If you had told me that this blog would eventually result in me being on the radio I would never have believed you. But this is exactly what happened- on Easter Monday I was a guest on East Coast FM, talking about cycling in Scotland.
East Coast FM is the radio station of East Lothian, a council area to the east of Edinburgh that includes towns like North Berwick, Musselburgh and Prestonpans. The presenter of the mid-morning show, Jim Anderson, had seen my Twitter profile and contacted me to ask if I would like to appear on the show. We spoke on the 'phone and Jim said that he was interested in my quest to see all of Scotland by bicycle and that we could chat about this live on the radio. I thought that it might be an interesting thing to do and would help to publicise my blog so we agreed on Easter Monday as the day to make my radio debut.
The closer it got to Easter Monday the more nervous I became. Jim had reasured me that it was going to be informal and we were just to have a normal conversation as if we were friends chatting. There would be no scripts, but I couldn't help myself thinking about what I would say and worrying about how I would come across.
The radio station is located in Haddington, about 20 miles east of Edinburgh. I decided to take my bike on the train to Longniddry where there is a 4.5 mile cycle path to Haddington. It would be daft not to cycle, considering what I would be talking about, but when I arrived Jim joked, "we thought you'd arrive by car!"
Jim put me at ease right away and explained how things would go, that he would ask me some questions and play some music. When I first started talking I felt a bit nervous- I had a microphone right in front of me and Jim was sat opposite me with lots of buttons and dials. I soon relaxed into it and started to enjoy the experience.
It was a chance for me to share my passion about bicycle travel in Scotland. We covered a lot of topics including my favourite places, when I first got interested in cycling, where I want to go to next, cycling safety and advice for people new to cycling.
I was on the show for about 40 minutes, including the music between our conversation. Jim and I talked for a few minutes and he played some music between the topics. During the songs we were off air and Jim asked me how I felt it was going and reasured me that I was coming across well. This really helped to make the experience enjoyable and relaxing.
This was certainly the best thing to have come out of my blog and I am really glad that I took the opportunity to give it a go. It was good fun and I hope that it has helped to get some more people interested in travelling around Scotland on a bicycle. Jim said that there could be an opportunity for me to make a further appearance on the show, so make sure to listen out for me on East Coast FM .
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.