BVCG on Strava

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

John Meaden returns

With a whole gaggle of FW's away golfing at BoG LXIV - Les, Dick, Jack, Hugh, Ians D & St, Malcolm G, Rob and Ken P - there was but a small quorum for Monday afternoon's ride, reported on by John Meaden on his return to the saddle after his recent op:

"With a golf event on and moderate rain falling only 3 Freewheelers answers the call - John P , Drew and myself .

As my riding partners were fresh from a Lecht run I requested an easy venture . We went out towards Mill of Cammie then left  up to the windmill . The rain eased a bit and we turned left then down towards the Slug .
We took a fast and empty main road downhill to the bridge - road closed at Crathes but we got past OK on the bikes .
There was talk of extending the route after coffee at the Milton but we extended the coffee break instead .
Return via Deeside Way .

22.4 and 226m .  I was very happy to make a return to the Freewheelers- my first FW ride since 24th July ."

Friday, 1 September 2017

Dick’s Dastardly Plan

From John Perry:

"Sometimes things take year’s in gestation, and today was a case in point. Dick has been holding on to a possible bike ride for a number of years now; one that leaves Corgarf and heads into the hills, making for Glen Avon, then on to Tomintoul, coffee and back via an up and over Lecht. Today we did it! Dick, Les, Iain, Ian D., Drew, Hugh, Dave W., Jeff, Bob and John P. Clearly, the biggie was the Lecht climb from the Tomintoul side and this hung in the air for most of the ride. But to get us going we had to head off into the heather (Which has been bloomin’ good this year) alongside the headwaters of the Don. Our aim was towards Inchrory Lodge about 8km ‘in’. The track (nay, road) was in great repair and it was clearly set to take hunting parties to the lodge. As we made our way along a group of shiny, expensive 4x4’s passed us, and as Les was standing to attention, saluting the well-heeled, we noticed one of the party was none other than Princess Anne.

Bob had stories of an unwelcoming attitude on this estate, but to be fair we were acknowledged and tolerated and no doubt tracked by the royal security detail. When we finally made it to the lodge it was a very large and smart affair with very strong looking gates into the courtyard. We paused, but didn’t loiter and headed of in a northerly direction along Glen Avon. Now, I have to be honest I had heard Dick and others talk of Glen ‘Arn’ and it finally dawned on me this was another north-eastern example of ignoring some of the letters in a perfectly good word. I am now calibrated for Glen Arn and can join in all sorts of expeditionary conversations that had been closed to me before.

There was quite a distance along a well made track and road before we could claim coffee at Tomintoul. All was going swimmingly when something like, “Oh bother” was heard from Hugh and as we heard more strange expletives it became apparent his back tyre was losing pressure fast. The pit crew sprung into action to help whilst Iain and Les decided it was better to adhere to Top Gear rules and leave the stricken behind. The tyre was levered-off, an inner tube was forthcoming, all went back together and finally an effective pump was deployed. Hugh got back on his steed and the Freewheelers had successfully achieved a roadside repair - well done chaps!

It was uneventful from there to Tomintoul except for some fairly brutal short uphills in what was deemed a gentle downhill into the village. We aimed for the Old Firestation Tearoom where we found plenty of room and bacon butties. We also found a blast from the past, in that the coffee was the filter-in-a-cup Rombouts. I haven’t seen that in years. We enjoyed our stop, took our photo and nosed back on to the road for the run-in to the Lecht.

The main road was remarkably quiet and for the most part cycling was easy. We paused at the car park by the Lecht Mine and then (quite quietly) folks headed-off to THE HILL. There was some pushing, Les used a lot of battery but by and large we all worked our way up to The Lecht without incident, though with lots of effort. Dick clearly had his tail up (or was it excess battery), because once at the top he headed-up further up to the top of the slopes to come down the bike course. The rest of us focussed on regaining a heart rate that wasn’t likely to blow a gasket.

Once up, there was the down (though not until after a bit more up). I think we all enjoyed the down and I know I hit a speed record on my bike as I whooped-up the tarmac. (Is that a term? Ed.) Thankfully we all got down safe and sound and as we slotted the bikes back on the cars, there were many comments on what a great ride it had been - thanks, Dick!

