RIDE THE NORTH - REPORT

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RIDE THE NORTH - REPORT

Postby bobhill » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:57 pm

The event went well for the Ythanites!. There were a total of about 380 riders this year and we were put off in groups of no more than 10, starting at 08.00 every five minutes until 10.30 which was our lot, last group off (supposedly the fastest). I had Graham Parley and Mike Giles (who were both going well) and Mark Shepherd (not going so well) and three guys from Marathon Oil team (incl John O'Donovan and two others who I know well). There were three others from Ythan who were off in a group an hour ahead of us - Carol Middleton, Colin Allanach and Chris Cooper.

Our lot were off fast into a bit of a headwind down the lakeside and all stuck together until the first hill where we all went at our own pace, and up the hill to the coffee stop. Continued thereafter with Graham and Mike to the lunch stop, we were getting a cross wind and a tail wind so it was quick. Long lunch then set off also with Mark Shepherd -at times I was just hanging on to Graham and Mike. Coffee stop at Cawdor Castle but in a much better location and sun was shining. It was very quick with a tail wind and 27 degrees temp. Got to Elgin in 19.5mph average (last year it was 17.5). Same course as last year - 83 miles and 1250 metres of elevation.

Stayed in same bed and breakfast in Elgin and the same room. Went to the same Italian and pub, seven of us. It was a good evening. We even met Graham Parley's pal from last year in the pub.

Second day the course was a bit different, avoiding the main road we took last year. The Carbrach was no bother, flying up it with a cross/tailwind again. Mark Shepard was really suffering but somehow he picked up after the Cabrach and started feeling good. Really fast into Rhynie for lunch. I found the Suie hard but got up it better than last year. We had some showers after that so waterproof was on and off. Round back of Bennachie for a coffee stop at the Donview Car Park, and then course was different going to Kemnay and approaching Castle Fraser from the North side. We went through Castle Fraser but did not get a coffee stop there, so there was really little point of it - one rider came down hard there, just before us over a speed bump so we stopped for a bit.

Then went towards Dunecht but turned North heading for Craibstone College on a lot of minor roads which were wet and full of grit/sand so not so good. The approach to Craibstone was very dodgy with gritty roads and speed bumps.

Average speed for the second day was 17.1mph so again quicker than last year. Again 83 miles and 1750 metres of climbing. I was really wiped out for the following three days with the speed of the event. All of the Ythanites seemed to enjoy it.

Again the event was very well organinsed with a reception in the bar of Eden Court in Inverness on the Thursday evening. There was a professional photographer on the course this year so some good photos for sale on the website.

Neil Innes did really well keeping on top of it with the increased numbers and had help from some 90 volunteers over the two days. Roll on next year! Bob
bobhill
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