Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A Birthday Bike Ride

Summer has sashayed on to some other space, with autumn ambling into the southern part of the Apple Isle. We've seen a gradual cooling off over the past couple of weeks. Autumn can be a brilliant time of year for biking but yesterday morning saw heavy and complete cloud cover early. At least it wasn't raining, although the forecast suggested showers were possible.

Hey, you only get one birthday per year, right? Dianne had booked herself into an early morning exercise class and was then going off to visit her Mum. I really wanted to get out on the bike, despite having a heavy cold that had returned after our Cygnet ride five days earlier. I had deliberately taken it easy on that ride, conscious of the fact that this cold has been hanging around for awhile now, and seems to reassert itself every time I try to do something.

Reasoning that things would be fine if I took it easy and just went out to Granton and back, I set off at a very easy pace. Flat riding, almost no wind, everyone else going to work - great therapy, eh! And didn't it feel good! I've been hanging around for days, mostly talking to a handkerchief. As a bit of a diversion, we did take ourselves off to see Hail Caesar! the other day, and that relieved the boredom very nicely. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but we loved the offbeat humour and many nods to the Hollywood film industry of the 1950's.

As I rolled out along the bike path enjoying the feeling of cruising along on the bike once again, I thought I might go just a bit further so that I could get the fifty kilometres that Di and I have set as a baseline distance for our training rides. I thought that I might give her a call when I turned around just past the entrance into Stefano Luciano winery and osteria to see if she wanted to join me for breakfast at Jackman & McRoss in New Town.  

Then I thought some more ... wouldn't be even better to ride my age on this, my birthday morning of  peaceful pedalling? This idea fit in well with crossing the bridge and heading up to the bakery in Brighton for a quiet, solo breakfast. So that's exactly what I did. Here's the Cannondale parked in front of the bakery ...

Inside I went for a French breakfast: des croissants, du confiture et du café. Merveilleux!
A lovely peaceful way to start my birthday. And I was lucky enough to have the bakery almost all to myself, as it was just on 9:00 a.m. and everyone else was already at work.

After a pleasant pause, back on the bike I got. An uneventful ride brought me back into Bridgewater, and the approach to the Bridgewater Bridge. It's something of a relic and really needs replacing, but it looks unlikely that the funds are going to be made available any time soon. 

Anyway, as I was coming into the roundabout just before the bridge a garbage truck came trundling past, going just slightly faster than me. CarpĂ© Diem was the first thing that crossed my mind and on his tail I jumped! He had slowed a little leading into the roundabout, so it was easy to get on, and I managed to stay on for the kilometre and a half to the roundabout on the other side of the river at Granton. I stole a couple of quick glances down at the speedo while I was on the tail of this fortuitous truck and was chuffed to see that I was zipping along at 55 kilometres per hour. (Even an old fart of 61 likes to get a little rush every now and again. Hmmm. Pity I didn't get up to my new age, eh!)

The rest of the ride home was nice and cruisy despite the slight headwind,which I could hardly complain about since I'd had the benefit of it being on my behind on the way out.

My age came up on the computer just a kilometre or so before arriving home. (Of course it's much easier for those of us who live in countries that speak the international language of kilometres that it is for those of you who are domiciled in the UK and USA.) The return journey from home to the Heritage Bakehouse is normally just under 62 kilometres, but I'd detoured to say hello to John the Carbon Repair Man in Brighton (who wasn't in his workshop as it turned out) so I got up and over the 62 kilometre mark.

I had a quiet afternoon while Di prepared a delicious dinner, and a new watch arrived in the post: something special to use on the big hike we're doing in the Alps later in the year. The day was topped off beautifully with the arrival of our dinner guests, friends visiting from the mainland, who came bearing gifts even though they weren't aware it was my birthday. What a beauty! Now, if someone can just shut off the green stream that is coming out of my head, things would really be peachy ...