28th September 2018

An after-school cycle (23.6 miles)

I had not meant to make a webpage of today’s cycle but the scenery and the day were so nice I changed my mind mid-cycle and started taking photos with my phone.

I had decided to try a long cycle after school. It has been a stressful week. Three observations by senior management for our faculty review. I needed to de-stress. Also I had not been able to cycle this week due to weather and after school commitments.

Being old and a bit vacant I forgot to take money to school to purchase a wee picnic. However I found about £1.20 in one of the drawers on my teacher’s desk. I did my teaching and had lunch at school – a cheese sandwich, crisps and an apple. I cycled to the High Street and purchased a can of Irn Bru at Farmfoods (39p) and a small Dairymilk at the Spar and Post Office (75p). I then cycled by Saltburn, Barbaraville and Milton to Kildary. I stopped by the sea just outside Saltburn and wish now I’d taken a picture – it was just lovely. A strong wind carried me to Kildary. At Kildary I turned left to cycle up to the Scotsburn Road. This junction turning left takes you up to Scotsburn. I was really enjoying the day so I had to get my phone out and take a picture.

Beyond Scotsburn the road crosses the Strathrory River which I had crossed earlier at Kildary where it is known as the Balnagowan River.

It is autumn – rose hips.

It was a slog into the wind along the Scotsburn road.

And then at Kinhrive I turned right up to Ardross. This is at Wester Kinhrive.

I turned off right into the woods for my picnic. I deliberately didn’t go to Loch Achnacloich today. It is one of my favourite spots, but one of my ex-pupils, Kyle, hung himself there a couple of weeks ago. He was a really nice boy and was only 19. He had done one year at university. But why? There is too much pressure on our young people from all sorts of sources.

But this was a lovely spot for my picnic. Away from it all. I had taken the Pom-Bear crisps from home – an adult taste!

The 12.8 miles is the distance from the school. I had cycled 5.8 miles from the house to the school in the morning.

Achnacloich is ahead.

The turn off to Loch Achnacloich. Now it will probably forever bring sad memories. You don’t really see the loch from the road.

Looking back.

Harvest time at Ardross.

Ardross crossroads is maybe just over two miles from home. That’s the way North.

And the way West.

But the way home is left and it is downhill all the way to Newbridge, a bit of a climb to get back up and then Contullich.

This was such an enjoyable cycle. I haven’t done more than cycle to school since developing my hernia in the Spring. At first I was so tentative thinking I might cause severe damage. Its great to know I can still do it. I think that’s what made the cycle so special.