The Nervous Novice Riding for Respite

I was asked to write a blog on my decision to take part in, and my experiences during the #Ride4Respite challenge so here goes! 

Any of you who know me will know of my long standing relationship with Leuchie which makes some of this a no brainer. However, why this particular challenge? Well as a child I never had a bike. It was deemed dangerous during my early years in Edinburgh – no fairy bike for me! As a 16 year old my dad bought me a bike from Bobby Bertram’s shop on NB High Street. I did learn to ride it- sort of!! In later years my sister took it over. It wasn’t until I had two kids and a hubby on bikes that I really started to cycle. It was then I discovered that if my bike was suitable for my sister who was 4 inches taller than me, my original bike would never have been right for me. Since then I have gradually cycled more but am still a nervous novice by any standard. So this is a real challenge for me. A few years ago my husband bought me a GTech ebike so I could keep up with him when we did venture out. He cycled regularly with a group of friends (CICC). Now you’d think this would make life a lot easier but it brings a whole load of different challenges to a nervous novice, not least stopping!!! I have fallen off more often trying to stop than at any other time. I still can’t lift my bottom off the saddle and my turning circle is huge! Many manoeuvres are speed critical and I hate fast traffic. This is why I’m usually found out on the roads early in the morning if I’m on my own. 

The benefit of this is I see lots of wild life and can take time to enjoy them all –boxing hares, deer, buzzards, a whole assortment of little finches, sky larks, pheasants in particular a Reeves pheasant. Did you know there’s at least one near Leuchie? This spell of lovely weather has encouraged me to take longer routes. So apart from raising money for Leuchie I’m gaining confidence and fitness and my mental health is benefitting too. It’s a win win situation and a real challenge. I vary my routes depending on the prevailing wind. See if you recognise any of the spots! 

Westward Ho! 

When the wind is out the west I tend to start off west so that it’s behind me on the way back. However as with all good plans it often doesn’t work as the wind swings round to the east as the day warms up and a sea breeze comes in! Another good reason for going out early as this is less likely to happen in the morning. 

Here’s a few photos of and from my westerly routes:

A walk to the Carmelite Monastery ruin.

 

A wee detour to add a few extra miles up and back along the road to Myreton Motor Museum from Luffness

East and South Routes!

The east and south routes either take me out along past Tantallon or out by Rhodes Holdings and Blackdykes. These arpossibly my favourite routes. I certainly prefer returning home via Leuchie and Blackdykes as I find the traffic much easier to manage coming into NB from the east although it’s a bit of a pech up the Rhodes Holdings hill at the end of a long cycle but I guess that’s what a motor is for!

 

Early morning views from the farm road between Seacliff and Scoughall. I love this ride. The scenery can be stunning and it’s so peaceful.

The Tithe Barn and kirk at Whitekirk. I only pass here early in the morning because the main road to Dunbar has so many lorries on it. I have to turn west at some point and one of my favourite roads is the Lawhead road back over to East Linton and these guys greet me sometimes!

Then there’s Prestonmill and the wonderful collection of trees at Markle Mains..

I'm enjoying this! And will continue to update you with my progress and new routes!