The last time I was here though it was just me springing up,straight out of the saddle and into the tarmac, hitting first the kerb then the pavement after finding a deep hidden hole in the grass.
The reason I was on the grass was I,d swerved to avoid a small dog on an extendable lead running straight into me.I missed that,congratulated myself for my twisty ability on a bike then went for a swift unexpected dive into the tarmac just as I was about to return onto the esplanade.
Notice how they always pick a pretty girl for these TV shows where they see if there are still good samaritans around willing to help in this country? Try an old ugly man on a bike next time.
Of course they,ll help an attractive girl even if she was feeding them spoonfuls of hospital laxative.
Despite it being busy only one family came over to check if I was all right and that was only because I wasn,t getting up after a few minutes.
"Are you OK mate?" The head of the family asked.
I didn,t say anything because I was trying not to be sick and knew something wasn,t right inside.That was the end of my cycling that day.Broken collar bone and bent nose. Limbs battered black and blue.
"We,ll just walk on slow then.Give us a shout if you need any help." They then sped off at high speed, not wanting to waste a nice day.
I drove myself back to Glasgow in disgust after a handful of painkillers.At least the dog got a pat and a cuddle.I got an x-ray and a very long month groaning and moaning around the house.So be kind to those animals Folks.Poor little things.
It,s very easy to lose the crowds though as they only stay near Cramond and their cars.I was soon gliding my way to Granton along empty wide esplanades with great views over the sparkling Firth and the east coast islands.
eighty fishing trawlers working out of here.http://www.grantonhistory.org/harbour/harbour.htm The interactive menu shows the harbour being built in stages, section by section.
Glasgow faced America and traded there.Despite a mere thirty miles separating both cities they have very different characters and influences in their architecture.You can see that in Leith which was revamped from rundown derelict docklands to upmarket shops, restaurants and housing.J.K Rowling used to live in Leith, writing in a local cafe and in her flat.It wasn,t that posh then though.
Parts of it resemble Amsterdam with canal like inlets, tall but slim waterfront buildings and cobbled streets.The last time I was here it was thriving but even well off folk nowadays seem to be hanging onto thier cash as there were more than a few properties with signs to let ,for sale or just empty.Maybe with so many bars and restaurants competing here in a tough recession some casualties are inevitable.
Can,t get a decent cheap meal here though.No gregg,s, hot sausage rolls or bridie's :(
My intention on the way back had been to cycle along the water of Leith walkway spotting these metal men but it was so busy with pedestrians enjoying the late Sunday sunshine I gave up after a short while,bailing out onto the Victoria park cycle track instead then joining the main one running parallel to Ferry Road on an old sunken railway line.Nothing to see down here but its flat, swift and empty.Although in a green trench I was able to guess which parts of the city above I was passing through by certain clues left around.
Burnt out litter bins and graffiti on walls...must be going past Pilton :)
Sunset found me back at the car and a happy drive back to Glasgow.A tale of two cities.
A good laugh here as locals have fun with the water of Leith sculptures.http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2010/06/27/16420-3151/
Incidentally,For those thinking of visiting Edinburgh, Mary Kings Close, halfway up and underneath the famous Royal Mile near the castle is a gem.Its a network of very old streets under the city from a time when death, dead bodies and back room abattoirs were commonplace.Some of the earliest skyscrapers in the world were here.Narrow lanes with houses either side rising nine or even ten wooden stories high. A tour guide in traditional costume of the day leads you through its history.This one was about 25 years of age and had been doing it for a while judging by her accomplished performance.She was a local girl and had an outgoing personality.
When I was there she was just getting into her stride in full actress mode surrounded by mainly overseas tourists,waiting for late comers at the start of the first dark tunnel with her guide torch.
" I come from an old part of Edinburgh that is high, dark and scary. "she intoned,creeping about, setting the scene nicely.
I,d paid my money for the tour and was enjoying the show.She was very good.Normally I,m a quiet, well behaved customer but it was too easy an opening to resist.
"You must live in Wester Hailes then?" I inquired innocently.(a large, tall and somewhat notorious scheme on the outskirts that I,ve cycled happily though many times dodging obstructions and thrown projectiles)
She gave me a withering look.....Insulted and put off her stride just for a second. " No! .I,m from Corstorphine............................................... actually!"
That,s Edinburgh folk for you.No sense of humour . Beautiful city though but a bit cool and distant once out of the sunshine.....and so was she after that...........to me anyway.
I,ve always had that effect on any women I meet........What can I say........It,s a gift :)