews on a recumbent" obviously they don't get many on recumbent s.

The ride out of Edinburgh was full of stops and starts due to the large number of riders and the number of traffic lights, but out of town we got stuck into the riding, On the flat Silvio was so much faster than the standard riders on there mixture of bikes. As we got over the forth bridge an the climb around Dunfermline the Silvio was holding its own and I overtook more folk than  was passed by - but I think I was fitter than them.  

The hill down was quite steep and don't think I was any faster than anyone else - it was limited by your 'bottle' and bike skills. I skipped the rest stop at Loch Leven as I had been munching on cereal bars and gels. (Raspberry ripple gel is a great alt to ice cream Smile  ). At this point the type of riders I was surrounded with changed from the normal folk/families to the more serious riders that started in the first group. I was still keeping up with slower riders up the hills and passing them on the flats/down hills. (but I was getting passed by the faster boys up the hills)

The organised stop for sandwiches and cakes at Frechie was a welcome stop - the ladies were very welcoming as normal and the home made cake was really good!! (Even better when you ridden all those miles). 

The next feature of the ride was the steep climb to get into the Cult hills, about half way up I started to get wheel slip, so just got off and walked, I would have made it up on a diamond frame bike, but those riding up were only going about 6 mph and I think I re-passed most of them at the top of the hill where they had stopped to regain their breath. 

The Cult hills are a lumpy range of hills and I spent a happy hour perfecting my "aero climbing" - riding hard down the hill and using the momentum to get most of the way up the next hill. This is something that works great on the Silvio.

Eventually the hills petered out to the long coast down to the finish - I had fun with a group of riders in a club, they had been over taking my one at a time and had formed into a group in front of me. We came to long shallow down hill section. I start to catch them up - so piled on the power and passed them at speed - It was fun to watch them my mirror scrabble to form a chain gang to catch me!! I held them off until the course flatten and of course at the next climb they passed me and never saw them again  - it was fun though!

Got to the end - a good day sitting down. Some of the other riders looked glad to get off the bike - I would have been happy to sit on the Silvio for longer, but glad to stop pedalling. Main sore bits at the end of the ride: legs, small blisters on my hands from the hill climbing, sun burnt legs (Don't know how that happened!!) and midgy bites.

http://www.cycling-edinburgh.org.uk/lepra-ride.htm
http://www.mapmyride.com/gb/edinburgh-sct/lepra-edinburgh-st-andrews-rou...

Eric Winn's picture
Eric Winn
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Sounds like fun. Good read.

Sounds like fun. Good read. Was the road dry where you experienced wheel slip or was it wet?

I don't miss the biting midges...

Another thing to watch for is sun burned face and lips...

-Eric
 

Jeremy S's picture
Jeremy S
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The Cult hills are a lumpy

The Cult hills are a lumpy range of hills and I spent a happy hour perfecting my "aero climbing" - riding hard down the hill and using the momentum to get most of the way up the next hill. This is something that works great on the Silvio.

Definitely my favorite way to climb hills on the Silvio.
 

ratz's picture
ratz
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Hiked some of that

I've backpacked through some of that area in my 20's; must make for a beautiful ride; especially for those that aren't face down to the road Smile Thanks for sharing.

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currystomper
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Wheel Slip

The wheel slip on the very steep hill was in dry conditions. However the road had been polished smooth and there was a fair amount of dust on the road from the fields. If my aim had been just to get up the hill then I would have tried to ride further up, but as I still had 20 miles to go I didn't want to fall over and break something on the bike. 

Next time I must take a camera - as the ride far more scenic on a Cruzbike - In fact I wish I'd gone slower at some points just to take in the views!!

... my next planned big ride is a 130 miles over night trip with ultra light camping gear. Definitely taking a camera with me that time!!

CS