Cycling: Cross Country


Yesterday I took a 70 mile cycle along the East Coast from Edinburgh via Musselburgh, North Berwick, and Dunbar. It was a really nice day for cycling as there was only a gentle breeze and a nice spring sun, whilst not being too hot like in the middle of the summer. I can now say that I have cycled the whole way along the East Lothian Coastal Trail, and across the Scotland-England Border.

Between Port Seton and Gullane there was a very high number of cyclists travelling in the opposite direction. Many of them were bunched up in groups. Most were wearing proper lightweight cycling gear and using road racers, unlike me.

At North Berwick I didn’t stop this time, I just kept going. Shortly after, just outside Tantallon Castle, I stopped for a quick drink and take my fleece of since it was getting rather warm.

Until North Berwick the road was fairly busy in comparison to the rest of the journey where the roads were a lot quieter. This was probably just as well after Dunbar as many of the vehicles beside you can be travelling at speeds of 60 or 70 miles per hour. There are some parts of the journey that had sections specifically for cyclists, which was nice. It would however have been better if there were more of them.

At Dunbar I took a short break for lunch and set on my way again. It was about 1pm, so I had another 3 or 4 hours to cycle the next nearly 30 miles to Berwick (the next station on the East Coast Mainline). I headed into the unknown.

At one point I decided to deviate of the A1 to go along some of the back roads, and ended up in some bay with a single track road and at the bottom was a caravan park. Heading back up the other side was so steep I had to get off and push the bike up the hill. Next time I’ll either keep to the roads I know, or take a map with me.

I managed to surprise myself as I thought that it would be dark even before I got to the English border. Even so the sun had already set, it was still light enough until I got into Berwick upon Tweed.

The train back home cost me £10.10 with my young person railcard. It seems that once you are going a larger distance, it doesn’t matter which of the Edinburgh stations that you go to, even if you have to change trains, it still costs the same, which is nice.

Cycling: North Berwick this time

On Saturday I took a 30 mile cycle out to North Berwick. The tail (westerly) wind did help, and helped my decision on whether to cycle west, north or east.
I took a couple of stops along the way for refreshments. I got into North Berwick about 5pm, just as the sun was setting.
When I got to the train station, the train was due to leave in about 5 minutes time. There was an announcement to say that it was 10 minutes late. Did it appear? Nope. The next one appeared and left on time though. One thing that I noticed is that with the train being electric, it is considerably quieter than the desiel trains that run between Edinburgh-{Glasgow, Bathgate, Fife via Stirling}.

Cycling: Riccarton to Falkirk & 2 punctures in a fortnight

A week past Wednesday, I took a cycle straight from university along the Union canal to Falkirk. It was the furthest West I have cycled along the canal towpath. It was an enjoyable quiet cycle that too just over 4 hours. I needed the exercise.

I even got around to taking a few of pictures on the way. The two photos attached to this post were taken only a few minutes apart, a short distance apart.

I’ve now seen the Falkirk Wheel, for the first time. As it was very dark by then the pictures of it didn’t come out well.

After getting into Falkirk around 8pm, I popped into Tesco for a quick shop, before hopping on the train with my bike home.

The next day I had some horrible slow puncture that got rapidly worse that meant I had to push the bike home. It was a lovely thorn that was stuck in the tyre that caused the puncture. Pushing the thorn out and patching the inner tube seems to have fixed it. The hardest part of the repair was tyre back on to the wheel, but I managed.

Yesterday I managed to get another puncture, this time on the other tyre. It was caused by a bit of glass 8mm long and about 2-4mm wide. It caused so much damage to the inner tube that meant that patching it just didn’t work. So after a couple of failed attempts I stuck in a new inner tube.

Cycling from Sighthill to Linlithgow

Yesterday I took a cycle along the union canal. I set out, without deciding exactly where I would turn back. The sun had already set, so it pretty dark going along most of the canal.
It’s starting to get colder as the puddles on the tow path were starting to freeze in a few places.
By the time I was 6 miles away from Linlithgow, my bike light was become rather dull, with the warning light on. As I wouldn’t have enough light to get all the way back home from there, I decided to take the train from Linlithgow to Edinburgh Park station for £3.30. At Edinburgh Park I was the only one to get off the train. It was only about 5 minutes from there home.
Acording to Google Earth, I cycled about 19 miles in around 2 hours.