If you look back through this blog you will see some reports of Sunday rides in the past, they are a fairly irregular thing but we like them when they happen. If you’re reading this and would like to join us for something similar in the future, please get in touch.
Seven riders met at the workshop at 11 a.m. sharpish, completely undeterred by the brief but fierce hailstorm at 10:50. It was a sunny but windy day and the wind was blowing these squalls in, but we didn’t care, so we set off Northwards anyway, destination Tolquhon Castle, about 20 miles away. We rode at steady pace to a lunch stop near Newmachar:
At which food and drink were shared. I suspect it was the drink that was shared, more than the food, that contributed to some of the later shenanigins, but before reporting on that I should mention that although the photo above was taken in the idyllic bright sunshine with which we were blessed for most of the ride, about a minute after setting off again we were hit directly by another short but very very sharp hailstorm. Still not to be diverted from our purpose, we continued North along roads coated with the icy water from the newly-melted hail. This stuff is slippery and it caught a couple of riders out, but since no-one was seriously hurt so, still not discouraged, we carried on to our destination. The castle, when we found it, was closed. By this stage, however, we were not in the mood to be put off, and a heavy wooden door of imposing size, firmly locked, was not the sort of obstacle to hold us up for long. They’re a lot easier to open from the inside:
So, we were able to fully explore the castle, including its disappointingly small dungeons. After trying to imagine life in the middle ages for a while, we then sat outside for a very enjoyable phase two of our picnic, and to bathe in the afternoon sunshine (with coats on: this is North-East Scotland):
We avoided a lot of roads and their population of loud and aggressive motor cars on the way home by using the excellent Formartine and Buchan way, a former railway line and very pleasant bike path.
You can see details of the route here:
and we hope to have the pleasure of your company on another such adventure sometime soon.