Friday, July 06, 2018

06a0718 BLOK

06a0718 BLOK
Day two, returning to Glasgow… A study in finding your way…
Hurrah, hurrah the 2nd of July, outdoor sex begins today!  What a stupid old line we used when young, noting the beginning of Spring, the 1st of May (rhymes better):  Hurrah, hurrah, the fist of May, outdoor sex begins today!
It was a cooller via overcast, perfect for exertion (cycling back to Glasgow).
Up early and having had another good breakfast I cycled off to find a bicycle shop.  Too early, I cycled around early Monday morning Stirling.
I finally found the bicycle shop, directed to such by a passing cyclist.  It is called, Velocity, a clever name, as bicycle in French is velo!
I didn´t have to wait very long as it opened at 0930, a woman inviting me inside.  I needed the tires pumped for 1L, no problem, and she did most of the work.  Since I had lost my high-visibility vest, I asked for another, but she only had the straps, which made no sense to me.
So, I went off heading for Glasgow, some 30 miles / 47KM distance, but in going-to-work Monday morning traffic madness.
Finally, after an hour I as up (some hills) to the roundabout where I remembered I´d come via the shortcut, the man had explained two days ago. However, the traffic sign said Denny to the left which confused me.  But, you have to remember what I thought was Denny two days ago, turned out to be Bonneybridge. I kept with my intuition, or should have, as within 100 meters, I started having doubts, stopped and asked two women walking the direction to Denny.  They said back the way I´d come like the traffic sign indicated.  So I turned around and went toward Denny (big mistake)!
In Denny nothing looked familar, so I went to their Library.  Note, librarys around the western world very good for information.  The woman behind the counter was bereft, but indicated a man who would know.  The man explained that my Tesco Express was in Bonneybridge, and I have to go back two miles, and take the first left after going under the RR bridge.  Which I did.
After a couple of kilometers, maybe one mile it began to look familiar, but then at a roundabout, indecision.  I stopped and was about to ask an approaching woman, when lo and behod a van passed with the SAME man, having spotted me, yelling and pointing for me to continue straight ahead.  Now, what are the odds of this happening?  One in a millon!  Another example, of my guarding angels appearing when needed.
It wasn´t long before I was back on bicycle path 574, going slightly downhill, and now with a helping wind. I sailed along, even recording some video for IN SEARCH OF SCOTLAND!  Plus, the sun was out and basically a glorious day.
I stopped in Kirkintilloch, and ate my sandwich, muffin, sitting on a deck overlooking the canal.  But, when invaded by out-of-control children, I moved a block away sitting on a bench a church provided.
Here, watching the passing traffic, I learned, via a passing bus AD, that Nestle, the Swiss corpo., has infused coffee with nitrogen and selling it in cans.  I suppose some people stupid enough to purchase!  Younger naive people, of course.
I was looking for a cuppa, but not infused with nitrogen out of an aluminum can!
And just ahead on the bicycle path was the perfect place, an outdoor cafe, where I could park Mr. Fetes without locking it to something.
Here I ordered a Latte, stupidly I might add (I blame my older mind.).  Had I just taken the time and read the instructions I could have saved my embarrasment.  They had patience with me, however, while returned outside twice to get the number of the table. Apple crumble takes time, and they deliver. But, they needed the number of the table to deliver, which, if I would have taken time and read the instructions, I would have saved time and embarrasment.
It was worth the wait, this apple crumble (English dessert), while the baby at the next table became fascinated with me. 
Babies look at me for some reason, for sure my aura.  Or, maybe I know how to communicate with them.
The next couple of hours went sailing along, but then nearing Glasgow, at another decision point, I decided to follow the Canal, rather than retrace the route I´d taken two days ago. But, then more indicision, as I began to see signs that said, center Glasgow only 2.5 distance.  I tend to over think the situation, as I know directions without looking at a compass.  In the military, I was the scout that could lead our squad at night, wherever — I can tell directions without a compass.  Although cycling in the Southern Hemisphere, where everthing is reversed, I used to get lost.  Note, in the winter in Australia, the sun is lower north, not south, like in the Northern Hemisphere.
After finding an `outdoor´ toilet, I stopped and asked a man which way to Kelvin Grove (where Rucha and I are living at the moment).  Young people always then go to their smart tele., Google maps, which indicated I need to go back.  But, I thought this wrong (Google not always right on).  And since this young man was from the Czech Republic, his English not so good, he suggested another cyclist who had stopped just a few meters (yards for you English people) away.  This guy, also helpful, a part of the Thumb Tribe, offered said the same.  We finally agreed I should take the road adjacent, which I did, but now back on the racetrack!
From there I followed my instinct, and sure enough, after confirming where the Botanical Garden was, ended up right on Hyndland Street, passing Bob and Sara´s flat.
From there easy as familiar, and I was back at Kelvin Gate 5/building 7 in no time, and still alive!  Always when I returned safely from cycling in Glasgow I recite, DEFIED DEATH AGAIN!
The trip back had taken six hours (same as going), but I´d stopped to rest-eat for more than one hours, so I counted 5 hours for 30 miles / 47KM or an average of 6mph / 9KM. 
I´m getting stronger/faster, although mucho cansado (tired) when back in my room.
Now, however, I can truly say that I´ve cycled Scotland!
Next, cycling Scotland wearing a skilt!
www.skilt.co
H.

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