Taking the Long Road Home

Chatting to a neighbour a few weeks ago about our respective veg plots (and how behind we were with them) he mentioned his grandfather used to say ‘April – you wait all winter for it, and then you miss it.’ This has resonated with me ever since, especially now it is April. Looking at the prospects for the coming few weeks, it’s not just the garden that is going to be behind schedule. We’ve got my parents’ move to Bigtown in a couple of weeks combined with the local authority elections, which means ramping up Walk, Wheel, Cycle, Vote – and, because I wasn’t going to be busy enough, I decided it would be a fine idea to cycle up to Edinburgh with a couple of other intrepid souls from Bigtown Cycle Campaign for Pedal on Parliament on the 23rd – a mere 90 miles, over two days (and some interesting looking hills).

Having spent some time considering the contours of our route, and my general lack of bike mileage in the past few weeks beyond the near-daily trundle down for the paper and back, I decided that I would take the scenic route back from the farmers’ market this afternoon. This turned the normal 8 mile ride home into a 23-mile one with some significant climbing and views to match.

View from top of hill

The route took in what is normally a favourite ride of mine, but I wasn’t quite feeling the love today, I must admit. Partly it was that I’d misread the weather forecast so wasn’t really prepared for what turned out to be an icy headwind for most of it. And partly because it turns out that, while I’m happy to go on a nice pointless round trip in company for the sheer pleasure of it, both legs and brain rebel somewhat at my adding 15 miles and many feet of climbing onto what would otherwise be a straightforward ride home on my own.

This doesn’t bode well for our ride to Edinburgh (let alone my plans for Ride to the Sun), although I did find that my dissatisfaction with the whole idea correlated more or less exactly with the degree of headwind I was suffering at the time. I’ve also remembered from past long rides that the first climb is always the worst, and the one where you definitely decide you’re unfitter than an unfit thing and your companions should just leave you at the side of the road now for the wolves, lest you hold them up any longer. Or maybe I should just get some more miles under my belt before my companions actually do have to leave me for the wolves somewhere on the run in to Innerleithen. Or maybe I simply need to oil my chain …

Anyway, in other news, we have a new wee hare hanging out in the garden and it’s adorable. In contrast to the rabbit, we’re doing our best to ensure it can eat whatever it fancies in the garden in peace (indeed, if it wanted to come in and snack on the tomato and chilli seedlings in our hall, we’d probably let it).

young hare right outside front door

Who needs to use their front door anyway?

4 Responses to Taking the Long Road Home

  1. hexeres says:

    Awww, more hare pictures please!

  2. Good luck on your Edinburgh ride.

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