Monday, 10 September 2012

Pedal for Scotland: things I learned

Last minute adjustments to the banner

Made it! 

Wheely busy at the People's Palace

Waiting for the off

Finally we can see the start
Today I know how Mr Tumnus feels. The bottom half of my body feels rather like it belongs to another creature. 

I haven't found a magic portal to another world - our wardrobes are far too full to get through. No. Yesterday, along with more than 9,000 others, I took part in the Freshnlo Pedal For Scotland (AKA the longest bike ride I've ever done). It took us 47 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

Here's what I learned. 

Your mother is sometimes right. She suggested I might need padded knickers, and I did. 

Cycling with a crowd takes a bit of adjustment. It was only when we were in the thick of it that I realised that I had never been cycling with more than one other person at a time. And even then It was quite hard to avoid collisions. Add a few hundred more and you have to raise your game fairly fast. 

The early start you first thought of probably isn't early enough. We met up at 8am but still weren't over the start line until nearly 10am. My calculations didn't consider those 9,000 others. 

A few inches can make all the difference. Ileene, who is wise in the ways of cycling, adjusted my bike seat and what a difference. 

Scotland is a country of contrasts. Our route took us through streets of buildings with steel sheets for windows as well as wide ways lined with well-groomed mansions. 

City planners make questionable decisions. Some of those well-groomed mansions were, to say the least, architecturally 'interesting'. 

Nanaimo is a city in Canada. It's a city where the local delicacy is the eponymous bar - a delight of chocolate, creamy stuff and coconut. Thanks Debbie, I'd love the recipe. 

Social media and cycling don't mix. You can't tweet or Facebook very well when you're concentrating on not falling off.

Edinburgh has some fantastic cycle routes. People of the Capital, you don't have much excuse for not getting on your bikes. 

47 miles is a long way, but not perhaps as long as you'd think. 

I am a cyclist. Not just a woman with a bike. 



Who's joining me next year?




8 comments:

  1. Great blog! You must be proud of yourself. I will link to you from my blog of the 110-mile sportive... x

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    1. Thanks Fi, I am. And you too. You were mentioned several times en route as in - flipping glad we aren't doing the Sportive, I wonder how Fiona's getting on. x

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  2. Well done all of you. Glad your mother is right sometimes! And well done to Auntie Sally and boys for the splendid banner. I followed progress on a live blog, and quite wished I'd een there. Maybe next year... I would think Boy 2 could do it as well. Mxx

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    1. Next year certainly. Boy Two is keen and Deb says she'll do it again.

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  3. Well done. I bought a padded gel seat for my bike. Still not fitted it though! I have a local friend who also did that ride - mentioned something about brownies??

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    1. Brownies? I think there was some baking at some of the food stops but by the time we'd arrived it was either all gone or there were huge queues. However, we were well prepared and had bought our own goodies - including Deb's Nanaimo bars. x

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  4. Brilliant - congratulations - I hope you feel very proud of yourself! Padded pants - a very wise choice indeed! X.

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