Pedal for Scotland – the training is done

Well folks that’s it. The last pre-event cycle ride is done and all that’s left to do is to clean and grease the bike and pack my stuff ready for Sunday.

The ongoing niggles of my new saddle are no longer an issue as it’s now nice and broken in but alas I sill have the occasional numb or sore feet. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the bottom of that one. I’m confident though, I’ve been adding in hill cycles and I’m becoming more comfortable with the gears on my bike (can’t believe a year on I’m still talking about getting used to the gears) and I’m actually starting to get a little bit excited about the big day. It’s sure to be great fun, as long as it doesn’t absolutely piss down with rain or blow a gale like it has today. Fingers crossed!

I have to say thank you to all the fantastic people out there who have donated to Alzheimer’s Scotland on my behalf, the fantastic charity I am raising money for. You are great people, I’ve managed to beat my target of £300 pounds but if you haven’t donated yet you still can so grab your mobile phone or computer and donate. Every penny goes to making the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s just a little bit better.

Watch out for tweets and videos on the day, I’ll try to update you when I stop for water or a jelly baby 🙂

Follow @Eli_App_D on twitter to see my progress.

How to donate

You can donate online at: https://www.justgiving.com/EliApplebyDonald

or on your phone by texting 70070 and in the message writing EJAD74 followed by the amount (£10, £5 etc)

 

 

 




3 weeks until Pedal for Scotland – stepping things up

Well it’s only 3 weeks to go so and that has meant stepping things up this week, I’d like to say, much to my beautiful wife’s delight, but that would be a lie.

This week has been fun, Kate and I have been enjoying our routine of the evenings of cosying up on the sofa to watch the GB cycling team do wonders at the Olympic Games in Rio. It usually follows the routine of being gobsmacked at how fast they are going, then one of us googling how to convert Kph to Mph to then work out how fast they were actually going in a way we can understand (we’re off that age – metric confuses us).

So Laura Trott of team GB was hitting 32 mph, ahem up until this week, our average speed was around 10.2mph. Soooooo, moving on.

Coincidentally I had said last week that starting Monday I was going to push us and try to get back to doing decent speeds, Kate obviously forgot because on Monday morning when she caught up with me after I took off, she yelled, “Are you channeling Jason Kenny or something? Last time I let you watch sprint cycling before bed time.” I did get a good chuckle out of that.

We’ve carried on in this vain, each morning we push ourselves and it seems to be working, I did my fastest time ever on my Whyte bike this week (matching the times I used to average on my old Marin bike) and we’re averaging about 13mph (ok so not Jason Kenny but good for us).

When I did Pedal for Scotland in 2010, I averaged 14mph so still a bit of work to go but getting there.

These past 2 weeks have also saw me join Kate on the Holyrood Hill for my cycle home in the evenings and I must say, I am feeling the benefit. I am still no fan of the hill, but I’m getting up there and most importantly, I think finally working out my gears. The Whyte bike has a completely different gear system than my Marin (less gears) and I haven’t quite found my stride with them yet, so that’s what I’m working on.
It’s been a lovely week for cycling too, sunshine and no wind, perfect. Well except for Friday when I got drenched!

 

Next weeks plan is to carry on with challenging ourselves, I’d like to have 2 or 3 days where I am sub 35 mins to work, and I’ll keep fighting the big hill.

Almost there, only 3 weeks to go if you want to make a donation to Alzheimer’s Scotland – the fantastic charity I am raising money for. It’s dead easy, go to my sponsorship website and donate.




Pedal for Scotland 2016 – 4 weeks to go

Something happened this week, well a couple of things really.

Firstly I found out that the organisers have changed the route and the finish. The route is apparently much more hilly and some riders were saying that last year’s route was not suitable for riders who were not used to hills so I’m a tad worried about how punishing it will be. Also the organisers have changed the finish and now it doesn’t finish in Edinburgh, instead it finishes out a Ingliston which has really poor public transport links if you have a bike.

