Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Standing on the pedals

Strange how, most mornings, my legs feel tired. It usually takes until lunchtime to get them working properly again. Today was the same. I had mistakenly thought it would be an 'easy' day, after all you can see Aberdour from Leith, or at least you can see Edinburgh from Aberdour, right across the Forth. Trouble was, I didn't take the simple route across the Forth Road Bridge. Oh no, I would have missed out several important harbours. So I crossed via the bridge at Kincardine.

The morning was tough, especially as I chose to take the 'Almond Walkway', a path alongside the river that flows out into the Forth at Cramond. The cycle sign was clear, indicating its suitability for bikes... I should've taken more notice of the 'Walkway' bit. Halfway along the mile and a half path was a set of steep wooden steps, 80 up and then 70 down. My bike wasn't meant for lifting, so I had to take off the panniers, lift the bike up all the steps, then go back down for the panniers. You know the rest. That wasted at least half an hour and did nothing to improve that early morning tiredness in my legs.

The wind had veered to the south-west, making progress slow. Rain squalls forced me to seek shelter several times; I didn't reach Kincardine until 4pm. But then it was plain sailing. The wind at my back, legs working again, even standing on the pedals to deal with some of the hills (that took a bit of learning, because for the first few days I was so intent on controlling the bike that I hadn't dared to stand on the pedals).

There were several detours to harbours that weren't on the signed cycle route 76, such as Charlestown and North Queensferry, from where this photo was taken. Arrived in Aberdour at 7.30, but couldn't find anywhere to camp, so pressed on to Pettycur, where I knew there was a proper site. Arrived there at 8.45pm, via a take-away pizza in Burntisland - well it is Tuesday (in-house joke).

The site warden wanted £17 for the pitch, but in conversation I told him about the ride and the charities, and he waived the charge completely!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, visiting the many tiny harbours aling the East Neuk of Fife. Just hope the sun shines, as some, especially Crail, are most picturesque.

1 comment:

  1. We used to get the ferry across the Forth from N Queensferry before they built the bridge..