Sunday, 21 December 2014

A cold cycle back from Edinburgh

I've been away the last couple of weekends visiting family so haven't had anything to post. But on Saturday I had to go to Edinburgh to collect my first pair of reading glasses, age is catching up with me! So I took the chance to make an outing of the appointment by taking the Long Haul Trucker on the train and cycling back.


I was waiting on an empty platform at 09:50, although by the time the train arrived there were loads of folk heading to the city for Christmas shopping.

Twenty minutes of standing on the train and I was in the centre of Edinburgh where the build up to seasonal excess is in full swing.

The merry-go-round was suitably festive but the 'Star Flyer' looked frankly terrifying to me. I was also freezing so I didn't hang around too long and was soon cycling over to St Leonards.

At the back of the police station I took the little cycle path that snakes through a housing development, past some lock-ups and then disappears below ground through the innocent railway tunnel.

This is a well surfaced track and I quickly made my way out of the city, relaxing as the sun shone through the bare trees and birds flitted across the path.

This little dog also jumped out in front of me and tested the trucker's brakes. He looks suitably guilty.


From the peace of the old railway line I crossed through the edge of Magdalene Glen and up to Asda to collect my glasses from Specsavers.


The bicycle parking at the front of the store is pathetic with small row of old fashioned 'wheel benders'. I had to move abandoned shopping trolleys to create a space for the trucker.

With my glasses collected I quickly picked up the trail again and headed along muddy lanes and cycle paths to the shore at Fisherrow.


The wind was biting at the coast and I didn't spend long looking around. It was a quick pedal along to the river Esk where I decided to cut back inland and and start the climb up to Tranent.

The view back to the coast with Fife in the distance. The demolition of Cockenzie Power station continues and it was only when I had climbed up to this point that I relised that I should have stuck to the coast and taken the chance to have a look at the chimneys as apparently, now that the metal work has been removed, you can see inside them.

At Haddington I found a suitably sheltered bench and stopped for coffee and a roll. It didn't take long before I started to feel cold and although it was the middle of the day, the sun was low in the sky and not providing much warmth.


A quick climb up over Pencraig and the the last six miles to home where El was excitedly waiting to make fun of me wearing my specs. 


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A Long Haul Trucker along the coast

The days seem to be flying by recently. It's Tuesday evening already and I still haven't got around to posting Sunday's cycle. So here goes.

I headed east in bright midday sunshine out of Dunbar with the vague notion of going to Cockburnspath. The Long Haul Trucker just keeps on doing the job and although it is not the most exciting of bikes, it is comfy.

At the end of the cycle path I passed a large group of travelling people with their assorted 4x4s and caravans. They seemed to be entertaining their hordes of noisy offspring by setting off fire extinguishers. Perhaps they were training for when they are burning the insulation off the copper cable that they "recycle" from the quarry.

I gave them a wide berth and continued on by the fields at Torness. I couldn't resist this shot of the farmers scarecrows.

Further along and I've posted pictures of the bridges at Bilsdean before, but these have usually been during the summer when there is a lot more greenery. When the leaves are gone, the drop is all the more impressive. Unfortunately cloud was gathering and the pictures were quite dull without pushing the exposure a bit.

There wasn't much happening in Cockburnspath. I spent a week there one afternoon! It's an old one but it does sum the village up. I know a few folk who live there and they tend to agree that nothing happens.

Then it was back to Dunbar, a quick loop of town and spin through the woods to round the mileage up to a relatively easy 20 miles. I kept up a good pace and there was no coffee stop this week.

 It's been a mild winter so far but the forecast is suggesting some weather coming from the north. These woodland trails would be pretty special in the snow with fat tyres. Here's hoping.