Monday, 23 March 2009

Twa Wee Coonties Audax

Tobias at Twa Wee CooniesMatt at Twa Wee CooniesGraham at Twa Wee CooniesNosh at  Twa Wee Coonies

Peter, Tobias, Jim and Matt rode down early on Sunday morning to the start of the Twa Wee Coonties 100 KM Audax in Dalmeny, with Graham and Craig saving their legs and driving to the town's church hall/event HQ.
An Audax is a non-competitive challenge where riders follow a predefined route which includes a number of checkpoints. Each rider is given a detailed description of the route but is otherwise left to complete the distance unassisted. Riders set their own pace but try to return to the finish within the minimum and maximum time specified for the event.
As usual, with this local event, there was a convivial atmosphere in the HQ, we had time to sign on and slurp a coffee or two while chatting to fellow Audaxers. Malcolm and Alan popped into wish us luck, making our yellow and black group a sizeable presence in the hall.
We set off into the strong headwind in four groups, with the goal of getting back to the finish with an average speed above 18 kmh. There were all ranges of riders, some decided to cycle on their own while others moved as a pack. Craig and Peter were ahead in the first group, Graham and Tobias followed in the Second while Jim and Matt set off in the last group.
It was blustery on the Forth Bridge with some riders reportedly getting blown a meter or two sideways, on the return journey the bridge was closed for a while, causing a cycling tailback. Everyone survived the crossing and set about getting to the first checkpoint a Clackmanan where we had our cards stamped and were served juice and chocolate bars.
We spotted Grant and his family in Culross on a Mother's day outing, he feigned surprise at meeting the Clarion, but I don't think he fooled anyone as to why he was really forcing the Thomsons to take a walk along a cold Forth Estuary!
The Next control was at the top of Dollar Glen where we were served handfuls of Jelly Babies before a fast decent to lunch at the Pow Mill cafe. We had a chance to regroup and have a blether before a wind assisted ride to the final checkpoint at Ballingry Toll. The most scenic part of the day past the quickest as we charged across the Fife countryside, passing Milanthort, Balgedie and Loch Leven in a blur.
At Ballingry the wind turned against us again and the ride to Inverkeithing was tough on weary legs, riders were getting split up and struggling home but the thought of the warmth and good hospitality back at the HQ in Dalmeny kept us going.
John Myerscough organises this Audax and he certainly knows how to put on a good event. Throughout the day riders were looked after by his friends and family. At the HQ tables are laden with sweet delicacies, fine wines and cheeses, sandwiches, chutneys and five types of home made soup served up by the young Myerscoughs - not bad for a fiver.
After enjoying the glorious food and drink, four of us struggled back to Linlithgow with heavy legs only slightly numbed by the red wine. We'd ridden about 90-odd miles.
Many thanks to John for putting on such a well organised and friendly event, look forward to next year.

1 comment:

grantus said...

Honest Guv! It was a complete coincidence!

It dawned on me after you'd left that Shaz would think I'd stitched her right up on mother's day however my saving grace was i'd suggested we go to Kinross or St. Andrews but she didn't want to go that far!

We ended up in the Loganlea for scran via a slightly circuitous route which has given me an absolutely stonking hilly route for the Clarion which shall be christened "The Wee Bastart" I shall post up on Bikely in due course!!