Today I cycled with Stirling Bike Club again … loved it!

Today I cycled with Stirling Bike Club again and I absolutely loved it!

I went out with the intermediate group.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up to be honest.  I don’t have clip in shoes or pedals and just wear my hillwalking boots, and I’m riding a hybrid rather than a road bike.  I did say to the group leader, that if I couldn’t keep up, I’d just make my own way back, not wanting to spoil people’s ride … but he explained and everyone jumped in to reassure me that they would always wait, regroup and ride together.  

I didn’t have anything to worry about … I kept up just fine … although I did push myself in parts … riding up hills without clip in pedals is tough and I have to stand up out the saddle to use my body weight to stamp down on a harder gear to keep up.  Although cycling without a dog in a trailer is so much easier!!!  I remember last summer, when I cycled up the Bealach na Ba on a fully loaded bicycle, pulling a 13 kg trailer with a 17 kg dog in it.  Lol.  The gradients were so steep in parts that the weight behind me kept pulling the back wheel off, so I had to zip tie the quick release to the frame to allow me to cycle over the top!

The sun was shining on our ride and the Scottish landscape was truly incredible!  Sometimes I cycled in silence, sometimes I chatted away.  We cycled 46.5 miles, with 2,100 ft of climbing and it was so much fun. We even clocked up 42 mph on one of the downhills … I love downhills and was buzzing after! When I’m cycling on my own, I have absolutely no time for uphills and I’d rather cycle along the busiest of main roads, rather than taking a scenic route that has a hill … even if that hill could be mistaken for a speed bump, but when I’m cycling with a group, the uphills don’t bother me so much.

Neil Barker, the ride leader was fantastic … I think he could tell I was struggling in the final few miles … probably from the whimper I made lol and he slowed things right down. 

The rides left the Peak Sports Centre, at 10 am, but I arrived early to have coffee with Christina Mackenzie, who at 40 years old, is training to break the record for the fastest woman to cycle Lejog, which is from the very northern point of mainland UK (John O Groats) to the most southern point (Lands End).  She’s known as lejogmack online and I suggest you give her pages a wee follow … I found her very inspiring. 

My plan is working.  My mental health took a major dive over the winter months and I’m on a long NHS waiting list for psychological help, so I decided to join a local bike club to improve my mental health. After only one week, my mental health has improved drastically – my mood has lifted and my anxiety is disappearing!  Many years ago, I pedalled my way out of the gutters of life and the bicycle is coming to my aid yet again.  Bravo!

I’m just so thankful to everyone in the club for being so welcoming and friendly and for caring about each other.

When I got home, I ate a big pot of pasta, had a bubble bath and then a snooze on the couch with my dog Maria.  I then ate a whole pizza to myself!  Tomorrow, I was planning on taking Maria on a 5 day walk to Dundee, following the Fife coast and wild camping along the way.  But my legs are ‘gubbed’ … (scientific term lol) … so maybe I’ll just start walking on Monday.

Ishbel xxx

Todays intermediate route: Bridge of Allan, Keir, Hill of Row, Doune, Micro Braes to Thornhill, Mini Braes, main Braes of Greenock and to Port of Mentith where we’ll cut across to Arnprior & tackle the wee climb up to ToTW.

Stirling Bike Club Website

Lejogmack Facebook

Lejogmack Twitter

6 Replies to “Today I cycled with Stirling Bike Club again … loved it!”

  1. Climbing was bane of my life. No core strength. Descent was always heavenly & kamikaze 😂 squealing like a Banshee 😛 Sure miss it! Glad to hear the bike is wiping those winter cobwebs away. Today was the perfect day for it!
    Missing u loads. Lots to catch up on next time it in Glasgow! Much love to u & Maria. Lol e ❤

  2. Bloody well done Ishbel Holmes! I take my hat off to you! Your early life struggles have given you some strength of character. Just think…..would you be the person you are today without all that character building ape shit that got flung about back then? You dug deep and found the resources within you to spur you on. Wouldn’t the world just be a much greater place if everyone could just see they have the potential to have a different life if they just get off their backsides and divert their wasted time and energy into investing in themselves. You have! But more than that , you are sharing your amazing stories with anyone who listens, in a way we can all understand……you are such a great communicator, that has got to be your future. Inspiring young people to lift their heads and walk tall along the way. Why just young people for goodness sake?….I’m an old woman (though I’d slit your throat if you said that to me 😁)!! and I am truly in awe of your achievements and your captivating personality. You have such a lot to offer but make sure you take care of yourself along the way. Never lose sight of your very precious gifts and make sure you take what life has to offer as well as give back (as you’re already doing) to the betterment of those who follow in your journey. Xx

    1. Ha ha ha! ‘slit your throat’ part lol Thank you so much for your encouraging words 🙂 And you’re right … now in my life I’m thankful for my background! Every negative from the past I’m flipping into a positive for the present and future 🙂 xxx

  3. I am so pleased to read this. Cycling has obviously sparked off your brain chemicals so your mood is lifting. The longer day light hours will help too. Have a lovely back packing week – well nearly a week,

    1. Thanks so much Brenda! Yeah am hoping to head off tomorrow but a piece going out for BBC World next week still needs finalised so maybe Tuesday or Wednesday! 🙂 Whoohoo!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.