Yesterday Handsome and three of his colleagues took part in the fifty-one mile long Pedal for Scotland challenge from Glasgow to Edinburgh – I think it was a bonding experience for them! I dropped Handsome and no. 2 off at Glasgow Green in the morning (with bikes, obviously), they met another colleague there, no. 3 – the really fit one, who only has one gear on his bike, because apparently it's wimpy to have to change down gears. And then they all had to wait for the fourth member of the team, who was still waiting to get on a bus in Edinburgh… the queues for the arranged transport must have been vast. As I left Glasgow I saw what must have been one of the first Edinburgh to Glasgow convoys: three packed buses and a very big lorry full of bikes. By this point, no. 4 was only just leaving Edinburgh!
There were over nine thousand people on the ride, and Handsome says that they were set off in waves to try and prevent congestion, but as he pointed out, that only lasted as far as the first set of traffic lights, where suddenly there were two hundred people waiting for the lights to go green…They must have set a fairly good pace (despite all the cyclists in the way), and I fielded various phone calls from Handsome through the day – usually when he was waiting for no. 2 and no. 4 to catch up after one of no. 4's many punctures. Apparently he got through five inner tubes, and they didn't really get the problem fixed until they got to the bike workshops in Linlithgow. I didn't ask where no. 3 was, because I know he's a real cyclist, rather than a fun run cyclist, and he was probably seeing how many people he could overtake.
To be fair, Handsome's a real cyclist too – it's just that he's more commuter than competitor.
And then I had to go into Edinburgh to pick them up again – they got medals, and goody bags (full of wheat germ and linseed oil stuff – probably very healthy, Handsome has filed his on the kitchen windowsill and eaten all the kit-kats instead) and lots of stories (including the one about the penny-farthings which I did not see at either end) and their photos taken.
Next year I might have a go, if someone else can do the running around bits, and if I can get a bike that's up to the job.