A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad



Two days travelling along the banks of the Tweed: first westwards (loosely), and second back east to the coast. There was a fierce westerly wind blowing the whole time - guess which day felt easier! Despite being a cycle along the Tweed valley, I felt like we didn’t see a huge amount of the river. No matter though, it was lovely and rural, with some very quiet stretches; and on Saturday the downhill and comparatively sheltered stretch to the night’s stop made a welcome contrast to the uphill, into the wind climb immediately before.

This was also my first time staying in a ‘camping pod’; essentially a hut. The one we stayed in on Friday and Sunday had beds; Saturday night’s didn’t, but it did have a carpeted floor (and we had sleeping mats too). Strangely perhaps, Saturday’s felt much cosier than the other.

Rather than describing the whole trip, I’ll pick out a couple of the parts to give a flavour of the weekend. The hardest part for me was a long climb up into the wind around Galashiels, where we had a lovely views to the north; the climb would probably have been quite manageable, save for the strong wind in our faces as we chugged up. I was very glad of my bottom gear (30×34, in ‘teeth units’)! Although we were only 10 miles or so from our night’s stop, we called a pause shortly after crossing the pass, and found the most sheltered spot we could to rustle up a quick meal (couscous and beanfeast - a brilliant combination for travelling light). It was still a breezy and quite chilly spot, but fortified by the snack we geared up for the descent; and as we descended into the valley on the other side, it was almost like a different world: easy descending, into what felt, on this side of the ridge, like a balmy breeze rather than an incipient gale. And this was probably the best bit of the trip: a long, easy descent, with a cosy shelter waiting for us at the bottom; the porch of the camping pod faced towards the sunset, and we ate pickled mussels whilst watching the sun go down over the hills beyond.