Contributing to footpath erosion

By | 20 November, 2012
"The Beast" - classily posed against my bins

“The Beast” – classily posed against my bins

“You’re lazy, fat and ugly!” are just some of the insults I’ve never had thrown at me. But, despite their non-existence as Tim-directed abuse, it’s certainly true that I’m quite lazy, especially when it comes to exercise.

I know that jogging or going to the gym is good for you. Exercise seems to cure, or at least help with, pretty much ill you can suffer from. Exercise can help reduce insulin resistance, release endorphins and so on, but can I be arsed getting off my sofa and doing something healthy? Nah, of course not.

But all that recently changed. After burbling on about my old pre-diagnosis cycling exploits during the summer, my wife Katie suggested that I buy myself a mountain bike. Given that we live a few hundred meters from the Pentland Hills and the vast range of muddy cycling that it offers, this actually sounded like quite a good idea.

So a few weeks later I found myself sitting atop my new Specialized Hardrock Disc ’12 which I’ve nicknamed “The Beast”. It’s called “The Beast” as for many years I’ve ridden a proper road bike, which weighs about 3 grams and has tiny thin wheels. The new bike is huge, chunky and has manic gear ratios that allow you to climb vertical cliffs. It’s world apart from the old road bike, which has sadly been collecting dust for some time. Call me a cowardy-custard but busy Edinburgh roads just scare the Bejesus out of me. At least with the new bike I can use footpaths, avoid roads and annoy pedestrians and dog-walkers by recklessly speeding past.

Anyway, decked out in more lycra than an 80’s heavy metal band, I’ve spent the last few weekends contributing to path erosion and generally having a blast careering around the hills. By the end of a ten mile trip the bike and I have doubled our combined weight with mud. And I’ve only fallen off painfully twice – bonus!

The things that have made it diabetically-possible (or at least easier) are a frame bag filled with emergency sweeties, low temporary basals on the pump and an Android app for my phone (Endomondo – others are available) which tracks where I go and cleverly shows me how fast I’ve gone, how many calories I’ve consumed and so on (Check out my latest trip here: This app seems to make a good ride hugely satisfying – knowing where you’ve been fast / slow / lazy / hyper-fit is, to me at least, really interesting.

As a result I’ve had great fun, felt a lot better and feel fitter already. So, I guess, it’s just all about finding the right exercise for you rather than slogging away miserably in a gym. So there!

Category: exercise Tags: ,

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Abbott's Libre flash glucose monitor.

8 thoughts on “Contributing to footpath erosion

  1. Peter Childs

    Well done, but is it really the right time of year to be cycling in this cold, dark, possibly icy, you never know we might even get snow (that’s down here in Kent not up there is Scotland where I suspect Snow is already about :))

    I was thinking of getting back on two wheels but decided to leave replacing my bike till the spring, the old one got seriously damaged when I parked it outside the hospital about 6 weeks ago, when someone tried to “kick” the lock off it totalling failing but rendering the bike useless in the job!

    I think that a new bike might either need to be a proper road bike that can do real speed or a proper montine bike that can do off road properly, but being down in Kent the decision is less clear, rather than going for own of the cheaper halfway house methods.

    Still given my Bike is dead, I guess I’ll have to get the bus to the annual eye appointment on Thursday as I can’t drive due to those annoying drops they seam beset on using these days….. Seriously it would be quicker and cheaper to cycle, but I can’t even cycle by the most direct route (Tunnel with no Bikes aloud) and the buses don’t go that way either 🙁 So I spouse I’ll have to give up the whole afternoon the good old annual eye photos.

    1. Tim Post author

      There was indeed a sprinkling of snow on the hills this weekend. I kitted myself out with lots of glove, ear warmers, overshoes, etc., etc., etc., from Decathlon before heading out. Toasty warm despite killer headwind!

      Road / mountain bike choice is a tricky one – a hybrid is just a cop out. I suppose it just depends on the road to mud ratio in your area. Save up and buy one of both! 😉

  2. Annette A

    My dear, cycle mad hubby assures me that the number of bikes that anyone _needs_ is equal to x+1 where x is the number of bikes one currently owns. (Which is why we have 4 of his in the garage. I have 1. Its a lightweight mountain bike that has had knobbly tyres fitted to make it more mountain like.) So yes, buy both! (Oh, and good choice of bike. Specialized are good -its the one that gets ridden most often from our house.)

    1. Tim Post author

      Yes, Specialized do make some nice stuff. I’ve swapped out the peddles to cleats, new handgrips and I might change the handlebars; but aside from that, the standard model is good. 🙂

  3. Donald Thomson

    I prefer my two-wheeled transport to come with a 120bhp 995cc engine. Makes it much easier. And it does actually burn a few calories, before you ask 🙂


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