Author Topic: An extra dose of smug  (Read 1145 times)


  • Quiet please
An extra dose of smug
« on: December 23, 2008, 07:59:42 pm »
Up early. It is still dark, stars just fading into the pre dawn sky as I tread through the frost to get the bike out of the garage at just gone 7 this morning.

Fresh morning, not much traffic and the air is great. Studded knobblies drag on teh tarmac as I weave my way up and out of Dundee. Into Angus as the stars are no longer visible in a lightening sky. Past the Old railway line I'll be following this morning.

Left. It's too early for the horses to be out in the fields as I reach the end, for now, of the tarmac.

The old railway was dismantled 50 years ago. It is now a footpath. Frozen puddles, ruts from hooves and frozen grass. The tyres are probably too hard for this surface as I bump and grind my way along.

A narrow trach between two grass verges takes all my concentration - ice cracking as the wheels drop through into the soft earth beneath. The predawn light augmented by the bright headlamps. Staying on the path is a challenge - a foot dab here and there, the studs keeping me upright where snow, hard packed by pedestrians, has turned to rutted ice.

Weaving through the young birch trees, seeded and grown since Beechings axe fell,  I pass under the bridge. 

Onwards. Under the frost the ground is soft, bearing th emarks of travellers in warmer days. I geel the tyres drag: dead, brown stalks of rosebay willowherb brushed aside by my pannier.

The old station appears. No-one waits here any more save ghostly farm workers waiting for a ghostly train. Few now can remember the Blairgowrie Express - an imagined train whistles as I pass, then drop down onto the road to turn under the non-existent bridge. 

Tracks through the frost, a cut through between two fields. It is still frozen, puddles filling the potholes.

On down into the city as the sun rises into burning clouds over the Tay Bridge, dodging the queues of steaming cars with a cut through in the woods and along the burn under the road. Schoolkids like lemmings, a few more pedal turns and I arrive at the lab minus many calories but plus a whole load of smug.

A grand commute, a cup of hot coffee and a bun.