TDA Reports From The Field: Feathering the Brakes in Edinburgh
Brad Davis has worked with TDA Global Cycling as a Content Creator & Assistant Tour Director on the Bamboo Road, Tour d’Afrique, Trans-Europa, Magical Madagascar & Pub Ride Cycling Expeditions.
I remember sitting in history class through high school, wondering what it must be like to live through a major historical event… I guess I got more than I bargained for! As the world battles this pandemic, it appears we’ve all been forced to take a “coke stop” from our regular lives. I’m currently sitting tight in Edinburgh, Scotland, where lockdown measures are quite strict. There are lots of boarded up shopfronts, police patrols to enforce curfews, and awkward shuffling in supermarket aisles as everyone rushes to get their essential groceries and get home with minimal human interaction.
What’s ironic is that since the UK government implemented a nationwide lockdown two months ago, city-wide park usage has actually gone up. Perhaps this is because everyone who usually passes their free time in the pubs, cinemas, cafes and shopping malls are now heading to the green open spaces – something which Edinburgh boasts a lot of! All this lush greenery is one of the many reasons I fell in love with Edinburgh in the first place (it was actually during our rest day here on the inaugural 2018 Pub Ride that I decided to make the Scottish capital my new home).
And yet, prior to this lockdown, I had very little time for it.
Anyone who knows me from a TDA tour is probably well aware that I’m a sucker for cafes, restaurants and pubs. As someone who was already working from home pre-COVID-19, these were the places I usually chose to meet people when I was ready to get out of the house.
With all those things out of the equation, I’m being treated to something far more special instead – a quiet, peaceful spring with my girlfriend Nav, where our outings consist of bike rides around Holyrood Park, strolls along Portobello Beach, and hikes to the top of Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill. If anything, I’m experiencing more of Edinburgh’s natural beauty than I ever did when I was free to roam about town as I pleased.
At home, I have more time for productive activities that I used to put off. On top of my usual copywriting work, I’ve been writing short stories, cooking nutritious meals and carrying out home DIY projects… okay, that last one might be a bit of a stretch.
Please don’t mistake this for me taking the current situation lightly. After all, the UK is currently the second-worst hit country in the world for fatalities. But amid all the pitfalls to arise from COVID-19, there is an upshot: a newfound appreciation for the simpler things in life. Rather than slamming the brakes on everything and sitting at home waiting for change, I’ve opted to feather the brakes instead, and use this opportunity to adjust my lifestyle for the better. I certainly won’t take the outdoors for granted ever again.
Naturally, the TDA community is made up of highly driven (or should I say “pedalled”?) individuals, who are no strangers to overcoming a challenge – whether it’s a particularly steep climb, that final 10km to camp, or a global pandemic. I’m sure I speak for many members of the TDA family when I say the first thing I’ll be doing when the world starts to spin again is booking a trip somewhere new and exciting, so I can experience other cultures and explore more of the great outdoors.
The second thing I’ll be doing is heading to the pub for a cold pint… Cheers.
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