In the last of these ride reports, I mentioned that we sunbathed with coats on, because this is North-East Scotland. Well, now Summer is here and it works like this: it’s warm enough that, if you wish, you can cycle to the beach in shorts and a short-sleeved top. You carry with you a warm top which you put on when you get to the beach, where there is no shelter from the wind and so it’s colder there.
This Sunday, seven cyclists met at the workshop and rode to Forvie beach, near Newburgh (map and suchlike here). Not far out of Aberdeen we were able to join small back roads, of which Aberdeenshire has many. They are wonderful for cycling; rolling, scenic, and underpopulated by cars (although those that do come along have a way of signaling their presence). Arriving on the North side of the Ythan estuary, a short but enjoyable ride up a gravel rode took us to within walking distance of the beach, across some extensive sand dunes whose flora provided much interest for the two plant biologists in the group. We picniced and sunbathed before setting off for home. This was the moment to discover that the prevailing southerly wind had not deserted us, meaning we would have it in our faces practically all the way home. While this kept the ride’s average speed down, cycling more slowly just means you have more time to look at the scenery, and with patience you reach your destination anyway. We rode the last few miles into town down the dual carriageway, and I was very impressed with the standard of cycling shown by the entire group, from experienced touring cyclists to people on their longest ever ride, everyone stayed on the wheel in front, and this is the way to make sure drivers show you respect and don’t do stupid things while overtaking you.
Sunday at 10 a.m. has become a regular thing over the past month or so. The rides are accessible to all, so if we keep getting the sunny days (or even if we don’t), why not come and join us?