Sunday, 21 February 2010

Bike rides

Bike rides often produce, involve or are associated with good experiences. The physical act of going somewhere under your own steam is a kind of declaration. In the background is the thought ‘I can go to a place… lets say, Edinburgh, and I don’t have to rely on my car or the bus. Maybe that’s why I like going to a particular place, perhaps to visit someone, or on holiday, moving from one place to another. I like travelling to Pats place in Leith, on my bike. It’s about 20 miles and the route passes through countryside to Macmerry and Tranent and then on to the city and Portobello. There is the sea along the prom and the aggressive city driving, so lots of contrast and interest. Another thing… when I set out I know where I am going, but I don’t know the details of the plot… things happen en route. It could be a rude van driver gesticulating at me near Tranent, as happened this morning, or I could meet someone I know and stop at the beach café on the prom for a cappuccino.

The trip to Pat’s last night had all the right ingredients. There was bright sunshine, a cold breeze, and the miles slipped by. The sea at Portobello was calm apart from the constant arrival of perfect waves, which were a surfer’s delight.

Getting to Pats place was only the start of the journey. Once I had changed, we sped over to Wegieland and a party to celebrate the refurbishment of a Terry and Danny’s classically designed Victorian house. Good food and wine made for a relaxed evening and I got talking to Anne Marie Hughes and her husband Richard Cox. It turned out that Anne Marie is a very good runner and her husband is the sports psychologist of the Scotland rugby team. It was a pleasure to find out that Anne Marie has run in quite a few races that I have run and that we have a lot of mutual friends. Richard has also been a runner, but his passion now is rugby. Richard’s stories about his involvement in international rugby were a pure delight.

Cycling home through Musselburgh and up the hill to Tranent I thought ‘ the nights are getting lighter and I will be able to get out on my bike a lot more in the next few months.’

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