That humiliating moment when you clean forget your shoe cleats are welded to your road bike peddles, & clatter to the side in front of everyone on the Portavadie ferry slipway (cars, cyclists & passengers). Like Coyote treading fresh air after running over a cliff edge there’s that pregnant pause when the awful truth dawns and you tumble to a humbling fate. Just as well I’m not too proud of appearances, wearing my old Bell helmet, odd socks & tackety-boot cycling shoes. Momentary meltdown & grazed knee did nothing to dent delight in completing the 5 ferries challenge again on Saturday. This time purely for fun.

My much fitter compadre Ross ran away ahead of me on the hills, but, despite a little cramp in both legs I ground out the grueling gargantuan climes at the Kyles of Bute & Arran’s Boguillie (Lochranza – Sannox) and collapsed onto the Brodick to Ardrossan ferry gratefully GUBBED! 72 miles, 4,062 ft reached, 285 min’s cycling time & 3,000 calories burnt = GUBBED (beautiful descriptive Scottish word)!

At 55 I must be more careful about my body and respect its limitations, but it’s also nice to responsibly push it a little. My mortal body only has so long to go and I’m truly grateful for it. If sweaty, satisfaction saturated days like Saturday are a taster of heaven, I look forward to it with hope and anticipation. I know some of you reading this are experiencing great frustration that your body can’t work the way it used to.

I’m drawn to Psalm 8:5-11 (NLT)

“Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. 10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. 11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

What a glorious backyard God has given us in Ayrshire, West Coast Scotland! From knee-high I’ve been running, cycling, hiking, climbing & golfing in its spectacular scenery. Okay some days allow better visibility, but this recent spell of spectacular sunny weather surely heightens our gratitude to God?

Sincerely Gubbed & Grateful! Neil