Home to the Sea

A trip to the coast had been on the to-do list for a while and after checking the weather, which seemed rain-free, I loaded up the Swifty Zero for the 10 mile scoot down to Musselburgh from my home in Bonnyrigg. With the weather apparently looking good, I decided that waterproofs would be un-necessary and left them behind and set off in shorts and t-shirt. I would later realise my error and should have known better.

My route was mostly downhill, following old railway lines now repurposed for walking and cycling and as such the gradient was always easy, even on the way back uphill. The paths were busy today with cyclists, dog walkers and even more dog walkers, which was not unusual this being a Sunday. However, my jingle bell did it job well and my passing went without issue, other than one youngster on a kick scooter who swerved right into my path. The brakes of the Swifty Zero did an excellent job at stopping in time.

My destination for the day was the harbour at Musselburgh, where a bench made the ideal place to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch. Mind you a nearby “greasy spoon” portable café was creating some interesting smells with fish and chips being most enticing. However, sandwiches it was, perhaps another day.

However, as soon as lunch was finished and I was started to make my way back, a few big spots of rain started to fall, soon followed by millions of their friends. Seeking some shelter, I donned a windproof (but not waterproof) jacket and heading off on a slightly different route across Musselburgh to make use of the shelter from overhanging trees, hoping it might just be a shower. But this was not to be. The rain was on for good and I might as well get going.

Luckily the weather was mild and while I was only wearing open sandals, shorts and light non-waterproof jacket, it was not overly cold and I was soon generating extra heat as I scooted upstream along the path following the River Esk. I’ve not done a lot of wet-weather kick scooting but there are a few interesting observations I’d like to share.

The first is that even with mudguards, the wheels still throw up plenty of water, mud and grit and wet feet and muddy legs are the order of the day. Care needs to be taken on corners where wet leaves are now very slippery at speed and other path users such as pedestrians with their hoods up are not always readily aware that you are there.

Furthermore, I later realised that my front pannier is not in the least waterproof and most of the contents were at a minimum damp, and at worse, soaking. At least my camera was protected in its own case. One thing I do mind, being a spectacle wearer, is my specs getting wet and I always wear a baseball cap which makes all the difference. I don’t mind getting a soaking so long as my specs are dry and I can most importantly see where I’m going.

I was pretty wet by the time I’d covered the return 10 miles back to the house. Mind you, a few of the walkers and cyclists I’d seen earlier were in a much worse state than I was, not having anything to wear others than t-shirts. Anyway, back home, a change of clothing and an enjoyable day, despite the weather.

Copyright ©2020 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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