I've just had a weekend in Edinburgh attending the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, which basically is up there with all my christmases coming at once!
Festival organiser Kim Harding asked me a while back whether I'd be in the UK this June, and as luck would have it, I was winging my way over to see family et al.
I jumped at his invitation and at the chance to be part of a panel for the festival's first ever women's cycling forum and to enjoy some of the other festival bits and bobs that were happening whilst I was there - funtimes!
So last Friday 13 June, I beetled down to the Augustine United Church to hear the inspirational Chris Oliver, aka the Cycling Surgeon (Edinburgh-based consultant orthopod).
It was amazing to hear tales of morbid obesity and not being able to climb a flight of stairs let alone ride a bike, followed by dramatic weight loss and weight loss surgery culminating in cycling across the United States last year.
His tale was a cautionary one in terms of life balance and the all-too-easy trap of forgetting that life is not a rehearsal - and the Q&A afternwards reiterated the need to live our dreams in our lifetimes.
Definitely a salutary reminder to eschew chairs and discover bikes!
Naturally following that I needed a bike in this city where 'hardly-anybody-owns-a-car'! - and so who better than the fabulous Dave Gardiner from Laid Back Bikes ...
... and yes he had a bike for me ... no not the one above (with the man himself) ...
... nor this one above either!
... but this one!
A beautiful paper bike in British racing blue (matching the door-next-door), all made and specially painted in Scotland. Brilliant bike, loved it - so cruisy, with 8 gears, and perfect for travelling all over this lovely city ...
... meaning I didn't have to get off to push my bike up any of the Edinburgh hills!