I've needed out for a longer run on the bike but the high winds, rain, snow, hail, ice and general lack of light have provided me with excuses. Saturday dawned with temperatures around 2'C(35.6f), dry-ish roads and no wind, so off I went. I had loosely planned to do about 15 miles or a couple of hours including messing around taking photos and nosing about. On the way to Stenton I was passed by three faster riders on very smart looking touring/audax machines.
I thought I would see them in the distance when taking this pic but they weren't there. As I went down the hill the reason became obvious, and I had that sinking feeling when you come upon an accident. One of the guys had hit a deep pot hole and went over the bars. The others managed to avoid him. His shoulders were in line and he said he was ok, although he sounded a bit shocked. He had his mates, and I offered help, but I think he really wanted to preserve his dignity so I got back on the 'trucker and headed on my way.
By Traprain Law I stopped to take a couple of pics. There used to be a hedge and a right of way across this field to the style at the Law. It seems to have been ploughed over but you can still see the route and no doubt folk will continue to use it. This area is dripping in ancient history. I'll do a post about it sometime. There are also a few good single pitch rock climbs.
Near Morham I stopped to take a photo of this wee conversion. I think I remember it as belonging to the Post Office when they were in charge of telephones. Times change and it is now a wee bothy, ideal for cycling or walking. I was also passed, again, by they lads that had had the tumble. All seemed well and they were making good time.
It's a climb over the wall to get to Morham Kirk.
There was a lot of bird life and I saw a bullfinch as cycled through Lennoxlove estate. Up by Bolton and I was starting to notice the cold and getting a bit hungry. (Yes, those are bullet holes through the letter t.) It's wild up there!
I came back along a loop by Begbie and headed towards Haddington. Beside the road is a memorial to Agnes Burns. Who? Robert Burns' mum! Her other son, Gilbert, was a factor on the Lennoxlove Estate. Gilbert was obviously a harder worker than his philandering layabout brother. Mind you Gilbert couldn't write a poem to save himself. So I guess it all balances out.
Down through the fields to Haddington following the new blaze trails and across the Stevenson bridge.
Back on the trail alongside the Tyne. I fished here as a kid. I can also remember riding a Honda CD175, with mole grips for a gear change on this track, long before it became an 'official' path.
Sea Trout and a good few Salmon leap up the 'cascades' in the autumn. It's one of those things that no-one talks about, because if it became common knowledge, then the fishing would become the preserve of a select few, and no for the likes of us.
I like how this pic turned out, the glassy texture of the water as it silently slips over the fall before the turbulance and noise. Anyway, back to the cycle;
After Haddington I started the climb up Pencraig and then a freezing descent to East Linton and a quick six miles home.
I ended up cycling 33.5 miles, double what I set out to do, which was far enough. I'll look forward to doing that route again when the summer comes.