On cycling to North Berwick

I was supposed to be doing a 200km Audax last Sunday, but it got cancelled due to the weather and I have to say I was quite relieved. So instead I had a bit of a run up into the Pentlands on Saturday, which was fun if icy and windy. On Sunday I got my bike out and decided to go east, thus getting the headwind out of the way first! I dug out some of my winter hillwalking baselayers and was actually quite warm enough (apart from my feet…)

So I pootled off into the wind. I’d cycle for a bit and think “oh this isn’t too bad” and then would turn a slight corner and get the full benifit of the wind and think “actually, this is quite bad”. The worst bit was between Dirleton and North Berwick where there was also hail, just for fun… I couldn’t find a cafe I like the look of in North Berwick (I wonder if the Seabird Center would be good – it was so windy there that I didn’t even fancy trying to get to it to have a look!). The other cafes are mostly on the High Street and front right onto the road, so there isn’t anywhere to leave a bike where you can keep an eye on it. Another time I might try the Museum of Flight – well sometime it would be fun to cycle there and see the museum! I got a coffee and a burger in the chippy on Quality Street in the end. Then I went up to Athelstaneford and down to Aberlady and back along the coast road – only now I had a tail wind, of course, and I enjoyed that a lot. In Musselburgh I could just sit with the car traffic with just a bit of a sprint to get up to speed.

It was a bit of a bad day for close passes – especially on the way out. I do wonder what goes through people’s minds sometimes, that they can’t wait 30 seconds to let a bicycle clear a narrow spot, or move to give plenty of space when there’s nothing coming the other way. My feeling is that most people just don’t think. “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” – according to Wikipedia “…widely attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte…” well I didn’t know that. I also got a rather amusing “left-hook” from a group of cyclists who were going faster than me, moved out to pass, and then decided to pull in to the car park on the left, cue much braking all round… incompetence on the part of the leader, I think…

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