I have to be honest, the change in finish did put me off a bit and if I hadn’t been raising money for a great charity I would have pulled out. It’s just really inconvenient not just for the people taking part but for folk who want to come cheer on the cyclists too. I suspect well see a drop in attendance this year but I can imagine that the organisation  of something this size is a mammoth task and they’ve had a really good reason for changing the finish point. So enough of my moans.

How’s preparation going? We’ll I was reasonably confident until this week. I’m just back from a two-week holiday with no cycling, back on the bike this week and it’s been hard going.

Just my normal commute has been an epic battle with my times dropping by over 5 minutes and the hills seem to be killing me.

I’ve cycled home with my lovely wife and new cyclist a few times which means taking “THE HOLYROOD HILL”. It’s basically just a hill through holyrood park which was a real challenge for Kate when she started, but she is now looking really strong on it. Although we still refer to it as if it’s armageddon.

Last night though, she had to sit at the top and wait for me, I was a good minute behind her and feeling it.

What has happened to me – eek!

Got 4 weeks to knock myself back into shape, might have to go out for a decent length cycle this weekend.

 

Feature image from Blue sky Scotland blog, http://blueskyscotland.blogspot.co.uk

 

 




Cycling culture – a tale of 2 cities

I enjoyed a recent holiday down to the Cotswolds full of intentions of cycling as a way to see local towns and villages.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to go cycling myself, but on a day trip out to Oxford I did experience a whole new cycling culture that I had previously only heard of through the joys of the internet.

I don’t know what Oxford was like previously but on the way into the town there were a lot of road works going on which were apparently to make the approach and busy roads and roundabout much more cycle friendly. I discovered that there has been quite a lot of work going on to make Oxford a more cycle friendly place and it did show. All the way in there were separate off-road routes for cycling which were really busy.

However it was when we were walking around sightseeing that I was first struck by how different things were, the huge amount of bikes and cyclists was the first thing. There were masses of bikes parked outside all the major buildings and there was never more than 20 seconds between seeing one cyclist on the road and then another coming along. It was all quite magical.

It took me a few hours of watching this go on as I played tourist before the next thing struck me. I rarely saw any helmets, hi-viz and didn’t see any lycra while I was in town. Every cyclist I saw was on some form of commuter bike and dressed in their daily work/life clothes.

Another thing which was strange, I don’t remember seeing cycle lanes painted on the roads.

This did strike me as very different as it’s chalk and cheese from my daily cycling experiences and I drove my wife nuts all day commenting on and talking about what we were seeing. Commenting on how the ratio of cars and bikes looked like bikes were winning about 60/40 and how everyone seemed to be getting on, no squabbles, no rude gestures and no motorists cutting up cyclists (unfortunately I did see some cyclists who didn’t feel that road safety was their concern but that’s another story).

Where were the lycra clad speedsters on the road being cut off by cars? Where were the commuters with pannier bags and hi-viz water proofs?

I was really having a blast, I felt like a proper tourist staring at all these strange cyclists and their bikes. Most of which looked completely abused, ancient and in need of a serious bike mechanic and no one seemed to be carrying anything bigger than a standard rucksack.

It was all very strange and meant that for the rest of the day I was on high alert watching for cyclists and cycling.

On the way back out of the city in the late afternoon was when the second revelation struck. Those off-road cycle paths I had spoken about, I now realised were full of the cyclists I’m used to seeing, the hi-viz, the helmets and the pannier bags. What was going on?

As soon as we were home I had to hit the internet to find out more and I spoke to my friend who is passionate about bringing this type of Dutch bike culture to the UK and what I discovered was that Oxford very cleverly caters for both types of cyclists. There are routes with busier roads and cycle lanes and off-road routes running around the city catering for the cyclists that maybe have a longer commute, want to go faster or are more confident. Then there is the culture of cycling I saw in the centre where most of the cyclists are only doing short journeys and the roads are quieter and slower. This is all possible because Oxford City Council made the deliberate decision to make their town a much more cycle friendly place in the effort to encourage more people to cycle. They even set aside £400,000 to make this possible.

All of this not only shows up the very different needs of different cyclists, but has also encouraged a lot more people to make those short journeys by bike rather than be afraid.

