It’s six miles into my first 50-mile cycle before there’s any sign of a crowd lining the route to cheer me on. But when they finally make their presence felt they’re gratifyingly noisy. At least from a distance.
We’re near Easterhouse and I’m pedalling up a hill, slowly gaining on a group of Lycra-clad women cyclists. “Go on, girls, get those lovely legs moving,” yells a joker in a shell suit. Beside him, his mate sees me trailing in their wake. “Go on yourself, big man, get your arse in gear,” he bawls. “You might catch them in the hour.”
“Aye, you might get lucky by Airdrie,” cries his mate.
Big man? Arse? By Airdrie? I grit my teeth. Surely the lithe and easy movements of my limbs make it plain that I am destined to sweep past these women within a few hundred yards ...
That's the beginning of an article I wrote for The Sunday Times after taking part in Pedal For Scotland last year. The event is coming up again this weekend, and if you want to know what it feels like to take part, click on the link below.
Picture by Katie Lee. Note Accrington Stanley centenary jersey, emblazoned with Holland's Pies logo.
The road race to wellbeing