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Saturday, 8 May 2010

40 miles on a bike without getting lost!

The Crow Road is so much longer!...

I have the navigation skills of very sick and horribly disorientated homing pigeon. Ie. None. So I was very pleased with myself this morning when I managed my longest ever solo cycle without the need for a map. I had actually taken the precaution of printing off a map from but that must have flown away with the wind when I took off an outer layer of clothing quite early on in the ride.

My 40 miles from Bearsden took in Killearn, Balfron, Fintry, the ever-so-long ascent of Crow Road, Lennoxtown, Strathblane and back home to Bearsden. There were quite a few road turns to remember but for once I kept it all in my brain and only once needed to check with a pedestrian in Balfron to make sure I was about to take the correct back road to Fintry. I had been, and I was chuffed I had actually known where I was going.

This is great progress. I have quite often found myself travelling 20 miles down a motorway in the wrong direction. This is a motorway I know well and so it should be apparent that I am passing major buildings and landmarks in the wrong direction. I get lost while running just about every time I veer off the few routes I have imprinted in my navigationally challenged brain. Little Miss Outdoors even has her version for "Is mum lost again?" She'll ask instead: "Oh, are we on one of our adventures again mum?!" We get lost all the time in the car, even when I'm heading to places I've been a dozen times before.

I have tried navigation courses. They seem so straightforward at the time and I can see exactly how to read the map and the landscape. But when I'm out on my own, and need to make a decision to turn left or right, I somehow always guess incorrectly!

So you can see why I'm so delighted with my excursion this morning. It is the same route that I followed with the Mighty Vickster last weekend and I managed to complete it a little quicker. This time the ride came after a 1hr 40 min "brick" session on Thursday and a fast 5 mile run on Friday (not to mention a late night with friends and wine!). So despite having slightly jaded legs and not quite enough sleep I still felt quite strong for most of the outing. Thanks to the glorious weather I really enjoyed the training session.

Now all I need to do is build on the miles over the next four months - and capitalise on my new-found map reading bravery!

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