It really was a fantastic introduction to different cycle cultures and inspiring see what can be done.

Lastly, I didn’t manage to take any photos when I was out and about so I want to acknowledge Tejvan Pettinger who has these fab photos and many more available for use on his flickr account.




Thinking about cycling to work? Here are my tips to help you get the most out of your commute.

I’ve been commuting by bike for a very long time now. Long enough that it’s become the norm and that even torrential rain doesn’t stop me. It’s just my first and preferred method of travel to and from work. Last week however my wife Kate joined the ranks of cycle commuter and the preparation for that reminded me that it’s maybe not quite as simple to get on your bike and ride for other folk as it is for me. So I thought a wee blog post with some hints and tips to get the best out of your commute might be useful.

Eli’s top hints for new commuter cyclists

Plan your route ahead of time

Use the various electronic tools like google maps and strava to help you plan the route you are going to take. Check out if there are any dedicated cycle paths you can use instead of busy roads. Take a few test runs on quiet days when you aren’t working and can take your time and get a feel for things.

If you aren’t a qualified driver and haven’t used the road before then get yourself a copy of the highway code and read it. Make sure you know which lane you should be using, what hand signals to use and what drivers will expect of you. Be confident on the road, take your position in the lane confidently, try not to ride close to the kerb or gutter and make sure you always look behind you and signal before you pull out or change lanes. Let people know what you are going to do and you’ll have a much more pleasant experience.

Always give yourself an extra 10 minutes to account for a slow day or a stop for coffee etc.

Take it at your own pace

If you are new to cycling it can be intimidating as other cyclists zoom past leaving you behind but resist the urge to try to keep up with others. Take things at your own pace and let your body get used to the new exercise and the thing people will not tell you – after that first cycle, your butt is going to hurt. You just can’t stop this happening, it will get sore but the good news is that it only last for a few days then you will have a proper cyclists bum which can cope with anything 🙂

Clothes and weather

The beauty of cycling is that other than a bike, you don’t need any special kit. You can jump on a bike in your jeans and have as much fun as someone who has all the fancy, lycra kit. Living in Scotland though, it rains a lot so you have to consider that you may very well get rained on while you are cycling to work. To combat this I tend to wear lightweight, nylon sports kit for the cycle and get changed into my work clothes when I get there. The lightweight nylon dries quickly so even if I get drenched, it’s usually dry for me coming home again.

If you don’t want to cycle with a bag full of clothes every day, leave a change of clothes at work and just have one day a week where you take clean clothes in and dirty clothes home.

Won’t I get sweaty and smelly?

Well you might, it depends whether you take your time and trundle along or if you make this an exercise mission and really work. However many workplaces now have showers so you could get a quick shower before you start work or if there’s no shower, take some wet wipes and deodorant with you for a quick freshen up.

You might also find that carrying a backpack or other bag will make your back sweat so think about having pannier bags attached to your bike instead.

Pack your bag the night before

You are much more likely to cycle on those grey, cold days if you can just get up and go with little to no faffing about. It will also means you are quicker and not in a rush to get to the office. Make sure you have your lunch, shoes, clothes etc all sorted and in your bag ready to just be picked up.

Stay safe

If you are cycling in the dark, make sure you have good lights and wear as much reflective bits and pieces as you can. Be visible!

Don’t forget to have fun!

But most importantly, have fun! There’s nothing like an overcrowded train in the morning to put you in a bad mood, so breathe deep, get the blood pumping and smile your way to work!

 

My commute

I cycle everyday from Musselburgh to Edinburgh, a journey of about 7 miles and it takes about 40 minutes at a relatively easy pace. Luckily almost my entire journey is off-road making it so much more enjoyable but also I save myself money. A monthly train ticket from Musselburgh to Edinburgh is £63, cycling is free!

