This was the second of a series of three events organised by Angus CTC. The third should be taking place as I write this Blog, but snow and a gale have discouraged me from making the journey to Kirriemuir, let alone leaving the house on a bike.
The start for this event was the Village Hall located after the horseshoe bend in B951, just after entering the village. The drive up from Kirkintilloch was in brilliant sunshine on clear roads, allowing me to make good time arriving at about 8.40am. The hall was “something else” and must be a real asset to the community. First class as a start for an Audax event! For those interested the start was close to the Loch of Kinnordie Nature Reserve.
We got underway at 9.06am, turning right out of the Hall onto the B951, heading north-west. I soon realised that the air temperature did not reflect the bright sunshine and I was beginning to wish I was wearing cycling longs. However, the gentle uphill soon warmed up my legs as we approached the three-mile mark and the first turn to the left (signposted Peel Farm). Just after the turn there was a wonderful view down to the right and the Loch of Lintrathen.
After stopping to take a photograph it was into the BIG RING and a downhill chase to regain the group of riders in front. The chase was interrupted by a further photo opportunity of the Loch, glass flat and a sparkling clear blue.
Along this section was The Peel Farm Trail and the Reekie Linn Waterfall, which I was told were worth a look. Must return and spend some time pottering around this area taking in these attractions.
Continuing on the B954, a mile after Bridge of Craig Isla the route swung right onto an unclassified road (signposted Bamff). This took us through beautiful open countryside and into a wooded area illuminated by bright sunlight shining through the trees. After a short downhill section the first Information Control was reached. This section crossed the Cateran Trail which is a sixty-four mile circular route starting and finishing in Blairgowrie (taking in Kirkmichael, Spittal of Glenshee, Kirkton of Glen Isla and Alyth). Again something I am keen to walk with my son, who will no doubt enter it into the Long Distance Paths section of this Blog Site.
Touch Down Cafe
After the information control a left turn onto another unclassified road, signposted Alyth, once again saw us in sun dappled woodland. One mile further on the course turned sharp left, signposted Tullyfergus / St Fink and continued through open countryside to join the A926, on the outskirts of Blairgowrie. After wending our way through Blairgowerie, onto the A93, we followed the signs for Perth. A further nine miles on the course turned right to Stormonfield, on a quiet country lane. The next Information control was at Stormontfield church, as with the previous event.
After collecting the requisite information the route followed the reverse of the Cream Scone course through Old Scone , Scone Wood and Scone itself to arrive at Perth Aerodrome and the Touch Down Cafe. The Cafe I can highly recommend, if you are cycling in this area; good food and friendly staff.
Kinloch Arms Hotel : the final control
Left out of the Airport took us to Balbeggie where the route turned right onto the B953. After three miles an Information Contol was located at the junction with the Collace Road, where we turned left up a short climb past Dunsinane Hill and Collace quarry. Just after Collace itself a right turn took the course towards Newtyle, crossing the A923, after a further four miles. Another four miles took us straight across a crossroad just after Kinpurnie Castle and onto Newbigging. At the junction here we turned left and continued straight on before turning right at the next crossroads, towards Meigle. Passing Belmont Castle and Macbeth’s Stone we entered Meigle and the Hotel. Here we stopped to get our cards signed and partake of tea and biscuits. I was sorely tempted to have a pint at this stage as there were interesting Real Ales on offer.
The Final Leg
After resisting the demon drink, it was a quick right left to the A94 and after a short gentle climb, right (signposted Alyth B954). After a mile the route turned right towards Hallyards and Ruthven. Along this section power lines ran parallel with the road: on top of one of the pylons an osprey’s nest was in clear view. I don’t think many egg thieves are likely to chance their arm with this one. Who said raptors were thick? At Ruthven the road turned right after which it turned left, at the next crossroads, towards Linrathen. Through Mains of Airlie we continued to Cairnleith, where a left took us up a nippy wee climb past Balfour Castle.
This immediately lead to me losing touch with the group and they were finally rid of their “wheelhanger”(the climb was steeper than it looks, HONEST!). Half a mile further on I reached a left turn onto the B951 and back to the start, where a welcome cup of tea awaited.
Great stuff Ron and Pat of Angus CTC.