Archive for July, 2011
Had a great days cycling on Saturday in quite glorious weather. Starting at Fisherrow in Musselburgh, my friend Phil and I followed the path round Esk out to Whitekirk and from there, took the top road through Prestonpans and, after the nasty bit of road on the other side, crossed the level crossing, and got onto some lovely country roads.
As we passed the Garlton, we thought we would have lunch up by the monument. We locked our bikes at the foot of the hill and made the assent. It is fairly steep at the top, and a challenge for me at the best of time, but trying to clamber up the rock with my cycle shoes on was lots of fun.
It was the day of the East Fortune Air Show so we sat watching bi-planes and a chopper flying around.
After lunch and with cleats still intact we made for Gullane for a desperately needed coffee and then onto North Berwick where we sat but the harbour with an ice cream.
Why is there a picture of a skier here you might ask yourself? Well, it all started 10 years ago in Glenshee. A friend of mine was making a day trip one new year to the ski slopes of Glenshee and invited me along. I, without thinking, said no. I thought I would wait until had mastered the art of walking before I thought about strapping planks to my feet and venturing onto the snow with them.
After a day of rolling around in the snow at Glenshee I was instantly hooked on skiing. Since then I learned to ski at Hillend in Edinburgh and have been fortunate enough to make several trips to The Alps to ski with my good friends David and Anne at Ski Hame.
I took up cycling simply because I thought it would help strengthen my legs for skiing. I had a holiday booked and wanted to train as hard as I could so that I would enjoy my ski holiday better. The rest is history as they say. I got hooked on cycling as well and joined a couple of clubs in Edinburgh who have been tremendously supportive to me.
Getting started can be the difficult bit but if you can get into the right Mindset for it, your a half way there. If you are fortunate enough to live in Scotland like me, wet, windy and cold wether is something you have to put up with and, on a winters day or night, dragging yourself off the sofa to go and train can be tuff.
For me there were a number of reasons I wanted to train and here are some of them below.
- I wanted to be fit. The fitter you are, the more you can do, and the more you enjoy doing it. Sound obvious ok, but being fit in itself isn’t enough, I needed reason to be fit.
- To Loose Weight. Not always easy but the link I provide here is a valuble resourse.
- To achive more, be the best I can be.
- Most of all, for me, is to feel good. Cycling and fitness in general makes me feel great.
Making me feel good, improving my mental health, and generally improving mysefl is the biggest draw of training for me and in the one that gets me off the sofa on a cold winters day. I’ll be talking about the feel good factor that cycling brings me in future posts!
I have cerebral palsy and you had said to me a couple of years ago that I would be regularly jumping on my bike and going out and cycling upwards of 40 miles at a time, I’d of laughed in your face. But that exactly what I’m doing a couple of times in a week usually and I feel fantastic.
When I tell people that I have been out and done a 40 mile run that morning most people say, I don’t know how you do that or, I could never do that. Well I disagree. I think anybody could do it but the key is knowing how.
Over the next few weeks I am going to be giving you an insight into how I got fit for cycling, and how you could do the same. Starting from very little or no fitness at all I will be taking you through the steps you need to take in the beginning, giving advice on the gear that you need and help you create your own training schedule. Meantime, before we get started you might want to read the following resourse to get some inspiration and to put you is the mood!
According to the Cycle Touring Club CTC, that despite the terrible winters we have had in recent years, the rates of cycling continue to rise. More and more people are using the bicycle as a mode of transport and are starting to commute on them.
Unfortunately, the accident rate for cycling is not coming down any. Despite a gradual improvement in cycling facilities, accident rates, although about half of what they were in the 1990s, remain what they were in the last few years.
Although local authorities are putting money into to create cycle ways and better bike lanes, many drivers seem unconcerned about cyclist. A few incidents have been caught on camera lately that show shows that many drivers still have a healthy disrespect for cyclists. What would it take for cycling to be made much safer and for cyclists to be respected as equal road users?
I think the government has to continue to put more money into creating cycling facilities. Although a good start has been made in terms of cycle lanes and things, much more needs to be done. As well as creating designated cycle lanes, still need more places to lock bikes. I’m glad to see some bike lanes in bright red colour but we need many many more of them. Roads need repaired constantly especially if we continues to get the harsh winters we have been getting. Most of all though I think we need a campaign to educate drivers of the dangers of cycling and harsher penalties for those who break them.
Cycle helmets are nothing new, in fact they have been around since 1975 but I suppose in more recent time, the past 2 years , they have become increasingly more popular I would wager that the vast majority of cyclists are now wearing one.
I came off my bike a fortnight ago and cant’ remember much about what actually happened that day day, although of the little that I do remember, I recall my head thumping off the ground. I split the side of my helmet and was grateful the it was my helmet I split and not my head. I have to admit that before this happened I have been lackadaisical about wearing my helmet and not always convinced they were necessary. I don’t need any convincing now however and, after events of a fortnight ago, won’t go out without one.
Interestingly, helmets have never been made compulsory and some of the leading cycling agencies sit very firmly on the fence. The CTC for example will not endorse the compulsory use of helmets despite being made the law in some countries. Some of the old school riders in my club still refuse to wear one but I am glad to see that kids are growing up with wearing a helmet on the bike as the norm.
Here is an interesting website about cycle helmets. Hope you find it interesting and I would be delighted if you would share your thoughts with me.
Went to go cycling today but my confidence has definitely been dented by the accident last week. I am only very very grateful that nothing more serious happened and I have not been off my bike at all.
I did go out and did a couople of laps of Arthur Seat. It is quite steep near the top but I enjoyed it. Must do that moe often as it must be good training.
I thought it was about time that I started to describe how I got into cycling and how I came to start writing this blog. I do hope people will find this interesting to read and will enjoy my writings and my story.
So here it come, how did I get into cycling. Well I’m afraid you will have to wait a bit longer because in order to answer this, I have to begin by telling you how I got into skiing. You wonder which came first, chicken or the egg, the cyclist or the skier. In this case it was the skier. So look out for my post about how I got into skiing and I will tell you more about my cycling story in part 2.
Back out on my bike today following a short break after coming off. Friend and I did about 20 mile just down to Silverknowes and along to Cramond. Stopped at what looked like a nice coffee place at Cramond, in fact the only coffee place at cramond. Service slow but coffee good. Felt a bit like a March Morning when we went back out as it was pretty chilly. ow I got a bit of confidence back again I’m planning to get out again tomorrow.
Hoping to get back on the bike tomorow after having a few days off after my fall. Still have no idea why I came off, whether I caught an edge or hit a pot hole etc. I was hoping I might had worked it out by now but still have no idea.
Meeting my friend Tom, forcast good and looking forward to it.