Check out my commute.

https://youtu.be/DzE_EgfExTA

 

 




How to fix a puncture

I’ve been enjoying having my cycle buddy back over the last month. Kate now meets me most nights when I’m on my way home from work and we cycle home together. This does mean though that she’s now had her first puncture – BOO!  And from that I learned a very surprising fact at the age of  *cough*, Kate didn’t know how to repair a puncture (scowly face at my father-in-law who obviously didn’t teach her as a kid).  So I thought a wee quick and easy blog post might be useful for all those other cyclists out there who have just never learned. After all, it’s a certainty – at some point we all get punctures! I accept that it’s easier just to replace the tubing if you get a puncture, but it means you have to carry tubes around with you (and you are talking almost a £5 lay out every time you get a puncture). Much easier to just carry a little puncture repair kit and know how to fix that tube.

I can’t believe there are cyclist who can’t fix a puncture, I thought it was one of those childhood rights of passage!

What’s in a puncture repair kit?

  • A couple of tyre levers (I keep calling them tyre irons even though they are plastic)

  • A small piece of sandpaper

  • Some tube patches and

  • Rubber solution

You will also need a pump or CO2 inflator.

How to…

There are two ways of doing this, some folk just take the tube out of the tyre without removing the tyre, which I accept is probably quicker and if you have heavy duty tyres and probably easier. I’ve just always taken the tyre off though, so that’s how I’m going to explain to you here. Taking the tyre off also gives you the advantage that you can check the inside and out of the tyre to make sure the puncture causing item isn’t still there.

The easiest way to do get the tyre off is with tyre levers although you can very occasionally get some tyres off just by using your hands if you happen to have the grip of a power-lifter.

So first, let all of the air out of the inner tube and push the lever end(not the hook end) of the tyre lever under the edge (bead) of the tyre. Then push down on the other end of the lever and lift the tyre up (hence why it’s a tyre lever).  This first bit is always the hardest to get going but once you get that one bit of tyre off, it gets easier. Promise.

So first, let all of the air out of the inner tube and push the lever end(not the hook end) of the tyre lever under the edge (bead) of the tyre. Then push down on the other end of the lever and lift the tyre up (hence why it’s a tyre lever).  This first bit is always the hardest to get going but once you get that one bit of tyre off, it gets easier. Promise.

Once you have that first tyre lever in place and first bit of tyre over the wheel rim, you can use the little hook on the end to hook the lever to the spokes and keep things in place. Then do the same thing again with another tyre lever maybe an inch or two away from the first. This one will be tricky but once you’ve got that second tyre lever it gets easier. Repeat this one last time and it’s just a case of sliding the tyre lever around to coax the tyre off the rim all the way around the wheel.

Once you have the tyre completely out of the rim, you can remove it and the tube. This gives you a chance to check it over to see if there are any little sharp things stuck in the tyre, inside and out before checking for any debris stuck to the tube, if you are all clear it’s time to find the puncture in the tube.

There are various methods to do this.

  1. Pump air into the tube and listen for air escaping, you can also put the tube up to your cheek and see if you can feel where the air is escaping.
  2. For more difficult to find punctures (only works when you are at home, not in the dark, half way along the Innocent cycle path), is to submerge the tube in a sink of water while pumping air through the tube. That way you can see the air bubbling out of the hole.

So lets get to it

  1. In your puncture repair kit, there should be a wee bit of sandpaper. Use it to LIGHTLY rub around the damaged are of the tube. This gives a better surface for the rubber solution to grip.
  2. Next, apply the rubber solution to the tube. Basically, you need to apply enough to cover an area the size of the patch and you don’t need a massive amount so spread it thinly. You can use your finger to do this, it’s not glue 🙂
  3. IMPORTANT BIT! Once applied leave it for a minute so it goes tacky, if you don’t do this, it won’t stick.
  4. While you’re waiting, get the patch ready by pulling the silver foil or similar off the back, but don’t touch the side you’ll be applying to the tube as you don’t want to get dirt on it.
  5. Next, apply the patch to the tube, make sure you cover the puncture – you may laugh but I’ve glued a patch on to the tube and got it in completely the wrong place. It can happen to you! 🙂 I usually either press down on the patch or put something heavy on it to hold it down and I leave it like that for about 2 minutes.
  6. When the patch has stuck down properly, pump some air through the tube to make sure it’s doing its job.
  7. Done? Excellent, get the tube back onto the bike.

