Friday, April 03, 2009

Saddle sore

The first bike ride of the spring season went down pretty well considering. Considering I borrowed my bike from my roommate who has at least 6 inches on me, and her road bike is actually a guys bike.

So it was heavy and I had to hop a lot to get from the ground to a perched position on the seat and that stupid bar in the middle tried to maim me in delicate places a couple of times. I don't really understand why boy's bikes have that bar across the middle, shouldn't they be more worried about possible bike-bar related injury than a girl?

We took a train up to Montrose then road up the coast, some on road, some off to Stonehaven about 30 miles away. The bikes were a little bit of a pain on the train, and the conductor was almost a jerk about them even though there was plenty of bike storage space. But otherwise the ride was smooth, the train ride that is.

From Montrose we curved off toward the coast and onto a path by the beach. Absolutely beautiful, though a little tough going for a heavy road bike. Still, the view made up for any hardships. Large black rocks dotted the white sand and cloud mottled sunlight turned the sea various shades of dark to turquoise blue. We hiked up the end trail to the top of the cliffs overlooking the sea and the wildflowers and headed back inland.

Our next off road started with a steep and winding road down through a coastal village. The views weren't as pleasant. No beach just rocks to the seaside and pastureland to the inland side. Along with a dodgy looking caravan park. No matter, we persevered on back up to the road.

Finally, after many, many hills up and down, mostly up, and many, many muttered swear words directed mostly at the heavy bike and soreness, we reached Dunnottar castle. A 13th century fortress on a cliff overlooking two small, clear bays. The ruins were tipped in green algae and held a ragged, haunted court with the oncoming gray clouds.

I'm definitely going back there for a longer and less sore investigation. We ended in Stonehaven only a few miles later and feasted on hot fish and chips before dozing on the train back to Dundee.

I am out to buy my own, used mountain bike soon. There's so much more of Scotland to see on the saddle.