Posts Tagged: cycling



Ben completed the 50 miles around the demonically agressive hills and single track roads that made up the Tour de Lauder this weekend. He was joined by James and Simon who are friends since their days growing up in Haddington. The trio did remarkably well considering their group training had been sporadic- Ben and James squeezed in two training rides before the event and we only met Simon for the pre-race strategy beer on Thursday.


The story of the Tour de Lauder is a teary yet inspirational one, I only learned the history by listening to Rosy Cully’s pre-ride speech. Steve Cully was an amazingly fit man who was police officer and was on the Royal Protection detail, to give you an idea of his fitness, he competed in the Marathon des Sables which is  ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (254km) miles and he finished. He died of a sudden heart attack at just 41. Leaving Rosy and two young children.


Two of his friends decided to organise a small cycle ride in his honour and donate any proceeds to the Steve Cully Tribute fund at Chest Heart Stroke Scotland, before they knew it word had spread and almost 100 cyclists wanted to take part in the 2012 ride. It was a smashing success and they raised 17,000 pounds in Steve Cully’s honour.


This was year two of the Tour de Lauder and there were 270 registered riders who had the choice between 50 miles or 86 miles ending on the Col de Stow- a hill with a 15% grade.


It was an especially nice day sunshine and blue skies. There was a bit of wind, but according to Ben, it did not bother them too much. Ben, Simon and James completed the 50 mile ride in 3 hours 51 minutes, with an average pace of 13.5 miles per hour and a top speed of 40 mph.


I went as a volunteer and had the pleasure of meeting many of the cyclists at the check-in table- I will always be strong support of anyone with numbers 1-70! Sarah joined me out on the course where we helped at the first water stop- they do it right, the Lady Bakers of Lauder- I am unsure if this is a real organisation, but in my opinion they should band together, all the refuelling snacks were homemade and donated for this event- I have never seen such baked-goods variety. For a healthier option there were 600 bananas and orange wedges. Sarah and I opted for the bananas.


The people of Lauder were unbelievable- Sarah and I were driven around by Carol the event organiser and she was funny and friendly. There were some scary moments on the narrow roads, but we made it back to the ‘chateau’, unfortunately, we missed the finish or our team- they were too fast. There has already been chatter about trying it again next spring and maybe even tackling the 86 miles.

Tour de Lauder- we will be back!

Complete photo set can be found here.


LISTEN UP… This week’s theme is inspired by Ben. He is competing in his first-ever cycle race this Saturday. The distance is 50 miles and he is ready! I will be return the favour of being an awesome support crew member, hopefully will get some great race snaps for next week.

More of our cycling adventures can be found, here, here and here.

Ben’s inspiration can be found here and here.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this week’s mix- on Spotify.


Over the next few months Ben and I are registered to compete in several sports events. 


APRIL 14: I have finished the Rock n Roll half marathon this weekend. 

APRIL 20: Ben is racing in the Tour de Lauder, his first ever cycling race- he has been training up a storm. I will be there and hopefully get to see him cross the finish line. I am going as a volunteer for Chest Heart Stroke Scotland.

JUNE 16: I am running the Race for Life again this year (last year). If you have some spare change, you can sponsor me. It is a great cause.

JUNE 23: When in Vancouver for work- run the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon- sure why not- a great way to explore the coast.

JULY 7: Attempting my second triathlon- St. Andrew’s Triathlon, a 750 metre open-water swim in a wetsuit- I had better get into the pool (memories of swims past).

AUGUST 10-11: A sporty-surprise for Ben’s birthday- so excited for this one- the one clue- can you pop?

Check back for the mile-by-mile recap of all this sporty fun.



What are you doing, doing New Year’s Eve?

On several of the blogs I read I see headlines such as- Have the Night of Your Life- Make this a New Year’s Eve to Remember and Party until Dawn- the only one which was remotely appealing was the Mingle Bell Rock- that is just cute!

I have never been a huge fan of December 31- it always seems so anti-climactic- you must have the time of you your life where ever you are and if you are not celebrating like this is your last party ever, then your upcoming year will be equally as dull as your previous one ended. Here in Edinburgh the celebration of Hogmanay is legendary, almost more important than Crimbo with street parties, fireworks and thousands of revellers filling our streets and local pubs.

