Last outing before Christmas?

So finally after my latest repairs, the “old git” and the “old gal” decide to get on my saddles and head out for a run.

It was a beautiful sunny morning in late November –  perfect for giving me a good test run to see if everything was in working order.

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Picture postcard perfect on the country roads around Auchterarder.

Needless to say it was somewhat chillier than when the intrepid duo last applied power to my pedals – when we were basking in the warm temperatures in Burgundy.

The “old git” had discovered some ski leggings and bought a pair for himself and the “old gal” so neither could complain of being cold.

Mind you, that wasn’t going to protect the pair of them from any aches and pains from not having been out on a  run since we returned to Auchterarder from France.

So off we went, with their legs feeling not-too-rusty as we headed along the beautiful country roads to Dunning. Soon it felt like they had never been out on the saddle with the “old git” gleefully flicking up and down through the gears to provide assistance on any hills. Even the “old gal” was impressed!

We were fair whizzing along, and it was great to feel the fresh air in my spokes again (that is my new super-strength spokes specially made for tandems,of course!)

We covered the four miles to Dunning in no time – and buoyed by the endorphins from the rapid exercise in the sunshine – the “old git” decided that they should head on for another four miles to the next village of Forteviot.

Big mistake! It was great cycling to Forteviot and both the “old git” and the “old gal” were in high spirits having reached there in less than an hour.

There was now the issue of having to cycle back those eight miles. Lets just say I think their enthusiasm got the better of them – and having covered so many miles in France they thought it wouldn’t be a problem. However that neatly overlooked the fact that they hadn’t been tandeming for two months!

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Spot the “stylish” ski leggings – and the long shadows!

Pedalling back to half way home – to Dunning – was just about manageable. If only they could have stopped there!

The stops on the last four miles back home got more frequent – with the “old git” trying to disguise some with “this is a good place to take a photo for the blog!”

The “old gal” wasn’t fooled – but she was more than glad of the rest herself.

One of the stops was at the site of a monument to Maggie Wall – on the first hill as you leave Dunning back to Auchterarder. This is a kind of eerie stone cross which  claims to be a memorial to the last witch to be burned at the stake in Scotland back in 1657.

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The witch’s monument near Dunning … and the “old gal”!!

It was a beautiful spot for the duo – who were now realising that a 16 mile outing for the first time in 8 weeks maybe wasn’t the best idea.

But they took in the views of the rolling Perthshire countryside as they tried to boost their energy levels for the final pedal home.

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Where’s my Chief Stoker gone? It was a gorgeous day for a tandem ride.

The last stretch really was a bit of a trial – and took much longer than normal for that distance.

We all arrived safely back at Matilda’s Rest – if a bit later and much more exhausted than expected.

But after a reviving coffee and shortbread both the “old git” and the “old gal” felt energised that they had completed the run – and were already planning my next outing.

However, with all the preparations for Christmas it could be the festive season before I am out on the road again. Perhaps for a New Year’s Day ride to celebrate the arrival of 2015!