The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

I watching ‘The Bridge’ from behind the sofa, into the early hours of Sunday morning. This drama has possibly single-handedly ended tourism to both Sweden and Denmark. Not only the inhabitants of these countries but those working within the police force itself are certainly strange. This is real compulsive viewing, as compulsive as Reacher in a Lee Child book. The main character, (a female detective) makes Spok look postpositively human. What an actor this girl is, to pull this character off so well along with all her idiosyncrasies. And that is possibly why this drama is such a success, the characters are so real and believable, even if they are a bit off the wall. can’t wait until the final episodes next Saturday, then it will be withdrawal symptoms for weeks after that.

A beautiful day, clear blue skies from horizon to horizon, there was a chill in the air, and the winds were light and out of the west. September – October seems to shaping up to their reputation as very settled months, certainly we are blessed today. I set out with the intention of going over to Falkland Palace, a big favourite of Mary (Queen of Scots). First thing I noticed was the amount of traffic out on the roads, thankfully all Sunday drivers so giving cyclist plenty of time and courtesy, and there was a good few of us out today. As I approached Ceres I thought why not go via Scotstarvit Tower,

I did but the door was firmly bolted against me, does not bow well for Falkland Palace.

I dropped down onto the A914 and travelled through Pitlessie, Balmalcolm and Kettlebridge for the Muirhead round-about, then on the A912 for Falkland. As I came upon the Putin Hill road, I decided to head up onto East Lomond once an important Pictish fort and settlement.

The local cycle club use to run the Purin Hill, Hill Climb up here, so I turned off and headed for the top. The object of the exercise was not to break any records but just cycling all the way up without humiliating myself by having to get off and walk, so that was my goal, an achievement in itself, a gold-winning medal effort and no mistake.

Problem one; cars coming down, a constant stream on what is a very narrow road only a car width at best. Problem two; potholes, some that could swallow up my front wheel with room to spare.

You find this all over the country, money is found to construct car parks at places of interest, or natural beauty (East Lomond is both). Pretty information noticeboard erected and picnic area provided.

Then the once beauty spot becomes a victim of its own success, and falls foul of foot and vehicle traffic, (check out Skye). The roads leading there become potholed and all but unable to drive on with anything other than an all terrane vehicle.

Slowly but surely I twiddled my way towards the top. It is not that it is all that steep, it is just that it seems to go on forever, I was staring out the front wheel long before I made the summit. Give that man a coconut, sorry we are out of coconuts, you will have to have a Bounty, hey, you bounty like them. I sat overlooking the Forth Estuary and the lands below, well worth the climb for this view alone, drinking my energy drink and eating my Bounty bar, they are moist and sweet. Just what the doctor ordered.

A good number of people were climbing up the footpath to where the fort had once been, at the top of East Lomond, (424m above sea level, the A912 is at 50m above sea level) me I had done enough climbing for one day, so just soaked up the day. The hill at this level was covered in heather and just starting to colour up.

If Scotstarvit Tower, was closed Falkland Palace likewise would I’m sure be closed (or possibly only the gardens open to the public). On my return down to the A912 I turned right and not left and headed for home, this time via Cupar and Guardbridge. It was a fine day out, a journey of around 35 miles, in glorious weather, the only complaint, if there was one, was the heavy traffic, bring back the coronavirus lock-down, please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: