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Dundee Thistle Plockton Weekend June 2024.

Dundee Thistle Plockton Weekend June 2024.

By Graham Tooze


So much to say about a brilliant weekend away with 20 Jaggies. We arrived at the Station Bunkhouse, Plockton throughout Friday afternoon and evening. I bagsied a bunk in a room of 4 with El Presidente Andrew and Steven as we all reassured each other nobody was a snorer and we promptly headed out for a shakedown ride to Stromeferry with Alee who had identified a room for the Thistle Angels. By the time we got back the bunkhouse was filling up nicely, and trips were made to the chipper, bbqs were lit and we all had a good feed, before heading out on a walk to the Coral Beach, and having a couple of beers.


The next day we were up early for a planned cycle up the Bealach na Ba, with some heading on to do a loop of Applecross. The weather was glorious, and some good times were set, with our very own Peter the Feather (or is it Peter the faffer) setting a very impressive time. Those doing the Applecross peninsula met up at the Applecross Inn where we had some light lunch before tackling the undulating roads. Andrew (Bosley) and Craig led out the Angels charge up the Bealach before Ailsa came through to take the prize. Nicki, Zoe and Alee weren't too far behind.

Our ride around Applecross was fantastic, with an opportunity taken for a 2nd cafe stop in the sun. Funniest moment of the day was Ricky barrelling down a descent on the front, only to realise as he reached the bottom the rest of us had turned off


.

Some good chat that evening in the bunkhouse with a couple of beers, and plans made for the Sunday ride on Skye. Slawek was led astray by Alan and led to the pub, where they spent time entertaining the locals.

We were joined that evening by Krzysztof who drove up, and after a quick beer did a "cuckooing" job on Bosley, and was permitted to sleep in the Angels room as it was the only spare space. The look on poor Bosley's face


.

Sunday morning we were treated to the mating sounds of some humpback whales at an ungodly hour, or was that really Craigs playlist for breakfast? We found out later it was to drown out the chainsaw like snoring coming from Angus's bunk. We also realised that what the cycling weather gods gave on Saturday, they took away on Sunday, with the hills over Skye shrouded in cloud.

Once the humping whales soundtrack had finished we headed over to Sligachan, and after sorting out the groups, 8 jaggies set off northwards. All went well for 300 yards before the 1st group completely missed their turn, and carried on up the main road towards Portree completely oblivious to the frantic waving and shouting from the car park. Nobody had the legs to go chasing after, but they realised their error a few minutes later, and did an about turn. Ian and Neil seemed to be getting the blame, but who knows...surely they all had the route on their head units???


My group got a hefty dose of karma for laughing at them, as Chris had a tyre delamination at the top of the first climb, and we had to return to the car park, followed a few miles later by Krzysztof suffering a broken spoke. We had set out to do the 95 mile route, but the misfortune, coupled with the strong wind and rainy conditions persuaded us to do a shorter loop.

At the end of the day, most of us regrouped at the car park, some feeling the cold somewhat, and we headed back to Plockton. Stephen was at this point doing a solo TT back from somewhere around a cold, misty and wet Old Man of Storr (that's another story, but special annual award nomination(s) is/are to be proposed in November!

Sheona and Zoe had plotted a shorter, but hilly alternative to the 68 mile social ride, which was undertaken by some of the Angels, but unfortunately nobody had the route downloaded so they had a bimble up and down some hills in the mist and rain, and found their way to Portree for a nice lunch.

Sunday evening was a very pleasant get together at the Plockton Inn, with a couple of drinks, and 3 well deserved courses of tasty nosh. What a great way to finish what really was a first class weekend. Alan even woke up from his post ride nap at the mention of the word "pub" and was first out the door and down the road.

Kudos to everybody who took on the Bealach na Ba which is the UK's biggest road climb (626 metres of elevation in 10 km).


This is one of my favourite aspects of club cycling, all in it together for laughs, fun, and achieving things you probably never would have attempted solo.

Until next time folks!





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