Following on from an earlier post, the escape to the hills at the weekend didn't dissapoint. The training roads from back in the day still appeal and the range of routes on offer is a sure fire method of becoming lost in time. With memories intact and emotions set to overload, the Lemond is the trusty companion as we travel North.
Sections of the chosen route provided ample opportunities to measure fitness levels for local clubs. Insights to fellow riders abilities would be gleaned and the all too often cyclist's phrase 'I've not been out much' would quickly demonstrate that rival teams and riders had been out, and many times at that. The sections in question from the route above are: Carrot Hill, Hard-On hill and Lumley Den. Hard-On hill was aptly titled due to it's sudden rise and frantic panting once at the top! According to strava, the climb tops out at 25%. This appears to be a bit optimistic, I was thinking more like 15% at the most. Anyway, it's a tough little kick, especially after riding into a fierce and unrelenting South Westerly.
The route north is captivating due to the views that rush out ahead and beckon you to explore. Little did I know, that many years after bombing along those roads, my two daughters would be named after favourite Angus Glens; Isla & Clova. The route wouldn't take me that far into the countryside, but I quickly rediscovered why this area has always been very special. It is fair to say that the Angus Glens don't have the drama and almost overpowering force of the Scottish Highlands. However, what they do have in abundance is fantastic light, quietness and a sense of warmth - this is quite difficult to describe, but it is something that this guffer feels. I suppose many of us feel the same when we find ourselves back in the land of our youth.
The return to the scenic coastal village of Broughty Ferry is a sensory treat. This route offers a quick drop back to the coast from the wonderfully titled rural village of Kirkton of Monikie (great name for a cat). First of all the there is the sky, wow, what a sky. Once again, the quality of light and brightness around this coastal region is incredible. Add to this, the constantly changing sky scape of rolling clouds and shafts of light picking out sections of countryside before 'warming' the River Tay and North Sea.
|There's a famous golf course over there...|
Then there is the distinctive sweet smell of Gorse bushes. The many golfers who play on the sandy soils of Links courses in the East Coast of Scotland hate this stuff. If your ball ends up in a gorse bush, just take the penalty and play on. This guffer loves it. The final treat is arriving home to find a bowl of Scotch broth just being served - bliss.