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Sunday 13th May 2012 will not be remembered as one of the more balmy of Scottish summer days as wind and rain dominated the scene, and yet over 4000 cyclists took of from Pitlochry to ride the 81 mile Caledonian etape. We have to consider ourselves most fortunate that the rain which lashed the central belt was a lot more gentle in the Highlands and I only really suffered it for a few miles just after Kinloch Rannoch. It was the headwind riding West along Loch Rannoch shore that caused more distress than anything, but as the rain died away, I found that it also served to help dry me out from my soaking (the irony of the waterproof jacket remaining in my rucksack was not lost on me!). Rounding Loch Rannoch to turn back towards the Shiehallion climb, suddenly the wind was my friend blowing me over the undulating roads, visibly raising the spirits of all the riders.

The Shiehallion climb was less onerous than many of the training runs Finlay had made me endure in preparation for this event, but once we were up top, the wind had changed sides once again and worked against us, taking some of the fun away from the descent and turning what should have been the relatively benign Fortingal Loop into the toughest assignment of the day - probably the only time my spirits dropped as rider after rider cruised past, seemingly making light of the difficulty I was encountering. it was at this point that I thought most of how cold my feet were, but also of how proud I was to have helped raise over £1100 for a wonderful charity. That warm thought drove me on to the turn and suddenly the wind was back onside. Just a few km of recovery cycling and suddenly I was back in the groove. With the wind at my tail, the road surface in great nick and the sun even breaking the clouds we made light of the next 18 miles down to Logierait, before the final sting in the tail with some short sharp climbs over a 5 mile stretch through the woods back up to Pitlochry. My bike started creaking, rattling and groaning as the gears were once again under pressure, but fortunately I suffered no mechanical mishaps and made it into Pitlochry with 5 hours 53 mins on the chip. Finlay had soundly beaten me with an outstanding effort of 5 hours 28 mins, but now I know the course and there's always next year!

Updates 1

Riding the Marie Curie Caledonian etape was an absolutely amazing experience. Riding through the wind and rain of Scottish summer with feet like blocks of ice was made a whole lot more bearable thanks to the amazing generosity of all those who have contributed to our effort.

14/05/12 04:22

Raising money for

Marie Curie

Marie Curie

Charity Registration No. 207994 (England & Wales) and SC038731 (Scotland)

Marie Curie provides care and support for people living with any terminal illness across the UK. Our nurses work night and day in people’s homes and our hospices offer specialist care. We also support people emotionally, provide practical information, and match them with trained volunteers.

Raising money for

Run by Marie Curie

Charity Registration No. 207994 (England & Wales) and SC038731 (Scotland)

Donations 56

In memory of Gordon MacFarlane who Marie Curie helped so much.

Donation by Anonymous on 19/07/12

Well done big man!

Donation by Adam G on 13/07/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Well done and for a great cause!

Donation by donald maclennan on 31/05/12

£15.00

+ £3.75 Gift Aid

A great effort for an excellent cause. Auld Fin

Donation by finlay kerr on 27/05/12

£50.00

+ £12.50 Gift Aid

Well done Jim!

Donation by Sheila Mitchell on 21/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 17/05/12

No bad for an old man like yourself.

Donation by Eddie Thom on 16/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

WELL DONE FATTY

Donation by Gordon Caffrey on 15/05/12

£100.00

+ £25.00 Gift Aid

Well done Finlay

Donation by Marek Styczen on 14/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Well done - back to work for a rest!

Donation by Paul Kettles on 14/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Andrew Webster on 14/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Well done!!!

Donation by Gordon Pollard on 14/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Go for it Jim!

Donation by Chris Sheehan on 14/05/12

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

At least you are getting theweather for it..................good luck!

Donation by GAVIN NEWLANDS on 12/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

good luck :)

Donation by Ryan McCready on 12/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Just think of the celebration lunch at the end - that and beating Finlay and it'll be no problem (and don't look at the weather forecast......)

Donation by Lynn on 11/05/12

£50.00

+ £12.50 Gift Aid

Kick some mountainous arse Jim!!

Donation by Nigel Marett (And Mr Whytock) on 11/05/12

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Good luck Jim. All the best.

Donation by Cameron White on 11/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Good luck to you and your team mate. Let the best man win!!!

Donation by Kevin Doherty on 11/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Good luck - hope all goes well

Donation by Evelyn Brodie on 11/05/12

£5.00

+ £1.25 Gift Aid

Best of luck. Hope the sun shines and you miss all the tacks!

Donation by Stewart Gray on 11/05/12

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Good luck Jim hope all goes well and the weather stays dry for you..

Donation by DAVID DICKMAN on 11/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

I hope the weather stays dry for you. In Perthshire? Not a chance! Bring your waterproofs and have a nice day!

Donation by David Rennie on 10/05/12

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Good luck and great effort. I hope Jim shares his aussie butt cream with you Finlay..!

Donation by Nicola Barrett on 10/05/12

£25.00

+ £6.25 Gift Aid

Hope it all goes well - anything under 3:30 should give you a win :-)

Donation by Ewart Gray on 10/05/12

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£1,370.00
  • Offline donations£40.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£1,410.00
  • Gift Aid£332.50

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.