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    Cycling through the Summer

    Taken from the Blazing Saddles Column in the Tayside Courier Weekend Supplement 2.6.12

    A summer of cycling brings a smile to the face of Scot Tares.

     “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    In the last few weeks I have been bumping my gums more than usual. Living in Scotland I know that my weather related expectations should be less than sanguine, but my hopes do rise as we get a few days of sunshine, only to see them saturated and battered in endless days of wind and rain that follow.

    As I write this late in the evening with the windows of my study open and the heat of the day still drifting into the room on a gentle breeze, the last few days of glorious sunshine and the prospect of more to come fills me with hope of a beautiful summer of cycling. Today I rode a gentle pace and mileage on off-road cycle paths and quiet roads just to enjoy the bike and soak up the beauty of Scotland. And when the weather is good, even the cycle path that runs along the back of Inveralmond Industrial Estate in Perth felt beautiful. The smell of grass and blossom filled the air and lots of people were out cycling and walking, all with smiles on their faces.

    For me, rides like that of today empty my mind of everything that life can throw at me and is a better tonic for the heart and soul than many a GP could prescribe. For the majority of those who read this column, I would expect a similar response, but how do we prescribe two wheels to the unconverted? Well, the “Summer of Cycling” is one way of trying to encourage others to get out on a bike. It’s a simple plan and the website looks for each cyclist to pledge that they will get one saddle-shy friend out on a bike this summer. I’ve already made my pledge, although the first my “saddle-shy” friend may know about it is reading this article.


    Scot Tares

    Cycle Route – Almondbank

    The route this week follows mainly off-road cycle paths and some short quiet road sections, making it an ideal ride for a family with older children


    Grade: Moderate
    Distance:8 miles/ 13km
    Start & FinishOS 1:50,000 Map 53 – NO097262
    Description:Starting at the Inveralmond retail park, the rider will ride down onto the off-road cycle path that heads west along the banks of the river Almond. Once Almondbank is reached you will join road at the bridge crossing the Almond and head up the short climb of Bridgeton Brae and over to Pitcairngreen. Continue on to Luncarty and re-join the cycle path by taking the first right as you enter Luncarty at Scarth Road. This will lead you back down towards Inveralmond
    Find out more about the “Summer of Cycling” at:

    Copyright DC Thompson 2012