Addled and High!

When Mood Music
2012-09-09 19:04:00 pleased Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

We’ve just done the ‘Pedal for Scotland’ Glasgow to Edinburgh run. It’s just under 48 miles, and we did it in 4 hours 16 minutes of pedalling. I’m going to call that 4 hours because of the many stops and delays. So that’s an average of 12 mph as far as I’m concerned.

I’m happy to count the two miles from our hotel near the SECC to the start at Glasgow Green and another couple of miles getting home from the finish-point at Murrayfield. So I think that’s 52 miles: Elly and Fidel’s first over-50 mile trip and I’m sure it’s not the last. It’s a big event and very well marshalled. I do have a couple of gripes:

  • We were at the start area for 8am but queued for ages to actually start.
  • People were started in groups of around 40, with no sorting by speed. I’d have preferred the event to have been arranged so that the people likely to take the shortest times were started first. Starting people ‘first come first served’ had several disadvantages:
    • Riders became bunched and boxed in behind slower riders ahead of them.
    • This led to impatient riders breaking out of the lanes set aside for them, and to at least one crash en route. (This rider wasn’t wearing a helmet so I don’t have that much sympathy.)
    • Big queues at feeding stations and to restart after feeding stations.
    • A big bunch at a hill about 5 miles into the ride: everyone was told to dismount and walk.
    • On other hills, less competent riders stopping suddenly as they found they couldn’t achieve these hills – causing emergency stops and other panics behind them. Not fun for those of us using SPDs or toe-cages.
    • My right knee is slightly sore from lots of stopping and starting.
  • A couple of miles of road where all the tarmac had been removed.

But these are minor, tiny gripes. The event was very well organised, marshalled and signed. I’m sincerely grateful to the many people involved in organising and staffing it. This gratitude naturally extends to all the sponsors apart from the Sun newspaper (do I need to say why?) and a private hospital. (I’m happy to explain why elsewhere.)

For most of the ride, Radio Bruce was playing the Manics’ Sleepflower. Radio Elly was a bit more genteel. I’m also pleased that jPhone lasted from leaving the hotel. (Here’s one solution to that problem: very unsubtle hint.) It was also very pleasing to catch up with yesterday. And finally I repeat how proud I am that Elly did this ride, powering up hills, using her momentum, even overtaking while going uphill, being stable enough to be passed energy bars without stopping, not being upset by roadents overtaking her, and showing she is a cyclist.

Photos are © someone else, so please don’t pinch them.

Passing through Murrayfield Close-up
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By the way, the post title is a slight knock at the main sponsors, purveyors of cow milk. But I’m sure you guessed that already. Can any vegan company replace them? Are there any other vegan cyclists out there?


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