I made it approximately 40km with about 700m of climbing - though if you look at Strava there is an odd disparity in the kms and the ms, given we all did the same course…"

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Torphins Monday

Monday afternoon's ride lacked a match reporter and photographer again, but I gleaned from Strava that Dick, Les, Iain, Jeff, Jack, Hugh and Johns P & Mo were all there, so they have all been duly credited on the database. Any other non-Strava-using cyclists on this trip?

Here's the route and stats:

Pleased to see that John P has picked up the baton and has already started to build the new blog site. No volunteers yet to take over the database.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Mearns Cultural Ride

No match report for the Thursday trip from Stonehaven to Arbuthnott and the Grassick Gibbon Centre, but Ian Sharp supplied a few photos:

45 kms and 542 m of climbing.

This was ride number 83 on this year's database. A total of almost 20,000 kms has been cycled by 37 FW's, with total climbing fast approaching the 200,000 metre mark.

The leader board, in terms of number of rides, shows:
    1. Dick Taylor (45)
    2. Jeff Dickens (41)
    3. Ian Sharp (40)
In terms of distance travelled:
    1. Dick Taylor (1,506)
    2. Jeff Dickens (1,398)
    3. Ian Sharp (1,340)
and it's the same order for climbing:
    1. Dick Taylor (15,382)
    2. Jeff Dickens (14,061)
    3. Ian Sharp (13,246)

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

FW Mon/Tue

John Larkin reported from Monday afternoon's ride:

"Eleven Freewheelers turned up at the GH at 1.00pm, Ian Sharp, Iain Wright, John L, John P, Drew, Hugh, Jeff, Dave W, Malcolm Lodge and the two e-bikers Les and Dick. Since we had quite a large group, we decided to visit Drum Castle for coffee.

We set off along the Deeside Way and headed out to Drum Castle via Hill of Banchory. On arrival at Drum Castle, Ian S went into the restaurant to check the scone selection. Ian returned back outside to tell us some bad news - the dishwasher had broken down and the girls were talking about closing up shop. We then found out we could get coffee in a paper cup and then get a piece of cake, since there were no scones ( WHAT !! )   It all turned out well with nice coffee and nice cake. We then headed back to Banchory along the Deeside Way. Lovely day for cycling."

Only Keith showed up this morning to join me on the Tuesday Trundle. Our timing was bad - the rain started immediately before our 10 am start, so we decided it was best to stay close to Banchory and take as much shelter as we could, so we headed east along the paths and up through Crathes Castle grounds and then circled round through the farm near Drumshalloch Woods. Buchanan's was our chosen coffee stop, by which time it was dry again:

Friday, 18 August 2017

Follow You Follow Me

Jeff was again star reporter from Thursday morning's ride:

"Follow You Follow Me

On a very fine August morning, Jeff, your reporter for today, arrived at the usual rendezvous to find three co-riders (Alan, Steve and Drew) asserting they were looking for a leader. Mr S. had declined to point the fickle finger of fate, presumably in response to last week's threats resulting from an e-assault on the Fungle.

Despite the assertion, they had in fact determined Potties via Craiglash and the cut-off was a good option, as it would give Alan a chance to reacquaint himself with his ditch, which he had become rather fond of on his last visit. So off we set on the appointed route, via Home farm and the Glassel road. On the approach to Craiglash, Drew set off in pursuit of an athletic young lady who had overtaken us a little earlier, but fortunately our left turn arrived before he could achieve anything embarrassing.

The track across to Potties had a few puddles, but otherwise we found our way across to the descent track without too much bracken bashing or ditch investigation. On arrival at Potties about 50 minutes after starting, we decided it was a bit early for coffee, so I sold the lads an entertaining jaunt over to Finzean Farm Shop instead by taking the "off-road monument by-pass route", which none of the others had done previously.

We therefore headed for Ballogie, where we regrouped for team photos (Steve manfully transporting the Lanterne Rouge, breather shots in front of the gallery, and the "Ooh wots this? Oh look, we found a coffee shop!" pairing).
Then off up the hill, pulling off to the right into the forest.  It's a bit of a slog up the hill, but after the Fungle last week, this seemed rather trivial. We then pootled round the forest tracks a bit, as the sunlight through the trees was all rather lovely, before dropping down to Finzean House, the main drive out, and the blast down the hill to the FFS.  Fine bacon/sausage butties and coffee all round, and then a straightforward thrash back to Strachan, where I peeled off, and the other 3 elected, I think, for a Mill of Cammie finish.

Absolutely gorgeous day out - shame some thought fit to waste it on golf!"