The hard part

I always think that getting the tube and tyre back on the bike is the hard part.

You want a little bit of air in the tube, but not loads. Just enough to make it a bit rigid so you can put it inside the tyre without pinching it.  Now it’s a case of slowly and carefully pushing the tyre back onto the wheel, one side at a time. The first side should go on pretty easily and once that side is in place, I find it easier to lay the wheel flat and then push the tube back into the tyre. Remember you need to put the valve in position through the wheel so do that bit first. Once the tube in is, simple go around the wheel, using the heel of your hand to push the tyre back over the rim, making sure not to pinch your tubing.

You may need to do the last part of the tyre with a tyre lever.

Puncture repaired, tyre on, job done (well once you re-inflate it).

Some great videos teaching you how to repair a puncture ( for those of you who prefer video)

How To Fix A Bike Puncture – Repairing An Inner Tube

How to fix a puncture – Evans Cycles




1600 calories, 4 hours 22 mins, heart going like the clappers but £125 raised

I’ve been guilty of not showing this blog much love recently but there’s just been so much going on over on my other blog that it’s had all my attention but I had promised everyone that I’d update you occasionally on my plans and “training” for Pedal For Scotland, so I thought a wee/short blog post might be in order.

In all honesty, I’m not stressing out about “training” the way I did first time around doing the cycle. Then I only cycled a few miles every day so the thought of trying to do Glasgow to Edinburgh really scared me. Now however, I’m doing almost 20 miles every day and I’ve done the Glasgow to Edinburgh thing a few times. So I’m not overly focused on doing anything specific as in training. I did however do a wee bit of a challenge recently.

Last time around, as part of my training I completed the Pedal it Pink cycle to raise money for breast cancer research. This was genuinely one of the hardest things I have done, physically, in my life. It was billed as a cycle marathon around Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh, what they failed to mentions was that around actually meant partially over – 8 times.

Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, United Kingdom which form most of Holyrood Park, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design”.

At one point I genuinely thought I was going to have a heart attack, it was horrendous and absolutely not suitable for a “leisure cycle” as it had been billed. Back then I swore I’d never do anything like that again… that was until I got over enthusiastic a few weeks ago and put out on social media that if my sponsorship total reached £100 before the weekend, I’d go do it again. Within hours it had reached £100 cause obviously all my friends and family are evil!!!! Pure evil!!!!!   So… I got up early one Sunday and off I went.

The cycle from Musselburgh into Edinburgh / Arthur’s Seat is quite pleasant and reasonably flat and a nice warm up as it wasn’t the nicest weather to be honest, the 26 miles around/over Arthur’s Sat however was horrible, but less so than last time so I guess my fitness has improved.

Looking at my stats from my fitbit surge when I got home, you can see when my nice cycle into town turned into the climb around the big hill. There is a very distinct and sudden spike in my heart rate.

Have to say, the calorie burn for the day was not bad either, 1600 calories by 11am so can’t complain 🙂

I’m still a long way off my target of sponsorship money to raise, I’m hoping to raise £300, so if you haven’t sponsored me yet, there’s still time: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EliApplebyDonald




Cleaning your bike or how to save yourself hundreds of pounds

When you get to the oily area of the drive chain, you want to swap out your clean sponge for a dirty one, it’s good to have separate stuff for the chain area and the rest of the bike as they will get filthy. The idea now is to get all that yuk off the chain and drive train area and I find it much easier to do this with the chain in the larger chain ring. Just get in there with lots of soapy water and some elbow grease. The chain should start looking shiny again, but if you aren’t happy, just apply some more degreaser and leave it to sit and then clean it again.

Now it’s time to get to the derailuer and the chain rings, for this having a handy brush set really helps but you can easily use a rag, just get it into all the nooks and crannies and get rid of all the yucky stuff.

It’s really important that you get all the muck and degreaser off, you don’t want to leave any degreaser on there as that’s going to interfere with your oil. So make sure it is thoroughly washed away with the soapy water.

