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Seaside cycling

Clearly, my training plan veered off course last week (five days in a row of zero exercise). This was due to one of my best friends visiting from Barcelona, blizzards and motivational bleugh. However, I managed to get out onto the cycle paths of Edinburgh today.

I carefully consulted various maps with the assistance of my cat Martini.

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As you can see, the maps are the perfect size for a cat to curl up on, before chasing them all off the bed and batting them around the floor.

My flatmate came to the rescue with her excellent knowledge of Edinburgh, so we set off along Broughton Road with minimal traffic. We reached the safety of Ferry Road cycle path quickly and I was grateful for smooth tarmac, as my experience of off road cycle tracks in Aberdeen was more like rattling through a snipers’ alley on the moon, with added patches of swamp.

The really fantastic bit was a good five miles out. I had no idea how beautiful the River Almond was, but the walls of a ruined fort framed green water cascading down a weir, over waterfalls and slooping towards the harbour.

My friend was really enjoying the woodland track. She careered down hills where I was liberally applying my brakes, splashed through treacly mud puddles that I tried to avoid and raced headfirst towards humps for bunnyhops as I steadfastly stuck to the flattest path. What a wuss.

The only downside to such a lovely route was its sudden interruption by a massive flight of steps, 40 to 50 of them, up and down. Briefly puffed, we were cheered by the fact there was a pub less than five minutes away and even managed to make it up another steep hill with the lure of the Cramond Inn.

Fortified with a pint of expensive orange and soda (£3.45 in a Sam Smiths?) and mediocre scampi and chips, we carried on along the harbour front and back towards Leith. My knees were beginning to niggle a bit and my flatmate was feeling the pain too, but the return journey of six miles took us 45 mins.

WEATHER cold, but autumnal rather than mid-winter

TRAINING off-road cycling

MILES 13

PACE steady

FEELING satisfied

REWARD crab claw and samphire tortellini

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