Only sheep wait for the bus here

February 11, 2014

August? Really?

There’s been lots of cycling and bike building in between then and now that I really should have written about, but, y’know, didn’t. At least my camera works now. There was even a ride in Surrey back in December, but that was such an overload of sensory information that I didn’t know how to start writing about it.

On the same bike featured in the post below, albeit with a couple of slight modifications,  I went for my first solitary,  somewhat exercise-focused ride out into Aberdeenshire for 2014.  Everyone I know, including me, has been talking about how mild the winter has been, how we haven’t had snow and the resulting ice, and wondering “when it’s going to get cold”. Well, I have the answer: just go up the hill.  As soon as you get out of Aberdeen, there is heavy frost everywhere, and bits of ice by the side of the road. Ungritted side roads look much icier, and make me question my planned route, but I press on. I have two specific places in mind.

The first is a boat parked by the side of the road. A back road, mind. In rural Aberdeenshire, twenty miles from the sea, in a bit of forest that seperates a cow park from a sheep park.  I should add that this road is one we use for road race training in the summer, and it’s from then that I remember the boat, because there is something quite hallucinatory about it when you’re riding flat-out. You go over a brow, turn to the right and if you’re riding in a fast bunch you just about have time to see it there, surrounded by bracken, catching the light of the setting sun. The effect isn’t the same when you’re riding along at modest, out-of-season pace, on your own, looking for it. It’s more a case of, “it’s after this corner…isn’t it?”, interrupted on this particular evening by a number of 7.5 tonne lorries which are the same width as the road, whose drivers seem to have decided that it is a good idea to shuttle back and forth along here, forcing passing cyclists to take to the verge. I hope they meet a car coming the other way and have to stop. Or another truck, now that would be funny.

And on to my destination, which is what I believe to be the world’s most isolated bus stop. I’ve included a picture, but what I can’t show you is the wind in this place. It was fairly calm this evening, but often it howls in from the West, buffeting the so-called “shelter” and whipping the grass and trees around, nothing you would want to be standing waiting in. I have never seen anyone waiting for a bus here, although the sheep in the park behind might be interested in a bid for freedom.

P1030230

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