What, no mountain biking?

I’ve been away on holiday for over a week and haven’t had access to a bike. This has meant no hard exercise beyond walking, often with our dog, Freddie. I took some running shoes which have only been used once in the last 6 or 7 years but have decided not to run whilst away. Running is a very different discipline to pedalling and uses the muscles in a way which can lead to a lot of discomfort afterwards for someone who isn’t used to it. My last run a month or two ago was about 4 miles in length and lead to sharp pain in the backs of my thighs even during the run. There’s also the effect on tendons to worry about so after some consideration I decided to take a break. I suppose I’ll lose some fitness after a fortnight of inactivity but I’ll try to pick things up over the next few weeks. I still have one challenge which I’d like to try achieve in the form of a circuit which I want to ride in under 14 minutes but I’m not sure that I was sufficiently trained for this after my last attempt. I’ll have another go on a different and hopefully faster bike to check my position. I can then do some training specific to a hilly circuit of an intermediate length. On a brighter note I’m having a great time away from home and not only with my wife and dog.

Our son, Dylan, is now 21 years old and for around 8 years has been working towards qualifying as a farrier, which is someone who shoes horses. The qualification of DipWCF has taken him the last 4 years and meant he left home at just 17 years old to train on the south coast of England. After qualification he identified Aberdeenshire in Northern Scotland as a good place to find business. For this reasons we have postponed our plan to tour the coast of Wales and go north instead. We spent 3 nights in Northumberland then 3 nights near Edinburgh before heading to Aberdeenshire.

Freddie contemplating crossing the Scottish border for the first time.
Dylan is living in a rented chalet. Not bad for 21 years old.
From the door you can see Bennachie at around 1,800 feet. The cloud inversion in the valley seems common.

We are watching Dylan shoeing a horse later today and I’m looking forwards to getting back to mountain biking back home in a couple of days. I do fancy bringing a bike next time to ride Bennachie., though. Freddie will also be happy to get home. Dylan has acquired a spaniel puppy, Vinnie, who is just too lively for 5 year old Freddie, who enjoys a quieter life.

Vinnie. Cute.

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