Riding for Respite - The nervous novice

14th July 2021

Here's a final report from a not so nervous novice!

Today saw me complete my self imposed challenge of 2x 400 miles in the ride for respite challenge!!

800 miles celebrated at the Leuchie gates with the fun of waving to Leuchie guests, Colin and Linda, as they returned from their outing. They must have wondered what the idiot with the bike was up to! It's been so much fun and I have gained so much more confidence on the road even though I'm still a novice!

Thank you to all who have supported me and Leuchie. I look forward to seeing the final total I have raised* but right now it's a wee G&T in the sun.

19th May 2021

Grace continues to clock up the miles in her amazing challenge of doing 500 miles for our #Ride4Respite campaign!

Here she shares a fantastic route which has us itching to get on our bikes.

Taking on challenges for Leuchie not only benefit us, it's clear to see Grace is loving her challenge! There are some exciting sponsored events coming up. Click here to find your challenge.

From Gifford and Beyond

Don’t be fooled! I’m not cycling from NB here! One lovely Sunday morning the Roberts headed out en famille in the car with bikes on the rack and headed to Gifford. Daughter and Hubby had a PLAN! And what a lovely one it was! I cycled roads I had never been on in my life and what views!!! It was a bit hilly though and the battery took a bit of a hammering. Hats off to daughter who has no battery!

The starting point and route
She made it!
Fundraising for us? Don't forget to ask us for your Leuchie t-shirt!

5th May 2021

I was asked to write a blog on my decision to take part in, and my experiences during the #Ride4Respite challenge so here goes!

Any of you who know me will know of my long standing relationship with Leuchie which makes some of this a no brainer. However, why this particular challenge? Well as a child I never had a bike. It was deemed dangerous during my early years in Edinburgh – no fairy bike for me! As a 16 year old my dad bought me a bike from Bobby Bertram’s shop on NB High Street. I did learn to ride it- sort of!! In later years my sister took it over. It wasn’t until I had two kids and a hubby on bikes that I really started to cycle. It was then I discovered that if my bike was suitable for my sister who was 4 inches taller than me, my original bike would never have been right for me. Since then I have gradually cycled more but am still a nervous novice by any standard. So this is a real challenge for me. A few years ago my husband bought me a GTech ebike so I could keep up with him when we did venture out. He cycled regularly with a group of friends (CICC). Now you’d think this would make life a lot easier but it brings a whole load of different challenges to a nervous novice, not least stopping!!! I have fallen off more often trying to stop than at any other time. I still can’t lift my bottom off the saddle and my turning circle is huge! Many manoeuvres are speed critical and I hate fast traffic. This is why I’m usually found out on the roads early in the morning if I’m on my own.

The benefit of this is I see lots of wild life and can take time to enjoy them all –boxing hares, deer, buzzards, a whole assortment of little finches, sky larks, pheasants in particular a Reeves pheasant. Did you know there’s at least one near Leuchie? This spell of lovely weather has encouraged me to take longer routes. So apart from raising money for Leuchie I’m gaining confidence and fitness and my mental health is benefitting too. It’s a win win situation and a real challenge. I vary my routes depending on the prevailing wind. See if you recognise any of the spots!

Westward Ho!

When the wind is out the west I tend to start off west so that it’s behind me on the way back. However as with all good plans it often doesn’t work as the wind swings round to the east as the day warms up and a sea breeze comes in! Another good reason for going out early as this is less likely to happen in the morning.

Here’s a few photos of and from my westerly routes:

Westward Ho!
A walk to the Carmelite Monastery ruin.
A wee detour to add a few extra miles up and back along the road to Myreton Motor Museum from Luffness.

East and South Routes!

The east and south routes either take me out along past Tantallon or out by Rhodes Holdings and Blackdykes. These are possibly my favourite routes. I certainly prefer returning home via Leuchie and Blackdykes as I find the traffic much easier to manage coming into NB from the east although it’s a bit of a push up the Rhodes Holdings hill at the end of a long cycle but I guess that’s what a motor is for!

Going East & South
Early morning views from the farm road between Seacliff and Scoughall. I love this ride. The scenery can be stunning and it’s so peaceful.
The Tithe Barn and kirk at Whitekirk.

I only pass the barn and kirk here early in the morning because the main road to Dunbar has so many lorries on it. I have to turn west at some point and one of my favourite roads is the Lawhead road back over to East Linton and these guys greet me sometimes!

Then there’s Prestonmill and the wonderful collection of trees at Markle Mains..

I'm really enjoying this! I'll continue to update you of my progress.

Grace's final total was £825! Thank you Grace. What an achievement!