Saturday 23 June 2012: and goose
Had I thought things through more thoroughly I might have taken a few chunks of NCN route 75 to get to the Almond Valley Heritage Museum Farm Park Thing where I would have been more sheltered from the wind than I was on the A8, A89 and whichever other roads it was I took which were generally unprotected and westbound. According to the woman at the reception desk (who was apparently expecting me, following the arrival by car of the rest of my party fifty minutes earlier) I was "very brave" but I refrained from doing the usual asking-by-what-method-of-travel-she-had-used-to-get-there thing which is the best method of dealing with people who treat cycling as if it's dancing on a tightrope over a pit full of chainsaw-wielding bears. The Livingstonic sections of the journey were as massively fun as such things always are - on the way back I think I must have copied a fair bit of the route I took once about ten years ago to get back home after escaping from the canal and somehow mistakenly heading south through Livingston along a big long straight elevated road until I spotted a sign for a cycle path and found the vaguely-Almondside route, thence somehow working my way over a bit so that I returned to Edinburgh via a Calder or two and Balerno, on a journey which marked the point at which I decided to buy a pair of cycling gloves. I don't remember so many criss-crosses of the Almond as I took today (including one really quite nice one at the site of an old mill on a section of Almondside path which out-Water-of-Leith-walkways the Water of Leith walkway) on the way home but it was pleasingly managed with no dismounts and no punctures and without ending up with too much shite gumming up my components. The wingpiglet was pleased with the day out (he's been there before, but I haven't, but shall have to return as my sister bought us a year's entry for christmas) and saw lots of tractors and sheep and went on a train.