Thursday, 18 March 2010

RadTour: a fantastic day out on the bike

feed stop: yum
feed stop: cafe

The club held its second annual RadTour on Sunday 14th March. This time we were able to open entries up to non-members and almost 40 riders gathered in front of Linlithgow Palace. The weather was some of the mildest of the year and, although there was a brisk westerly, the excitement of taking part in a big season-opener after such a long, hard winter was evident.

The riders set off in pace groups on a route that stayed more in West Lothian than last year, the theme of the route being '7 Castles of West Lothian' but made some brief cross-border hops into neighbouring Falkirk, North Lanarkshire and Edinburgh for a full flavour of the local cycling experience.

One of the great highlights of the route was the feed stop at 37 miles, magnificently organised by Neil Greer. Julie Greer and Alison Dourley led the way in laying on a fantastic spread of soup, bacon rolls and home-bakes while son Callum marshalled, making sure that tired riders didn't overshoot on their rapid descent from the highest point of the route, on the Lang Whang. First to arrive were a group averaging almost 18mph, an impressive rate given the sustained climbing over Standburn, Polkemmet Moor and the Whang itself.

The following sections, towards Whitburn and Queensferry were navigationally quite tricky and time-consuming and the final climb of the day, a long drag up to Ochiltree into an ever strengthening wind took a lot of riders well past their maximum effort for the season so far, the swooping descent down Kingscavil and the finish line back at Linlithgow perhaps being a relief for some.

As in 2009, the Rad Tour seems to have generated a great early season buzz - Alan Massey said "I had a great day, many thanks to the organisers and all involved at the feed stop. My longest ride of the year so far (77 miles by the time I got home), and what a fantastic one too" while Bill Young reflected on "great company, great roads and what a great sight to see that the club has grown so much in stature but has still managed to keep the small club feel."

Hope you're all looking forward to 2011 already!

Comments from the participants:

"Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone involved in organising the event today. It was truly Rad! Was also a good chance to catch up with some folk I haven't seen for a while from the Linlithgow end of the operation." Malcolm

"It was a great day out, thanks Tobias, Kerstin and Graham for all your hard work in organising the Radtour. Thanks to Neil and family/friends for your wonderful hospitality. Great weather and beautiful scenery, although we seemed to spend the day looking for a tailwind which never materialised! Eve and I finished around 4pm with an average speed of 12.5mph." Debbie

"Great day today! Thanks to all who organised and gave up their Sunday. Also big thanks to Neil for a great spread and a very warm welcome. THANK YOU! Nice to see such a huge turn out and great to see everyone. Still didnt see any castles though!" Col

"What a fantastic day out on the bike and hats off to Tobias, Graham, Kirstin, Neil and Jules and all the helpers at the feed station :-) The food spread was absolutely amazing and a very welcome site at that stage in the run. Great company, great roads and what a great site to see that the club has grown so much in stature but has still managed to keep the small club feel. Brilliant effort from everyone." Bill

"Great organisation and what a spread of food! I loved the Paradise Cake (might need to get the recipe Neil!). I am a bit shot tonight after 50 miles on Saturday as well as the RadTour ... P.S. I saw two castles.." Mark

"Thanks to everyone - the organisation and the food was first class (guinness cake was superb!), it was a cracking day all round. I was shot at the end, but Alan got me home and I slept really well last night" Ewan

For more images click here

Feed stop: marshall
heading off after feed

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