Go Bike!

Added on Monday 17 Mar 2008

Sunday March 3rd

Cosy in bed on a Saturday morning reading my book with coffee and toast Davy reminded me that it was the first Sunday in the month tomorrow and did I want to out with "Go Bike" on their "newcomer Friendly" 1st Sunday in the month rides.

Knowing that I really should get some more exercise I said yes of course! Thinking to myself Oh My God!!

So sure enough on the Sunday morning we were up bright and early to meet up with the others at Bells Bridge at 10.00a.m. I was really really nervous as I am not that fit and I was worried that it would be mad keen cyclists and that I would get left behind. Convincing myself that the worst that could happen was that I would need to leave the group and come back with Davy I stuck in there. I was very relieved to see some other women there and some "Newcomers" just like me. The Trip was to Bothwell Castle and back. For some reason I thought that it was a two hour cycle however I was soon to learn that it was more like a four hour run. Undaunted and chatting to some lovely people by now, all fourteen of us headed off. The trip out to Bothwell Castle was totally flat following the River Clyde Cycle Path and then the Clyde Calder route. By the time we reached Bothwell Castle I was really enjoying myself. Not a hard cycle at all!! There were a few casualties from our party of fourteen. One puncture repaired and back on the road but one guy who I never met slipped on the mud and fell. He returned home to Glasgow to get cleaned up. Hope you have recovered!

Photo: cyclists bothwell castle. Figure 1 Bothwell Castle with Grace's fab bike next to it.

Bothwell Castle was very interesting (we only looked at it from the outside) then on for lunch. The best part of any cycle - in my opinion other than the long gruelling hills, of course! What a find. The Angels Hotel in Uddingston. Lovely home made food and very welcoming to an invasion of cyclists. Davy and I only had soup and bread and shared a bowl of chips, (I'm not too keen on a big lunch and then having to cycle). After lunch one of our party went back on the train, which was a good option. For the rest of us we headed back the long way! Up through Blantyre, then High Blantyre then over near East Kilbride. A few hills but nothing too difficult and some lovely open countryside. For the thrill seekers amongst us there was some good downhills (not me I was on with the brakes). We then came back through Cambuslang, Rutherglen, Toryglen and back to the Glasgow Green finishing back at Bells Bridge. Unfortunately the weather on the way back changed and we had to cycle a while in hail stones. I did get a bit cold and a warm bath was required when I got home with a well deserved large glass of wine.

Photo: issi on bike waving. Would I go again? YES definitely. That's me waving in the picture. (am I smiling?) You can see that we are very visible. The "Go Bike!" leaders are very considerate and encouraging. They make sure that no-one is left behind and in my opinion you are not made to feel that you are holding others up. However I would be more organised. I would take an extra layer of something warm to wear as my shoulders got frozen, extra food to eat by the late afternoon as our light lunch was not enough to keep us going and I would expect to be away for the day and not just two hours!

"Go Bike!" is the Strathclyde Cycle Campaign.

"Go Bike!" stands for:

  • Safer roads (and better maintenance)
  • Safe, direct and well-signposted cycle routes
  • Improved integrated public transport which welcomes cyclists
  • Making Strathclyde progressive and cycle friendly

The rides out on a Sunday help you explore the countryside, cafes, pubs, within easy reach of Glasgow. "Go Bike" also have a regular printed newsletter, active email list and website to help you get informed about cycling developments in your area.

They also print a Glasgow Cycle map with over 750km of backstreet and designated cycle routes around Glasgow, as recommended by Go Bike members. - How useful is that!! Check out their website at www.gobike.org or phone/txt 07932460093

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