Monthly Archives: October 2018

About time: Talla, Go East Lothian, Dugs, Indy and other miscellany

I’ve always blogged fairly intermittently – hoping each time to have something of interest. A new member joined my local club ride this weekend and told me he’d read my blog, so spurring me on to tap on the keyboard and throw around the mouse.

I completed the Tour of Tweeddale again this year, 93 miles and just under 6,000 feet of climbing. It was extremely wet and wild, wild winds. It included the notorious “Wall of Talla”, which though only 1.1 miles long at 8% as a steep first section. ramping up to 28% at one point according to Strava. Add to this the wind coming down the hill, it was fairly challenging – as usual a few doing the “Walk of Shame”. We went up it twice, the second time the wind and rain were even worse but I still managed to keep moving and grinning!! Here’s a video from the warmer 2015 event – Tour of Tweeddale 2015. When we reached the end a bottle of Tweed Ale welcomed us, then a leap into dry clothes. No photos or video this year as the weather goddesses were so unkind.

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on the Wall of Talla 2015

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Wall of Talla approaches – sunnier day 2015

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Tour of Tweeddale 2018 – slow in the wind & rain

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Route for Tour of Tweeddale 2018

The next event was the launch of publicity for Go East Lothian Backpacking. It was at the National Museum of flight near East Fortune. A historic Concord aircraft is housed here and the hospitalities took place next to the plane. As part of the publicity a short film has been published, showing the delights and glories of East Lothian and a family bikepacking through the landscape on a 2 day trip. It is a family of 5, the youngest being just 4 years old. The film is well worth a look at Go East Lothian Bikepacking and there’s more on the Bikepacking Scotland website Bikepacking Scotland – East Lothian


Photo from Markus Stitz, backpacking Scotland


Then came ‘the dugs’. I was cycling on a local cycle way when I passed some travellers’ caravans and vans. There seemed to be plenty of dogs (dugs in Scots) around and a couple of them ran up towards me wagging their tails. I thought no more of this, but when I got home I was told some dogs were missing in West Lothian. I had my bike cam on and viewing the footage we found that two matched the description. We contacted the owner, sent some stills – it was them. The dog warden was informed and went down to check, but was unable to verify, the police came later but by then there was no sign of the dogs. One was later released in West Lothian and returned to the owner, the other is still missing. Ah, the power of social media. The strange thing was the dogs were taken from Broxburn in West Lothian, but turned up at Broxburn in East Lothian.


The dogs

Then came the Independence Rally in Edinburgh. It was massive, with the consensus seeming to be that 70,000 – 80,000 people turned out. It was a glorious, enjoyable walk through the city with a mass of banners and cheery folk. I realised later that 1 in 70 or 80 people in Scotland had got off their backsides to join in, which I found quite impressive.


Independence Rally – at the start


Just about to go




Down the Royal Mile



Past the Scottish Parliament – banners on the cliff top too and Green for Go


Into Holyrood Park


Even a couple of hundred motorbikes joined in

Then it was back home for another wild and windy ride, as they seem to have been so much recently.


A friendly wave


Windfall apples carpeting the road