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Sunday, 1 January 2012

First Ride of the Year

One of the advantages of not drinking is that you get up early on New Year's Day feeling OK. As it was very mild, with just a slight hint of rain and some blustery wind, I decided to take the bike out for its first ride of the year. I'd said in my last post that I wanted to go out on the bike more, so I may as well start as I mean to go on.
I got the bike out of the garage, checked that there was enough charge in the battery to start it, and went back into the house to change, Strangely, my riding costume seemed slightly more 'snug' that I remembered. Looks like I'll have to do another thing I mentioned in my last post - lose weight!
I only had about a third of a tank of petrol, and didn't expect to find a petrol station open, but my local Morrisons supermarket has an automated station that accepts bank cards when it is shut. However, when I got there the pumps were switched off! Hmmm, looks like I'll be going on a shorter run than planned! So I went for a couple of hours around the deserted country roads near where I stay. I hadn't expected to see any shops open other than Asian owned convenience stores, but was surprised to see a car wash and a bookies open for business. (Note to my non UK readers - a 'bookies' is a gambling shop where you can waste your money betting on racehorses and the outcome of football matches).
Although the roads were damp, I never actually had to ride in rain, and the wind didn't get hard enough to cause problems, so I had a very pleasant and relaxing ride in the country.

This is where my water supply comes from. Usually this parking area is full of fishermen's cars, but there was no-one about.
I saw very few cars, a couple of hardy cyclists, some walkers, and only one other bike (Suzuki V-Strom). I did see a sign that I hadn't seen before:

I don't think I've ever seen an otter, but there must be some about. Likewise, I've never seen a live badger, though I have seen a few dead ones at the side of the road.
As I was close to running out of fuel I headed homewards taking in a shot of this local landmark, the Clochoderick Stone, a boulder left behind by a passing glacier millions of years ago.

There's some theories about the stone and its name. Whether it comes from 'The Stone of the Druids' or 'The Stone of Rydderick' referring to Rydderick Hael, King of Strathclyde (c. 532 - 612), or to a giant called Roderick, or whether it had been a 'rocking stone' used for dispensing justice, or a burial place; I don't think anyone actually knows, so you can make your own theory up. To me it's just an interesting big stone in a field.
After that it was a short run home. It's a pity I couldn't have gone further, but without petrol I wouldn't be going anywhere! Still it was good to get out and give the bike a run. Pity my clothes seem to have shrunk.........


  1. Looks like a good start to the year. Have only seen one fresh water Otter while kayaking once. It was only for a second, they seem to shy away from being seen. Sea Otters on the other hand, have seen a lot of on our coast. Ah yes, the shrinking clothes...seem to have the same problem.

  2. Nifty piece, Norrie. Hope I´m not revealing classified info here when I mention your vegetarianism and suggest (to your horror probably) that you adopt the paleo diet for the purposes of loosening all that leather. I´ll leave you to figure out what the diet is all about ...

  3. My diet fairly healthy as it is, it's just that I eat too much of it! If I cut down a bit and take some exercise I should be OK. Most forms of exercise I'm interested in are outdoor (walking and cycling) so it's a bit harder at this time of year.Come the summer and I'll be down at the beach showing of my finely honed, sylph like body in my Borat style mankini!