Discovering Falkirk countryside spoiled by cyclist

As week six in lockdown drew to a close and with the weather fine, I decided the time was right to bring a bit of variety to my daily walk.

By Kate Livingstone
Friday, 8th May 2020, 12:30 pm

As week six in lockdown drew to a close and with the weather fine, I decided the time was right to bring a bit of variety to my daily walk.

My hour outdoors for regular exercise tends to follow the same route, part of which goes through one of the district’s cemeteries. When I realised that I was starting to notice when flowers were being changed on graves, I decided to head in a different direction!

And what an eye-opener it was.

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Despite having lived in the Falkirk area all my life, I discovered parts of the district that I’d never seen before – or if I had it was by driving past not actually taking time to look about me.

I’ve read about all the Helix paths that have been opened up and it was great to actually make use of them.

I certainly wasn’t the only one as lots of families, dog walkers, cyclists, in fact people of all ages were out making the most of the sunny afternoon.

Once again it made me realise that we are so fortunate living in this area as we have lovely walks and countryside on our doorstep.

I did wonder if all the tourists, who in normal circumstances, visit the Helix and Falkirk Wheel wander these paths too. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did – so often we don’t bother about things which are right under our nose as I discovered on Sunday afternoon.

The paths were not quite wide enough for the two metre social distancing but everyone I came across was very mindful of the rules and went single file staying as far away from others as possible when passing.

Well that is with the exception of one cyclist, the only blot on a very pleasant afternoon.

What is it about men in lycra that seems to give them a sense that everyone else needs to get out of their way.

Every family I passed on my walk was very courteous with parents often stopping and telling their children to do the same until walkers moved on.

But not black lycra man!

I heard the short ping of his handlebar bell behind me so I moved to the side of the path but kept walking. Another ping before he went past uttering a lot of expletives!

Seems by his thinking I should have jumped off the path into the undergrowth so that he didn’t have to slow down.

Really? Don’t think so.

It reminded me of an occasion when a friend and I were having a Saturday afternoon catch up with lunch in a village pub restaurant.

Two guys came in with all the cycling gear on proceeded to sit at the bar and order lunch.

It was my friend who noticed first and said: “Have you seen that they are drinking their second pint of beer?”

“Who?” I asked.

“Those two cyclists – and one of them has just ordered another one!”

We then watched as they finished their drinks and put their cycling helmets back on and went outside.

Needless to say the rest of our afternoon was ruined as we debated whether we should have called the police. Problem was we didn’t see which direction they went and there were several exits out of the village.

Now I’m not suggesting that these cyclists are indicative of all the cycling fraternity but it just takes a few to give others a bad name.