‘This’, I thought, as I cycled down the hill to Bigtown this morning to lead the latest Bigtownshire Cycle Campaign ride, ‘is exactly what I need right now after yesterday’ – ‘this’ being a bright if blowy winter morning, and ‘yesterday’ being an endurance test of a day spent travelling on a train, bus, two flights and a two hour drive back from Edinburgh Airport, getting in at half past one in the morning. There’s nothing like a good cycle ride to blow away the cobwebs after too much* time spent sitting in airports, especially when it involves a nice bunch of people who understand the importance of riding at the speed of chat, and a bonus visit to the only place Robert Burns drank in that wasn’t a pub.
And, indeed, if I wanted the cobwebs blown away, the day outdid itself. We knew as we headed out that it was going to be a bit of a slog on the way back, if only because we were bowling along without pedalling on an epic tailwind. There was some wild talk of the wind dropping a bit (if anything it got stronger) or even changing direction (if any cyclist in the history of ever has ever experienced a tailwind on the way out changing into a tailwind on the way home, I’d love to hear from them because in my experience you’d be more likely to experience a unicorn turning up to help you fix a puncture) but we knew in our heart of hearts that this was no more than talk.
We took our photos, were underwhelmed by this important local slice of history, and then there was nothing for it but to turn and face the wind and slog it home. Riding in company as far as Bigtown did at least offer a bit of shelter, and I had a companion for the first five miles back home again, but as I turned to tackle the hill, I was on my own and pretty much dead into the wind for the last mile and a half.
Reader, I made it. It hasn’t done much to help me learn to love headwinds, and nor was it exactly what my dodgy shoulder had in mind for ride home, but at least I can say that if there were any cobwebs, metaphorical or otherwise, lurking about my person, they are now thoroughly gone.
* anything longer than 20 minutes, in my opinion.