Suie Classic 2019

16-Jun-19 10:48 am
86.47 km

Last weekend, I took part in the Suie Classic, a 54 mile bike ride that’s part of the Great Inverurie Bike ride.

The Great Inverurie Bike ride started out many years ago as a 25 mile sponsored event. In the last couple of years, a longer, 54 mile option has been added. The route follows most of the 25 mile course with and out-and-back loop added over the formidable Suie hill, a 6-mile climb, topping out at a 14% gradient.

I’d done this ride before, in 2017, so I knew what I was letting myself in for! The weather was nice at the start in Inverurie, with temperatures of about 15 Deg. To avoid congestion at the start, we were set off in groups of about 20 every 2 minutes-or-so.

I probably took it a bit too easy on the first couple of small climbs, wanting to save myself for the climb of Suie. The run out the foot on the climb was fairly uneventful, passing along the side of the River Don to Keig where we turned right onto the bottom of the climb. The first 4-or-so km are fairly easy, then the road ramps up for the final 2 km. Here the gradient hits 14% (according to Strava). Once at the top, I stopped to refill my water bottles and to refuel on Jelly Babies and a banana. From there, it was a descent down the other side of Suie (the steep side, with 16% gradients and tight corners), and along to Auchleven. 

At that point, just as we starting to climb up Brindy out of Auchleven, the heavens opened and we were bombarded with torrential rain and hail stones. The shower only lasted for 10 minutes-or-so, but it was enough to soak my shorts and feet (I’d stopped to put my rain jacket when the rain started). After the descent, we turned back along the river Don towards Monymusk. After that point, I felt pretty miserable with wet feet.

As we approached Monymusk, it was apparent that they’d had no rain, and the warmer air meant that my jacket and shorts soon dried. The course looped around the back of Monymusk, and then passed through the centre of the village before heading back to the start through Blairdaff and Burnhervie. At this point, we joined the 25-mile route riders, and later the riders on the shorter, 13-mile family route. It was good to see families of all ages out on their bikes, although caution was advised as some of the youngsters were weaving over the road, with little awareness of cyclists approaching from behind.  The final run into Inverurie was a welcome downhill past the hospital and back to the start.

My final time was 3:49:03 (moving time), a few minutes slower than last time.

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