To ring in 2013, Ben and I have decided instead of the cheese picnic we had discussed in early December, we are going to partake in a two-hour spin class (stationary bicycles) from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Our local spinning gym, LifesCycle have been promised fantastic music with stunning visuals on the big screen that keeps me distracted while pedalling furiously.

Not only will we start the New Year refreshed, strong and a bit sore we will most likely be the good kind of dehydrated!

Spin on 2013. 

(Picture by us- we are having some fun with long exposures and our Knog Frog bicycle light)



I have been feeling sporty since taking it up a notch pre-Thailand and some of these items could keep me going strong into 2013. 

1. Motivating films like Breaking Away should help to motivate.

2. Are you exercising hard enough? Confirm your suspicions with a watch and heart rate monitor.

3. Try the classic Chariots of Fire with Scottish legend Eric Liddell and the beaches of St. Andrews to keep you interested. The music is okay too.

4. Glass is better in the form of a sleek water bottle- easier to clean and more sanitary, plus bright hues that will get people talking around the bubbler.

5. Jamming out, keeping track of your miles, carrying keys and bus fare all in a handy arm band- don’t make my mistake- comes in multiple sizes! 

6. Toasty and stylish as you huff and puff through cold winter runs.

7. My sister-in-law rides a fixie- I want to be like her- here is a cool (medium) budget version, if you buy in pounds (plus these bikes were founded in London). Again with the colours.

8. Still torn about this helmet.

9. You can never have too many pairs of running tights- as long as they are OPAQUE! 

10. Sure regular socks will do, but get a grip with Pilates socks.

11. Though we don’t live in the mountains anymore, these snowshoes would do the trick if we make in back to Grenoble this winter.

12. I have been looking for an easier to pack running shoe- fun colours as well (I am into this).

PICNIC… I was off a couple weeks ago to rest up for my upcoming trips. During the week, I met Ben for a couple of picnic lunches. One of the afternoons we met at Modern I and enjoyed the sunshine. Ben came from work! Loving his Surly Cross Check

Ben’s bike colour is Robin’s Egg Blue, but the new Hospital Foam is great and gross all at the same time!


Have you seen these? They are really neat and a slick way to hang your bicycles. They have proven to be the perfect solution for our two bikes in the apartment storage pickle. We opted for green. They have really opened up our spare bedroom.

(This is not our place- photo courtesy of core77)

They hang the bikes horizontally or vertically, giving you options to maximise your space. The theme of our spare room is going to be industrial chic- we already have our step ladder hanging.


We woke up on Sunday morning and it was still windy, but Ben assured me the wind would be only at our sides or backs, we headed towards Edinburgh along the coast and through lovely farmland. We took it easy stopping along the way at several historic ports and for a tasty treat at the Coca Tree in Pittenweem. 

A really great day.


Foiled by wind- gusts up to 40 mph, we decided to take an alternative route to St. Andrews. We cycled to Queensferry and caught the train to Leuchars (the nearest station to St. Andrews) and then cycled from there. It was really pleasant and left us feeling refreshed for our cycle ride on Sunday.

St. Andrews remains lovely (I visited in 1996)! 



It is a busy week at Turning Over a New Leith- Saturday, April 28, Johnners takes to the saddle for the 300+ mile Trans-Iowa V.8. 

(Photo courtesy of

Poor Johnners- he has been under the weather with bronchitis and eye troubs. The ocular bleeding (exaggeration) has led him to have to have injections directly into his eye- how horrible, but being the real athlete in the family he is going to persevere. Or maybe this is how he psych’s out his competition.

It will also be the red-carpet, world premiere of 300 Miles of Gravel, a film that features John and his cycling prowess- I hope he gets a copy on DVD. The only time spandex on the red carpet is acceptable.

John has agreed to grant his first post-race interview to Turing Over a New Leith-  stay-tuned for early next week where John will all the gory deets from the road and the red-carpet highlights.

For those of you who want to follow along- you can listen for updates with Guitar Ted.

Good luck Johnners- stay safe out there.

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