Monday, 5 April 2010

Seeing the countryside by bicycle

Well, thanks to the Cycle To Work Scheme, I now have a shiny new bike.  It's like this one but in a pretty champagne colour:



Unlike my old one, this bike is better suited to cycling  on roads so it might make the Pedal for Scotland event slightly easier for me this year.  I got The Boy to take me to the shop with my helmet and all my gear so that I could cycle home.  I kept checking the clouds outside the shop to see whether the big black ones planned on taking the same route home as me.  It was certainly looking that way.  So, as I had a little extra money left on my voucher after paying for my bike I invested in a waterproof fleecy lined jacket to stow in my back pack.  Just in case.

I had decided to head from Herbie's in Broxburn up Station Road and all the way up to the entrance of Almondell Country Park.  I've cycled from home as far as the entrance to the park and back before so I knew it was do-able.  I'm never great for the first few miles.  It seems to take 3 or 4 miles for my lungs to realise they're supposed to be helping me by inhaling enough air to keep me going.  It didn't help that it's a long uphill drag from Broxburn to the entrance of the park but I got there, after a few stops for air.  :o)

It was a lovely ride home once my lungs kicked in.  It was always cloudy and those big black fluffy things in the sky followed me the whole way but at least it wasn't too windy.  I took a wrong turn in the park, doh!  It's not like I haven't been there before.  It wasn't a long detour before I got back on track but it was up a HUGE hill!  After my wee unplanned detour I stopped on the bridge over the Almond at Mid Calder to have a drink and call The Boy to let him know I was still alive.  The weir was in full flow:


You definitely woudlnt want to fall in there!  You'd be swept all the way to the sea and freeze to death in the process.

Miraculously, the rain stayed off until I was almost out of Livingston and then all I encountered was a half hearted attempt at hailstones.  I also managed to get home without ending up like the other cyclist I passed in Livi - he looked like he had black chicken pox all over from the muddy puddles.

So I got home and was amazed at how good I felt after cycling that far.  I didn't have my cycle computer on my bike so I can only guesstimate how far it was.   Given that it's 11 miles from home to the weir I think I probably cycled 14-15 miles.

The Boy has also convinced my totally non-sporty daughter to take part in the Pedal for Scotland event so she had her first outing on my old bike yesterday.  She did very well considering she hasn't cycled for 15 years.  She cycled 5 1/2 miles and walked the last 1 1/2.  She also managed to avoid having any major disasters but came home sporting a sticking plaster on her newly skinnned knee.  Practice makes perfect sweetheart so let's keep it up.