Friday 4th May
The lows are thankfully usually followed by highs and yesterday was one of them. Reading all of your messages of support definitely contributed to that. Thank you to all of you for always being there for me.
I was hopeful that the wind that kept waking me up would dry my tent overnight and I was right, when I woke up at 6am my tent was perfectly dry, that was until it poured with rain 15 minutes later. Again I had a wet tent to pack away. But this morning it didn’t matter, it was going to be a better day and I set off with a huge smile on my face.
I spent the morning on little countryside back roads and farm tracks with very little traffic, a few of the roads were closed so I had to make a couple of diversions none of which added too much to the route. It was bright and everything was very green and agricultural. The sea was in sight and I could see lots of large fishing and container vessels in the distance.
I started entering Aberdeen, noticeable by some tower blocks in the distance, my route took me round onto the Boulevard on the edge of the city, who knew Aberdeen was so beautiful? I think the sun certainly had something to do with it. I chatted to a gentleman on the beach after he jokingly asked for a lift on my trike! The route continued round to the harbour area where there were some absolutely huge container ships docked. It was industrial but very clean. As I crossed the river into Torry, the street was lined with fish factories ready to receive and sort everything the fishing vessels bring in.
Shortly after Aberdeen Lisa, a fellow EDS sufferer, found me on the road and we had a quick chat which gave me a massive morale boost.
National cycle route 1 was slightly diverted due to works to expand the harbour. It turned into a track which followed the rough direction of the road, at a few points I had to get off and wiggle my trike through narrow gaps and navigate the gates. Quite quickly I became fed up of the cycle path and headed back onto the quiet road. The quiet road then hit the not so quiet A90. This was a fast dual carriageway but luckily had a path along the side.
This path lasted for quite a number of miles, unfortunately the path appeared to fall down the side of a hill and then turned into a mud track. I tried to cycle the mud track but my back wheel kept digging in and I kept having to get off to release it.
That was it! I had to cycle on the fast dual carriageway. This was only for a mile and I would have to brave it. The vehicles could see me quite a long way back, I kept checking my my rear view mirror and kept both hands firmly on the handlebars as it was incredibly windy and every time a lorry passed I had to fight to stay on the same line. All was going really well until a van drove past and slowed down so the passenger could take a video of the idiot cycling on the dual carriage way. This held up all the traffic and the lorry behind it beeped me ferociously and the car behind shouted some not very nice words! The B road towards Stonehaven couldn’t come quickly enough.
Jane was waiting for me as I cycled down the hill. Jane had come all the way from home, from Wokingham! Not to see me but to spend the weekend with her family near Aberdeen. She had borrowed her dad’s bike to cycle with me for the afternoon, we both cycle together most Sundays with the club. This was just the boost I needed, we had fish and chips and visited the sweet shop then continued on the route.
We chatted the whole way and tried to ignore the fierce headwind. It was tough work but very rewarding the countryside was beautiful and every time Jane saw the sea she marvelled in it’s beauty with ‘ooo and ahh’ sounds. Every time I look at the sea it’s different, a different colour, a different coastline. We both learnt that there are daffodil farms in this part of Scotland, which are just in bloom whereas Jane said she had already cleared the ones in her garden away!
Jane kept me company all the way to my end point in Montrose where we had a quick drink before she got the train back to her car. It was fantastic to have company this afternoon, it has made me miss home and all the club riders though!
Danny is on his way up north to cycle with me for the weekend, will hopefully meet tomorrow morning, so I am pretty excited!