Anna: Sponsored cycle ride

Anna Wood

So there I was, at 7.20am Sunday 12th September, on a sunny and crisp autumn morning… waiting in the massive queue to board the buses (for me) and trucks (for my bike) that were to take us to Glasgow Green, where the Pedal For Scotland - Big Challenge Ride 51 miles, from Glasgow to Edinburgh, started. I had only slept for about 4 hours, because I had been looking forward to this for so long and I was too excited to sleep: A day out, away from everyday duties, the weather forecast looked brilliant, and all my bags were packed...

An hour on a roasting hot bus later, I found myself in an even longer queue for the start... It had been sunny in Edinburgh in the morning, and it was also a sunny day in Glasgow – which for those of you who know this part of Scotland hardly ever happens! – we were going to have amazing weather all day long!!

We set of at 10.15am. Getting out of Glasgow was slightly annoying, because of having to stop at all the red lights even though all the roads were free from normal traffic just for us – a real treat for cylists!

I was expecting a lovely route along flat lands near the canal, but - oh no - there were big hills and small hills, sheep, cows, country parks, lakes, leafy country roads... a wonderfully varied route from the West coast to the East coast.

So on through the outskirts of Glasgow, heading East. The further we went, the better and more fun it was. Taking in the beautiful landscapes, chatting away to my team member, Iris, stopping here and there to take a breath, seeing lots of different cyclist – all ages, all levels of fitness, some dressed up, but all very chilled out and relaxed and clearly having fun...

We took a big break and some lunch at Linlithgow Palace at around 2pm before taking on the last 20 miles. It was almost disappointing to only have a couple of hours of this left, but we were looking forward to getting to the finish line and being re-united with our families.

Whizzing past more lovely landscape, catching a glimpse of the Forth Bridges and other landmarks you only usually see from the motorway, along with some pretty little villages – it began to show that everyone could have done with a little more coffee at lunchtime... Things began to slow down a bit, only to be picked up again every time we went downhill. Edinburgh, here we coooome!

Past Craigies Farm, and into Cramond, and people suddenly started pedaling that bit faster. 7 miles to go!!

Past grand Cramond houses, down the North Edinburgh cycle path network, the last miles are famously the hardest... But then the cheers from the finish line were just about audible... and there they were... my 2 boys waving at me, Fergus insisting on getting on my bike to go through the finish line and grab a medal too!

Phew, we made it! Arriving safely at Victoria Park at 5pm on a lovely September evening, with a great atmosphere, me and 8,999 other people feeling very pleased with themselves as well as exhausted... and all this to raise over £700 for Love Music Festival... It couldn't have been a better day! Thanks all for your support!

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