Callander Evans Rideit Sportive

8:00 am


Callander Evans Rideit Sportive

Gary, Phil, Steve, Scott, Aeron, David, David, Ross

This was the first Sportive of the season for most of us and probably, even the first outing on a bike for some, at the start tent you where greeted with an enthusiastic organiser giving instructions of the does and don’ts of the sportive you kind of half way through his speech start to half expected him to get you all doing a warm up routine, anyway whilst in the pen the organiser shouted have a good ride and enjoy yourselves all you could hear was shoes being clipped into the peddles but no one moving, you look up at the tent thinking come on let’s do this in one hand and what’s the problem in the other you soon realise that your chip needs scanned so 1 by 1 everyone files of their bikes and pushes them through the start tent to be scanned.

Out on the road it was mucky as a lot of rain had fallen previously so it was hard to stay out of the spray from the wheels in front you, the first few miles was light hearted everyone trying to ease themselves into the ride no real pace, you couldn’t help but think should I save energy for the roads ahead and that double climb of DUKES PASS into Aberfoyle, it made sense to ride at the side of a group or by yourself, the surface water covered pothole was taking its toll as riders 1 by 1 started going slower for fear of going into them as to be honest if you didn’t get a shout you were going straight into them and the likely hood of that was extremely high as you could have found yourself in a group of riders that has never ridden in a group before,
At the bottom of the DUKES PASS for the first time if you’ve never been over this you just don’t know what to expect, so you focus on the road glancing up from time to time just checking where you are thinking ok this isn’t as bad as I was expecting as from what other members where telling you about this climb would’ve given you the fear, once at the top and getting an unexpected photo taking you think I should’ve pushed harder on that,

Going out of Aberfoyle heading to loch Katrine you think great I’ve done the PASS that’s the worst of the climbing over but you’d be wrong from the minute you leave Aberfoyle all you seemed to do is climb, climb and some more climbing, some of them although not long but had really bad inclines, you’re riding along on narrow country roads constantly putting your pace in check as these roads/paths where littered with potholes if you went 100 yards without avoiding some sort of pothole or a crater that quite clearly looked as though a bomb could have made them you wear doing well, Once you think you’re at a turning point from all those climbs, you allow yourself to start thinking it’s safe to ride at a faster pace don’t get me wrong the road weren’t level/flat by any shake of your imagination but believe me when I say this they’re better than they had been, so you start applying more pressure on your peddles and you look up and see a small humpback bridge and think that’s so nice very idyllic whilst riding over this idyllic bridge you kind of turn left now you couldn’t see what was waiting for you because of the tree line and a very idyllic bridge, once you hit the bridge and kind of go left you look up and automatically think OMG, then you seriously scramble to change gears into your smallest and then peddle to keep momentum if you didn’t change gears and peddle for all your worth just as you hit this climb you’d just stop dead as simple as that, you look up this climb and think ok let’s get this on then and get up out off the saddle and stamp on the peddles, I’m not sure about anyone else but doing this type of riding is like torcher, you start to think when is this ending but the climb itself was probably no more than 800 yards but trust me it felt like a few mile. Once at the top your attention turns to the views over the loch you look ahead and see more climbs, I remember thinking that this sportive would be good for mountain goats,

Heading back towards the DUKES PASS for the second time, great tarmac roads this was like luxury once heading up the pass If everyone else was like me just done in and well and truly fed up with climbing as for about 43 miles that’s all you seemed to do get to the top of a climb and then see another, getting to the top of the pass this time round I must admit I was a bit disappointed that the guys taking the photos had gone as I was ready to give them my knackered look, meeting some of the guys from the club at the water station was to be honest a welcome relief as it meant getting a wheel to follow for the last 12 or 13 miles, after a debate on eating and drinking we set off out of Aberfoyle heading towards the finish in Callander the question was asked yes you actually didn’t want to ask but you did anyway (are their anymore climbs left) yes was the reply.
After negotiating countless climbs heading towards Callander you think fantastic that’s it done only 3 or so mile to go you turn left of the main road heading to callander you look up and think seriously how long is that …… yet again your climbing for what seemed to be an eternity but by this time if you had anything left in the tank you’re doing extremely well but you just dig deeper and push those peddles and prey for the top and hope that there’s no more, getting back at the finish you automatically think nope never again am I doing that I hate climbing then your quick to realise that this event although tough was well organised and well sign posted you actually would do it again
This was a great event well attended by ACC member and everyone had a great day out luckily all riders and bikes made it back in one piece manky though but safe.


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