I have some diverse bike things in the pipeline for 2015, with a weekend residential for Belles on Bikes in March, Pedal on Parliament in April, an 11 day cycle tour around the Outer Hebrides booked for the summer, various CTC Scotland bits and bobs, and the ongoing irritation of trying to strengthen my offending right knee. I am also in the market for a road bike and nervously look forward to clipping in for the first time in 2015. So many exciting things!
Saying that, 2014 was far from a write off from a two-wheeled perspective. So, as I cycle away from 2014 and welcome all these new events and challenges, now is an excellent time to recap my last year in cycling.
Highlights of 2014 include my two-day visit to Arran in May with the Lothian Cyclists, my first ever cycle touring experience. I think I caught the touring bug on this stunning island…
Mountains at the peak of the hill after Lochranza
Triumphantly knackered at the summit of the hill after Lochranza
I had a brilliant 2014 with Belles on Bikes Edinburgh, helping to get the women’s cycling group off the ground with some other dedicated women in the city. We now have over 160 members and the group continues to grow, showing a real need for relaxed cycling opportunities for women.
I was trained up as a Belles ride leader, learned first aid, achieved a Velotech Bronze mechanics qualification and made new friends and connections through all the female participants and other ride leaders across Scotland. Plus, we got to cycle around Edinburgh and its local environs and take to the roads on a two-day residential in Perthshire. What’s not to love?
The tourer in Pitlochry on the Belles on Bikes weekend
Amazing low traffic routes in Perthshire
As well as Perthshire and Arran, the bike took me to a wide range of spectacular locations throughout the year…
Cycling the quiet B roads of Skye in an enormous helmet!
Two-wheeled Pentlands visit during winter.
Jumping on the bike at the top of Mount Tiede National Park in Tenerife – what a view!
Big smiles in the desert landscapes of Mount Tiede National Park in Tenerife, just before cycling 22 miles downhill
Winter views across Threipmuir Reservoir in the Pentlands
On top of exploring and touring, I managed to rack up around 2,000 miles of utility cycling coupled with my daily commute. Miles that accumulated without even trying; trips to the bloke’s flat, visiting friends, going to the shops, getting from A to B. All that otherwise dead time filled with (for the most part) enjoyable bike trips along the city’s extensive path network and a bit of on-road riding.
All in all, I’d say 2014 was an excellent foundation upon which to build my year of cycling in 2015. I don’t have too much in the way of resolutions, other than get my knee sorted and get fitter and faster. To help with both of these aims, I’ve started hill training around Arthur’s Seat and it almost feels like a pleasure rather than a challenge with these views.
View from Arthur’s Seat 5.5km circular route
Do you have any objectives or plans for 2015? Maybe you want to clock up some serious miles, get a particular route under your belt, try a different type of cycling or get on your bike for the first time in a while? I’d love to hear any of your resolutions! 🙂
So here’s to a happy 2015, filled with plenty bikey goodness, wonderful adventures, good company and excellent Scottish weather (well, we can always hope…).