Tuesday: I cycled the nine miles from Lady Village to Loth and left Sanday on the 9.30am ferry on Tuesday morning, spending the day in Kirkwall, working in the library, including gathering old cycling photos from Orkney in the town archive, before catching the overnight Northlink ferry to Lerwick.
Wednesday: It was one rough crossing, but I was very cosy in my little 'sleep pod' and arrived safe and rested in Lerwick at 7.30am. I love it that Northlink let you stay aboard for a couple of hours to get yourself together and have breakfast. My veggie fry-up and meeting up with friends onboard set me up well for a busy day!
|Northlink Ferries veggie breakfast - Mmmmmmmmm!|
|Shock registers on my face when I hear that my friends had a luxury outside cabin, while I slummed it in a sleep pod!|
(actually, the sleep pod was very comfortable . . . but still!)
10am - I met up with Mike "The Bike", Cycling UK's northernmost member. A great guy who dedicates his life to charitable causes and cycling by regular bike and e-bike. Discussed possible future volunteering opportunities. I'm looking forward to having a bit more time on my next visit so that I can go out for a ride with him. Hopefully the wind will have died down a bit too!
|It was a pleasure to meet Mike "The Bike", Cycling UK's northernmost member|
11am - Next it was round the corner to the fantastic Shetland Community Bike Project, where I spent an hour and a half with Caroline and Neil discussing their Big Bike Revival applications for 2019. Click on the link in this paragraph to see something of the great work they do with clients from, amongst others, Shetland Alcohol Support Services, the Mental Health Department, Shetland Link Up and the Community Drugs Project.
1pm - Finally, I met up with Caroline from Disability Shetland and Donna from Shetland Sport 4 All. They were very enthusiastic about using Big Bike Revival funding for getting their clients cycling, and we are now working on the early stages of a very exciting all abilities cycling project together (more to come on that one in the next few weeks).
2.30pm - Just time for a spot of lunch - Quorn eggs and Quorn sausages washed down with a bottle of mineral water, in the wind and rain, outside the Lerwick Co-op. It's all glamour.
3.30pm - Checked myself and the bike in for the now 4.30pm sailing back to Kirkwall.
|My bike 'Dave', ready to catch the ferry back from Lerwick to Kirkwall|
11pm - Checked in at the lovely Kirkwall SYHA hostel. Sleeeeeeep!
Thursday: Up in time to catch the 7.40am ferry to Sanday. Lots of coffee! Smooth crossing. Nine miles cycling into a big but refreshing headwind from Loth to Lady Village. Home at 10.30am!
So, from end-to-end it was fifty hours for a day-long visit, but well worth it from a work perspective due to everyone's enthusiasm for Cycling UK's Big Bike Revival, and from a personal point-of-view for the fun and adventure of it all. Looking forward to my next visit later this summer.