16th June 2013 – Trossachs Ton.
3 years ago if you wanted to do a long organised bike ride you did the Etape, and that was the only choice you had. Fast forward to 2013 and there’s a sportive, long ride, 100-miler almost every weekend, it seems. Too many long rides for me to manage a triathlon this season! So, having not done the Tour of the Borders (rained off), but having managed Etape Caledonia, Dunfermline Sportive, Scottish Bike Show Sportive, and the Kinross Sportive so far this year, I entered the Trossach’s Ton as my last long ride before the big one (La Marmotte Gran Fondo, Les Alpes, July 7th….).
220 folk entered for the longer (championship) course, setting off from Stirling High School at 07:!5 – these things are always so early, the 5am wake up calls get no easier… The course is a great mix: a flat out TT section out to Aberfoyle, Duke’s Pass (one of the best climbs in Scotland IMO), a spin around Loch Katrine (FAR hillier than it looks on the map), a headwind blast to Lennoxtown, and then the epic climb over the Campsies via Crow Road, before the sting in the tail back up the valley, and a quick descent into Stirling.
The full route is 158km, not quite the full 100 miles, with 2119m climbing, over some stunning scenery, taking in those 2 big climbs, and many many smaller ones. Well worth a shot next year!
I came 5th overall!