Ok so now that your drive train is done, it’s time to do the wheels.

I start at the front again and just take the wheel off and start off by cleaning the frame and front forks now that you can get into them, then the disc brake pads or normal brake blocks. Then you can get the wheel washed, paying attention to the wheel rims, if you have standard v brakes you really want to make sure the rims are spotless and make sure you give the brake pads a clean too. If you leave any dirt or grit there it’s going to wear down your wheel rims.

Make sure you’ve got all the dirt, degreaser and any oil off the wheels as you don’t want this to affect your breaking.

Then same again for your back wheel giving you a chance to clean the bike frame and brakes at the back and then with the back wheel, it’s pretty much the same as with the front but obviously you also have the cassette to clean. Now it’s already got degreaser on from earlier, so get your brush or rag to get in between the sprockets to get all the gunk out of there. If you don’t have brushes, you can use a rag and use it like you would dental floss.

Ok so put the wheels back on and you should pretty much have a clean bike.

Swap your soapy water for nice clean hot water and rinse the bike off and you should have a nice clean bike.

Next get an old towel or some clean cloths and dry everything off.

Oil

There you go,  your bike is all clean and shiny, so now it’s time to replace the oil around the drive train. You get two types of oil you can use, dry lube and wet lube. Basically if it’s wet weather then use wet lube if it’s dry weather then dry lube.  I live in Scotland so I mostly use wet.

You want to run the oil on the inside of the chain making sure every link gets greased. I like to run the chain for a few minutes shifting gears just to make sure everything gets coated. Then take a rag and just wipe away any excess.

Obviously then just a dab on derailuers and things to keep everything running smoothly.

There you go, one shiny and slick bike. You won’t recognise it when you go for a spin.

Over the years I have learned many things about cycling, but the one I preach about the most is cleaning your bike. I didn’t used to bother much about cleaning my bike. I did oil it, but I tended to just add more oil on top of what was there, thinking I was doing good, oiling your bike is important, right?

Well, about once a year I’d put my bike in for a service and I was always really annoyed (I’m being polite here) at how much it ended up costing. Every time without fail I’d be replacing bits of the drive train, wheels, brake blocks, cables etc and every time my service would easily cost between £250 and £400. That’s bloody expensive for a method of travel that is meant to be saving you money. I also raved about how wonderful the bike was after a service and how it felt like new, then 4 weeks later I was back to complaining about how my bike was slow, and creaky and annoying.

I went on like this for years before a chance conversation with one of the bike mechanics at my local store “The Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op” explained that the issue wasn’t in fact my bike at all, it was me and the lack of love I showed my bike. Let me explain, you go for a ride and all the crud from the road sticks to the chain, or the cassette or the gear jockey wheels or the chain rings. With each pedal, you are rubbing all that dirt and little bits of stone etc against all the moving parts of your bike. It builds up and over time the chain stretches to try to accommodate all the extra gunk as it tries to fit to the teeth of the wheels. The grime gets into the pedal cranks and makes that less than smooth on each turn of the pedal. The cables get dirty and don’t slide as nicely in their sheaths making the brakes or gear changes less smooth and the brake pads rub that grime on your wheels every time you pull the brakes meaning you are effectively sandpapering your rims. Now you can see why bits of your bike need replaced so often if you don’t clean it?

Watch my youtube video to see how it’s done or read my short explanation below.
Keep an eye on my youtube channel for more cycling related videos.

https://youtu.be/9o7sPqwWwXc

Set aside 30 minutes this weekend for you to get dirty and your bike to get clean. If you do, it will keep that new bike feeling for longer and have a much more enjoyable cycling experience with crisp gear shifting. Can’t beat it! So on your way home from work tonight pick up any of these bits you need from your local bike shop and then follow my “make my bike new again” instructions.

You will need;

  • a bucket
  • a couple of sponges or lots of old cloths
  • an old toothbrush
  • soap
  • degreaser
  • an old cup
  • a towel to dry the bike off
  • some oil

So how do you clean your bike?

