I am so proud of my eldest babe today. I'm normally proud of my girls but today I had extra special reason to be so of Charlotte today.
Today she was part of a 9000 person strong peloton. She was taking part in the Glasgow to Edinburgh ride "Pedal for Scotland". I'm not a big cyclist but I know how far 51 miles is and boy, that is a long, long way especially if you are only six and just over a meter tall.
She was having her first serious run on the tagalong. Mum was taking the lead with Charlotte on the back. I know that mum is pretty fit and cycling really is her thing- she's done a 200 mile endurance race and the Trossachs Ton twice and thinks nothing of 30 or 40 miles as a "wee run"- but 50 miles is a long way with a kid on your tail, even one who is pedalling. I know I couldn't do it, kudos to her for being up for the challenge. The rest of the team was made up of my uncle (mum's brother) Tom and my brother Kris. Team Lottie.
If they were going to cycle 51 miles then darn it, we were going to go and cheer her on and support them as much as we could.
I spoke to her on the phone as they waited in a giant queue to start (9000 bikes with 50 starting at a time equals a bit of a wait!) and she was excited to get going- there were "lots of people" and "lots of bikes". She's been in big crowds before but never actually part of something so big. She was loving it.
And so they set off. And what seemed like five minutes later I got a text to say "We're at the first stop"... what? Already? In actuality it had been about an hour but we better get a wriggle on if we were to meet her at the 30 mile marker. We got to Linlithgow and still no word whether they had reached the second stop... we thought they hadn't stopped and waited patiently. It turns out that they had been waiting on Kris who had injured his knee. Ouch. By the time they pulled into sight in Linlithgow we had a good band of supporters- Lexie, Minnie, Christopher, Uncle Callum, Papa Nash, Bridget and John and myself and cheering like loony's and waving our posters. Go Charlotte Go! I was a little too focused on cheering to take good pictures. (That's them in the middle of the road btw)
They had a decent stop in Linlithgow for food and lots to drink. It was a fantastic place to stop- with sandwiches, pasta, soup, chocolate, water... a ton of food and drink generally all laid on for the cyclists. Real Radio were there and Charlotte got a mention and a pretty good cheer- then she was spotted on the way out by the presenter who spoke to her, I don't think she could take much more excitement. And off they go again...
Before we even got to Edinburgh the text arrived to say they were at the next rest stop... it was a mad dash to get to the finish line before they did. Thankfully we made it with about 20 minutes to spare. We staked out a great spot and waited to see our little team cross the finish line. Again we let loose with the cheering and whooping (and not so much with the decent photo taking) as they whipped up the last hill with Charlotte grinning from ear to ear and pedalling like fury.
She is so proud of herself and even a little overwhelmed by everything but that girl has earned her medal! And so has her granny!
This is a fantastic event for all the family and I can see it in my future (as Kris said today I've got a lot to answer for with my West Highland Way plan, now we know what we are capable of!) when more of the girls can take part. There were so many different people taking part- older people, people in a similar physical condition to myself, people with young children, cycling clubs, and the comedy cyclists. There was always something interesting to see- from the seven seater conference bike to the gents in bowler hats and shirts and ties.
Well done to all of Team Lottie! You did a great job today.
But for me, I'm beyond proud of my little cyclist who tagged everyone she passed today and smiled and grinned every step. I think she deserved her daddy carrying her to the car don't you?
I'll be checking out the Sun (for the first time ever) on Tuesday to see her name listed in the finishers, young and old alike!