u3a - Cycling Spotlight - Scotland

Helensburgh E-Biking Group

by Malcolm Brown, Group Leader 

“ E-biking - Living the dream

Imagine gliding effortlessly along for miles in spectacular countryside with breathtaking scenery along disused railway tracks, rivers and canal paths, away from roads and traffic. Or drifting along by the sea in the sunshine on promenades and shore routes that seem to go on forever linking beautiful towns and small villages, that’s E-biking. These experiences are so much more enjoyable when released from the efforts of pedalling and the concentration needed to get up the next hill. When you get that feeling of contentment and being at one with the world, when your everyday cares and worries are forgotten and you embrace being in the open air, that’s E-biking. 

Our new group of four met at Strathblane for our first outing intending to cycle to Milton of Campsie along the disused Blane Valley railway line. It was a gloriously sunny day with little wind and the track was tarmac all the way through wonderful countryside with hills and mountains in the distance and hedgerows of wildflowers and small ponds with ducks. We got so carried away we missed our turn-off to Milton of Campsie. Realising that we were only two miles from Kirkintilloch, we carried on, stopping at a café in town and enjoying coffee and cake in french style with tables on the pavement. It was so good we stayed for over an hour enjoying the feeling of freedom.

We started back and on the way made a small detour of a couple of miles to Clachan of Campsie which turned out to be a rather unique picturesque small village where we took a rest on a bench in the sunshine. This village, surprisingly, has the most incredible cycle repair shop that would not be out of place in the city. An Aladdin's cave of bike parts, frames, wheels everywhere, pedals, gears and all the parafinalia associated with cycling, an emporium. We set off back and arrived at Strathblane without further diversions or events. We had enjoyed the day immensely having biked nineteen miles taking five hours. It had been a brilliant experience and we look forward to our next adventure. Such is E-biking.” 

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