The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

Over the last few months, I have travelled extensively around North East Fife and I can not contain myself any longer. The amount of aluminum cans, the contents of which, if marketing men are to be believed, gives you wings, and after drinking such a liquid, even pigs can fly, Aye right. Whatever the merits of the contents of such a beverage, please, please, please, once the can is empty stick it in the back of your cycling jacket and take them home with you. One thing I do know, there are no fairies, with or without wings, coming during the night to pick up all those empty cans, I see at frequent intervals along the side of the road.

The sea fog hung over St Andrews as I removed the bike from the back of my van, lights on, cycling top zipped up to the neck and I was off. The air was cold, a big change from yesterday, but I seem to peddle stronger in such conditions.

The thing I love about cycling, you are given time to yourself, time to look around at the world, make up silly little rhymes in your head, dream up new adventures. Back in the 60s, we were told that machines would take the grind out of our working day and we would all be working a three day week (we did for a time during the strike, could never understand why that did not continue, we produced more as a country in those three days than we did in five, where was the Unions?) Then came the 80s the age of the digital revolution. Again we were told how that would change our lives forever and for the better, what would we do with all this leisure time?

I was on a construction site some years back and overheard the site agent and the foreman in conversation. The agent seeing a drain layer stop and roll a cigarette commented on the amount of site time that must be wasted rolling cigarettes. I’m sure the same agent if he were on a site today would have the same comment, not about cigarette rolling but mobile phones. I can not help but wonder if all this automation and digital technology have really given us any more freedom? How much of our day do we spend on a mobile phone, talking, texting? On a computer e-mailing of involved in social media, or simply staring at a television screen?

The lockdown has given me the opportunity to cycle around North East Fife on relatively empty roads, what a treat. Alas, my cycling has been far more successful than the publishing of my log, it has been somewhat neglected. I hope to make a menses by posting some of my trips over the next, days, week, and by so doing redeem myself.     

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