The one thing I find myself missing during this time of lockdown is long country walks up hills, past lochs, and through castles. I miss our weekends away and Sunday adventures. Last week on one of his bike rides, Ben discovered Tollohill Wood, a woodland only 2 miles from home. I never knew this place existed and normally I wouldn’t dream of cycling along the roads required to get there but the lockdown has made the roads quieter so we decided to brave it with the kids in the cargo bike.
The first part of the journey was over the King George VI bridge which crosses the River Dee. Amazingly there’s actually a bit of bike path over this bridge but it’s not very good. There’s a post right in the middle as you can see in the photo below and there’s no easy way to rejoin the carriageway when it stops at either end of the bridge. On one side there’s not even a dropped curb which caused me some grief with my very heavy cargo bike.
At the end of this path is a roundabout and roundabouts can be treacherous for cyclists but with the roads so quiet it wasn’t so bad. After the roundabout, we cycled along the B9077 dual carriageway. There are still lots of daffodils in bloom as you can see in this next photo.
Then we had to navigate another roundabout even worse than the previous one but thankfully it was quiet. After that, we came to lovely quiet country roads but with a long uphill bit.
I put the cargo bike onto the highest level but I hadn’t charged the battery before we left and it conked out halfway up the hill. I got a great workout and took this little video when the slope flattened slightly.
There’s no bike parking at Tollohill Wood so we chained the bikes to a fence.
What an amazing place to have on our doorstep!
We found a swing.
Even Ben had a go.
An old quarry.
There’s nothing like a bike ride followed by a walk in the woods to invigorate the soul. Last week the Scottish government announced £10 million in funding for pop-up cycling and walking routes to enable space for distancing. I hope Aberdeen applies for some of this because there are so many wonderful places in and around the city to explore by bike and Tollohill Woods is easily cyclable. It just needs a safe cycle path.