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Finding the joys of cycling (again)

As a child I was lucky enough always to have a bike. We had a static caravan on a site in the Scottish Borders and I used to go out and 'play on my bike' whenever we were there.

Fast forward 35 years and I have a bike again!! 

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It all started when my husband and I took trip to Centre Parcs - just the two of us.  My daughters were away abroad on holiday with their aunties. We wanted to get away for a few days but were unsure where to go.  Centre Parcs looked appealing and we decided to book a few days there and hire bikes!   Once checked in we immediately got our bikes and headed off to explore. I had forgotten how much fun cycling was. It took a while to get used to the gears, and the hills, but with each hill we went up, we got to freewheel down too!! Bums and legs were sore the 2nd day but we got back in the saddle and explored again.  The fresh air and euphoric feeling whilst on a bike were fantastic. 

Once back from this short break, we had the cycling bug.  Within 1 week my husband and I had both purchased bikes! We took time to look at various bikes and settled on hybrid bikes.  We also bought padded fingerless cycling gloves for the hands and a padded seat cover for the rear!  They both make all the difference. I sometimes get pins and needles in my hands whilst cycling but the gloves do help.

Each week up until about October we tried to go out on our bikes. Either at night or a longer ride at a weekend. Initially we only ventured 5 or 6 miles. We research routes and try where possible to use cycle routes and not main roads.  There are areas and places such as the Fallin Bing, I never knew existed until I used the cycle route.

Initially I was very self-conscious when cycling. I would pass other cyclists dressed head to toe in cycling outfits speeding past effortless while I trudged along! I soon realised it doesn't matter what you wear as long as you are comfortable and have layers on which you can take off/on when need be.  I ventured out once, by myself, and my tyre slid on a high dropped kerb and I came off my bike. That was a sore one and resulted in staved fingers and skint knees! It took me a couple weeks to get back on my bike, but I did it! I now go out with my husband and avoid kerbs!!

HStewart2.pngOur longest rise was around 18 miles.  I thoroughly enjoyed MOST of it! We hadn’t intended to go so far so the few jelly babies I had for extra energy didn’t work. We had to stop at a local shop in Alloa for some well needed provisions! After that I was raring to go again! 

I am a fair-weather cyclist so have missed it over the winter.  I still have a bit of fear when it is wet and don't have proper waterproof kit to head out - excuses I know!  Cycling gives you such a great feeling – imagine a flat road, no traffic, the sun on your face and whizzing along.  It can be very peaceful and keeps you fit at the same time! 

I cycle as a form of exercise but due to a change of work base I may begin cycling to and from work!! 

Roll on the better weather and lighter nights!!