Saturday, 30 July 2011

Scotland Cycling Holiday Day 2

Another unusually sunny and hot summer's day, I got the train to Lochgelly then from memory of looking at the map the night before, I set off in the general direction to get to the lowland's biggest loch, Loch Leven.
I rode up to the little town of Scotlandwell which in the bright day had a distinct American feel to it - the long straight road leading through fields to the little township underneath the hill, then through Portmoak Moss wood to join the loch Levan heritage trail.

The loch has a small castle on an island in it that imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots for two years before her escape.

Loch Leven from above Cleish

After lunching by the lochside I climbed up following the NCN1- where every cyclist other than me was whizzing down the hill. I kept pushing, trying to look like it was a breeze and stopping to 'admire the view' when really I was having a quick breather.

I came off the road onto some fire track at the top of Blairadam forest and spent a leisurely time exploring some of the off road trails through the trees. The forest isnt purpose built for mountain biking and there are no off track signposted routes so it was rather hit & miss with the terrain and I had to stop & start quite alot. I was very grateful for some shade though.

Blairadam Forest
I followed some A & B roads back over the forth bridge to get to a pub I'd seen in south Queensferry the day before for some tea and a much appreciated cold pint and got in a little explore of the quint fishing village before heading back to the b&b.
S Queensferry

The route

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Scotland Cycling Holiday Day 1

Edinburgh and South Fife. Five days of glorious sunshine peddling & walking about in new territory.
I chose North Queensferry for my break, simply because it reminds me of my favourite place, San Francisco. It has a bay, it has bridges, it has hills and woodlands in the area and the gorgeous city of Edinburgh nearby.

view of the Forth Bridges

On my first day, I took it easy after the long drive up north. Twenty miles of gentle riding around the lovely bed and breakfast where I was staying, to get my bearings and to loosen up for the longer rides to follow. And of course to ride over the bridge first of all!

I pottered round the beautiful Forth Bridges down to Port Edgar marina. I love marinas - the sound of the sail masts clinging in the breeze is such  a delightful sound. 

Port Edgar

Back over the bridge and over Ferryhills down to Dalgety Bay to ride back along part of the Fife Coastal Path, through Inverkeithing and a little nature reserve. The path is great for riding on - some paved sections some dirt track (apart from one or two short flights of steps), it's sign posted well and the views are stunning.

Dalgety Bay

Looking towards Edinburgh & the Pentland Hills beyond

On my return to the b&b, I sat on the deck with a salad & glass of wine listening to the lull of the water and the occasional clatter of trains going over the bridge behind me.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

GirlBikeLove guest post
The fab girlbikelove has featured an article I did for them.

Been a busy week here, but all paid off - I have a fantastic promotion at work that I'm very excited about which starts in september so I can really enjoy my summer break now. Lots of riding!!
Back out on la velo tomorrow after missing a week's worth of beautiful evenings to prepare for the interview. Alas I did miss a gorgeous ride to go to the interview - would have been a good un Garstang ride

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Treacle Mines

Sabden & the Nick O Pendle
I'd been really looking forward to free wheeling & zooming down here. As I peddled up through the woods, it started raining & by the time I got to the top of the hill, it was hail stoning. Instead of a lovely whizz down whooping away as I usually do, I was shouting 'ow, ow, ow' with my eyes half closed as the stinging ice pellets got me. Obviously by the time I was ready to peddle back up the hill, the rains had stopped.
Sabden used to be famed for its treacle mines, sadly they're now closed, but I did visit when I was little.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Friday Commute Home

A stunning Friday, the sun beaming down, itching to get out of work I decided to ride home the long way :-) a perfect start to my weekend & powering up the hills is an ideal way to get shut of the working week too.
Up, up, up and onto the tops.

DSC00079 by missgeorgieo
Towards Haslingden Halo
DSC00085 by missgeorgieo
a very bumpy ride!