Isle of Bute Festival of Cycling
20 & 21 September 2014
We had entries in the Serpentine Hill Climb, 3 teams in the 2Up TT and a rider in the Men's APR. Read our team soigneur's report and photos from the trip to Bute.
On Saturday morning Leo and Ross pitted themselves against the twisting tarmac of the Serpentine Hill Climb - 13 hairpins rising at 10% (at least) for over 700 metres. Leo crushed his category scooping a podium spot, Ross rolled across the line just glad to make it.
Saturday afternoon brought the 2Up TT round the island for an advertised length of 32 km. With three pairs Ronde CC was well represented, it was a shame that our women's team had to pull out at the last minute due to illness and injury. First off was the steely eyed duo of Sandy and John, they blasted round well inside the hour. Following hot on their heels were Leo and Steven, with Pete and Ross bringing home the Ronde CC effort.
Effort is a good word for it, especially those last two kilometres - the unadvertised 33rd and 34th! With our calculations aiming to leave us something in the tank to nail the last kilo along the coast, we got a nasty surprise as it extended 200% to a final 3 km push - not something our legs or lungs were geared up for. John's cry as he crossed the line could be heard across the island (almost) and should have warned us, but alas we were all left to wonder why we hadn't made it yet. The support we had along the way definitely made a positive mark and cheered us up when most in need.
Still, at least they had time to pose by the water's edge after catching their breath.
Sunday followed and the remaining Rondeurs (and families) were there to cheer on Leo in the Men's APR. That was after we had scoured the local supermarket for sun cream to keep us safe in the unseasonable scorching weather we were being treated to.
So it was out with the Ronde CC foam finger and much shouting of Allez Leo, Allez Leo, Allez Leo. Then we realised he was in the third group, his cover blown by his performances on the previous day. Dutifully clapping the next group away, we got shouting again as the third group sat poised on the line.
With a drop of the flag they were off, and Leo right in amongst it. We wouldn't know how things were going til the end, but that's bike racing.
We all had a fantastic weekend, and despite the almost certainty that the weather will not treat us this well again, vowed we'd return next year.
Words by Ross Wood, photos by various Wood's & Suzy Johnston