As some of my regular readers might remember I purchased a bike back in August. I thought long and hard before I spent the money, I did plenty of research based on my experience of the bikes I have been using when out volunteering with The Active travel hub. I knew what I liked and disliked and what I wanted out of it - a bike I could use for years to come. The money had to be invested right the first time as their would be no second chance. I also bought a bike carrier (not really sure how much I would use it) so I could consider cycle rides further away from home. But I have to say I cannot believe how much pleasure I am getting out of the bike.
My biggest drawback living where I do is I need to cycle on main roads to reach any cycle paths or roads. A lot of them round here rated as B roads that are used by buses and HGV's and can be busy at certain times of the day. Not only does this make it more dangerous for myself as a cyclist it also makes it difficult for the large vehicles to pass by safely and can be infuriating especially as I cycle defensively on roads as I was trained to do. I also fitted a mirror so I am aware of what is behind me.
|So of course I had to go and look her up. |
I am quite fortunate as I already had a new helmet and gloves I bought about a year ago with a voucher I won and never got round to wearing due to my shoulder problems last year. I already had pannier bags and a rack from my old bike that I kept and also have good quality waterproofs due to my regular cycling as well. My bike came with lights so that saved another expense. I have since purchased a flashing back light and a holder for my handle bars that holds my phone along with a power bank in case I need to charge on the go.
I always have mapmyride on as I have a habit of seeing a road and wondering where it goes, so I just wander where I want to and then if I am lost I can always look where I need to go or follow my own route back until I do know where I am.
My wanders vary, at the beginning I was doing 6-10 miles and finding my bum was numb but now I am cycling 25 miles plus. Some days I go somewhere specific, like cycling the 20 mile round trip to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions or into town to meet a friend, or see a new cache pop up and cycle the miles to pick it up, other days I just follow the front wheel and end up where I and up.
I have also started meeting up with one of the other volunteers for the ATH and her and I try and go out once a week together. The joy of this for me is she has cycled in this area for over thirty years and knows a lot more of the backroads than I do so it is of great benefit to me to learn them. I know know a way into Kilmarnock that only uses just over a mile of main road cycling and then onto various back roads and b roads.
|stopping to read signs and information boards. |
I was away on holiday for just over a week earlier in the month and used the bike carrier to take the bike with me. Lots of new roads cycled, I even found an underpass which saved crossing the A9. Added quite a few caches to my total while away as well. Ok it takes away from the cycling time but adds to the fun. I don't go out trying to beat any fast times or longest routes I go out to enjoy my time on the bike.
A lot of these items of sights I would not have seen had I just been driving round, getting out on the bike lets you read sign posts that tell bits or history. A heather hut reroofed by four local teenagers as
Looking forward to the next 500.