One sad side-effect of the coffeeneuring challenge is to make me feel like a bit of a Norma-no-mates: what’s the point of going out for coffee if you’ve nobody to go for a coffee with? The other half regards cycling as largely something for a sunny summer afternoon when the roads are dry, the winds are light, the moon is blue and the pigs are flying high.* And people with normal lives are generally busy going to work on Thursdays, which was the first day I had free after another busy weekend. So I was in two minds as to whether to continue, but as I had to ride into town anyway I decided to play it by ear. The forecast for today was shaping up to be pretty dire so I was expecting to want to just get home again as quickly as I could.
But the weather gods seem to be having an off day for lo and behold today was sunny again, and even mild, and I managed to bump into a friend in Bigtown and arrange a coffeeneuring date for later in the month, so I decided the challenge was back on. And as the weather was so lovely I decided to take a little detour by way of the old A Road and stop off at the local farm-shop-turned-shortbread-emporium.
I’ve been a bit snotty about them in the past because the shop bit seems to mostly consist of expensive and over-packaged generically Scottish giftie type stuff (hence ‘shortbread emporium’), and they are essentially an out-of-town shop in what is otherwise open countryside but they do have a nice and not too pricey cafe and that’s a good thing – and their meat is undeniably local and has a good reputation in a part of the world where good meat is taken seriously, from bacon to beef to haggis. It’s one of the few places around where you can buy outdoor reared pork (although without the option to go and say hello to the pigs – I suspect that as they have a ‘tickets only’ nature trail on offer, going and scratching a few porcine backs would cost extra). As a bonus, the twelve-year-old serving in the butchery (well, apparently – it’s not just farmers who are getting younger) told me he rides his bike in every day, so there were at least two of us to balance out all the big shiny 4x4s in the car park. And with the sun, and the cafe’s sheltered terrace, it meant I could have my coffee sitting outside. In October. In Scotland. That’s got to be worth something.
I then rode home on Bigtownshire’s accidental cycle path, stopping only to enjoy the view of the hill I wasn’t having to tackle on the other road.
Some things are definitely worth the detour…
Update: forgot to add the mileage. Probably about 20 all told, including the detour
*and yes, I am aware of the irony of being an award-winning cycle campaigner who can’t even persuade her husband of the joys of cycling.