General frame and drive train

First of all fill a bucket with hot soapy water, I always use muc-off bike cleaner as my soap which is bio-degradable so you get to feel all righteous as you clean your bike but you can use any soap of your preference. It is important that the water is hot though as it’s much better for getting rid of the grease and oil and grab a couple of sponges or some rags.

Before you do anything else…

Degreaser. Decant some into an old pot or tin and with a toothbrush just paint the degreaser liberally onto the chain. After the chain is thoroughly coated in degreaser, get a flat blade screwdriver and run it around the jockey wheels just to scrape all that gunk off and then paint degreaser onto them too. Lastly paint de-greaser on the chain rings.

While we give that degreaser 5 mins to get working  we can get started cleaning the rest of the bike. I use a cheap car sponge and some cloths and I have a set of brushes cause I’m a bit obsessive about things. You use whatever suits you.

I’m a bit of a creature of habit so I tend to start at the front of the bike and work backwards getting loads of soapy water on the frame. Just basically give the frame a good wash and get all the crud off.  This also means I avoid the area with degreaser on it until it’s had a chance to work its magic.

my obsessive bike cleaning kit

 




Pedal For Scotland – I’m doing it again

http://www.eliapplebydonald.co.uk/elionabike/and-it-begins/

It seems fitting to be writing a post to announce that I’ll be taking part again. This year I am riding to raise money for Alzheimers Scotland, a charity that is really close to my heart as my family has been affected and is still being affected by Alzheimers and I have lost too many people I love to this hideous disease.

Pedal for Scotland is a massive national cycle ride going from Glasgow to Edinburgh that happens in September every year – rain or shine! It works out about 65 miles with some wicked hills but also with some fantastic comradery on the day with the thousands of other cyclists taking part. There is everything from lycra clad speed demons to kiddies on tag along bike seats.

So here’s the rub, please sponsor me and help to make the effect of Alzheimers just a little smaller for someone.

You can visit my Just Giving page to donate or you can donate by text  send the message EJAD74  to 70070 to donate£1,£2,£3,£4,£1000,000 🙂

I promise in return, I’ll post lots of blogs about my cycle adventures on the run up to the big day and if I hit my £300 target I’ll even have a go at some live tweeting and maybe vlogging from the actual cycle!

 

 

It seems fitting to be writing a post to announce that I’ll be taking part again. This year I am riding to raise money for Alzheimers Scotland, a charity that is really close to my heart as my family has been affected and is still being affected by Alzheimers and I have lost too many people I love to this hideous disease.

Pedal for Scotland is a massive national cycle ride going from Glasgow to Edinburgh that happens in September every year – rain or shine! It works out about 65 miles with some wicked hills but also with some fantastic comradery on the day with the thousands of other cyclists taking part. There is everything from lycra clad speed demons to kiddies on tag along bike seats.

So here’s the rub, please sponsor me and help to make the effect of Alzheimers just a little smaller for someone.

You can visit my Just Giving page to donate or you can donate by text  send the message EJAD74  to 70070 to donate£1,£2,£3,£4,£1000,000 🙂

I promise in return, I’ll post lots of blogs about my cycle adventures on the run up to the big day and if I hit my £300 target I’ll even have a go at some live tweeting and maybe vlogging from the actual cycle!




And let there be light – and the cycle path now has lights!

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I absolutely can’t believe it. It’s taken 4 years of complaining, blogging, emailing, tweeting and eventually getting my MSPs involved but the Queen Margaret Uni to Newcraighall cycle path finally has working lights (along some of it). There has been work under way over the last few months and the old broken, solar-powered lights have been replaced with new LED wired ones. About half of the path had working lights as of this morning.

Only downside I suppose is that it’s not as dark now so we can’t actually get the full effect of the lights until next winter when it’s dark enough to see how good they are 🙂

Oh well, never happy eh?

Need to say a massive thank you to Aris Wilson at the Scottish Parliament who has been amazingly supportive about the whole thing and is the driving force behind MSP Gavin Brown. She has sent so many emails to help get this sorted  – thank you!

If you want to read some of the other blog posts about this saga, they are listed below.