This weekend saw me hop on my bike and contribute my miles to the wonderful Tailor Ed Foundation, as part of their Lands End to John O Groats challenge! Thank you to those who joined me from afar and who donated 🙂 You can still donate on the page if you have a mo (see the link below)
For this cycle I took to the city streets of Edinburgh on the Saturday for a shorter cycle – and then to the Pentlands on my mountain bike on Sunday.
How amazing are the streets with less cars? Especially when on your bike. I’ve also noticed more cycle lane markings – woop!
After a few laps of Arthurs Seat – in some unexpected sweltering sunshine, I cycled up to the top of the Royal Mile from Holyrood – the climb is not as bad as you may think. 🙂 With my sights set on the Castle I powered up – barely a car or person in sight.
The Castle – is anyone in?
A very quiet Castle … a bit too quiet …
Now it was time to pedal on my mountain bike up the Pentlands! The route was to cycle from the bottom of Morningside to Harlaw Reservoir – then on o Threipmuir Reservoir and loop back toward Flotterstone Inn – finishing back at Morningside.
My route – I used the app Komoot. Great for setting up / tracking your route and finding inspiration from other cyclists, walkers etc 🙂
I headed off from Morningside and swung right to head towards Redford Infantry Barracks, where I believe their mascot is a SHETLAND PONY! and after a bit of googling .. LOOK WHAT I FOUND.
How do I meet this wee guy?
Shetland pony visions behind me – onward I sped through Bonaly and along Woodhall Road … where my equine visions returned – this time they were actually there, in real life!! To my left and to my right were some lovely looking horses in a very pristine set up. I recently looked into this place as it is truly magnificent and a horse / horse lovers dream. Turns out it’s owned by none other than JK Rowling her self … but remains private. Maybe one day they will open as a school? I’ll keep you posted! 🙂
ONWARD – and I knew what was coming. Like Gandalf and the big ol monster he battles in the mines in Lord of the Rings …. a monster that I had met before …….named KIRKGATE. The hill of doom. BUT once you are up it – what a feeling! Just keep your bum on the seat and keep breathing / cursing. This climb then leads on to a smooth cycle toward Harlaw Reservoir car park. I stopped along this road for a bit – purely for the beautiful view… here begins the photo spam.
I just loved that field.
Just passing the Harlaw car park – the lovely open fields and views onto the Pentlands.
From here – I kept right and followed the signage toward Threipmuir Reservoir and then edged left towards the Pentlands.
This next chunk – the hill … was quite something. But yet again the sense of accomplishment when you get up there – WOOHOOO. BUM. ON. SEAT. It is also a very picturesque hill – with the road set within an avenue of huge trees that create a bit of a luxurious shelter from any wind!
A brief look back at the hill and a big glug of water … the Pentland trails were close by so I pedalled on!
For future reference – I have named my mountain bike CHUBSY B – purely because of her chunky tyres. So that is how I shall refer to my bike hence forth!
Raring to go – Chubsy B and I set off along the trails and barely saw anyone for a good while – UNTIL ……..
I was flying down a lovely and very bouncy hill when my padded add-on bike seat started to detach itself – so I had to stop. A nice chap flew past me asking if I was alright – which I responded I was! I carried on – flying down the hill with a river in sight ahead of me with a small bridge to cross – BUT – ahead of me the man shouted “GO THROUGH THE RIVER – IT’S VERY SHALLOW JUST NOW!” – so I thought to myself .. why the hell not? Powering on I set Chubsy B’s aim on the river – tossing any idea of using the bridge aside. I PLOUGHED THOUGH THE RIVER … was it shallow you may ask? NO! Haha. I got drenched. But Chubsy B kept going and I emerged from the other side only a bit soaked. Amidst his laughter the man said “I was talking to my wife who was coming down behind you – as a joke!!!” – I continued to laugh my head off with him and responded “well I feel very refreshed” and sped off .. trying to seem like I knew what I was doing ….. to back this lie up I crossed the river again further down. Which. Was. Fine.
The river may look low here … let me tell you it was NOT where I crossed! What a laugh! Haha.
Water logging behind me – it was time for a snack! A very smushed snack. But what a lovely spot to rest.
Chubsy B and Me
I then looped back home – flying past Glencorse Reservoir, plenty of swans and ducks with their wee cygnets and ducklings – then down toward the main road. There is pavement you can use on the way back to the city if you aren’t too keen on the main road. 🙂 But watch out for the tree branches … I may have gotten a whack!
I’m not going to lie and say that this whole lockdown I have been Miss Positivity – it’s hard for everyone in different ways. BUT man oh man the feeling – releasing that tension and clearing my mind of building anxiety by getting out on my bike is seriously incredible and resets a different and healthier mindset.
I hope this inspires you to remember to get outside when you can – in your garden, in a park, up a hill , your walk to the shop – or just opening the window and letting the sunshine and air in.
Next on the blog – I’ve buddied up for the morning commute with Lorna from Genetics – Sustainable AND fun!
Blog post and videos to follow ( with Lorna’s consent ….) haha.
I would also love to hear from you – so comment on the blog post or send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Til next time – stay safe and take care 🙂
Great blog Ana and beautiful pictures.
Who needs to go abroad when Scotland is so picturesque
I am still laughing at this! Brilliant blog Ana, and lovely photos.
1 I really thought you were going to hammer on the door of the castle!
2 When have you ever seen the Royal Mile on a sunny day with no-one on it? Weird!
3 I love a barley field too.
4 How could you ever think you could keep a Tunnocks teacake intact in a rucksack?? Bet it tasted good though!
5 Why oh why didn’t you have a Gopro on your helmet for going through that river? Priceless!
Your energy and enthusiasm is really infectious Ana. I love reading your blogs. And I have donated to the Tailor Ed Foundation through the link you shared. Good work!