The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 When planning a long ridge walk, you will normally factor in escape routes off the mountain for emergencies, such as a change in the weather and the weather can be so different when you reach heights of over three thousand feet, than it was when you set out from the base camp. Weather can and does catch you out.

Today the forecast was rubbish but I felt I should at least make the effort or be trapped indoors for the day. I set out early for Cupar but by the time I reached Strathkinness the wind was fierce, and by Knock Hill horizontal rain had been added, time to find an escape route. Dairsie and home, at a great rate of knots, cold and wet but happy that I had been out, if only for wee while.

“Happiness is not a gift, it must be worked at”

The Dalai Lama.

Thinking of high winds, there was a time when a large contingency of Americans was stationed in Scotland at Faslane on the Gare Loch, and this brought about many stories from local girls they had dated when on R&R in Glasgow.

“Jessie, what was that big Yank like you was oot wi yesterday?”

“Oh, it was great, he was telling me about all the big winds they have in Texas, and how they near blow a man’s hoose doon. Well, I telt him that we have some big winds here ta’ and how most of them come fae Texas”.

“And whit did you do Jessie, did he take you anywhere nice?”

“Aye, we went ta’ this posh restaurant and I had Shrimp Cocktails”

“And whit did you have ta’ eat Jessie?”

“Shrimp Cocktails, Jessie. The kind you eat wi a fork”.

“Oh, is that right Jessie.

“I asked him about his house in Texas and he told me that their ranch was so big if you went up into the mountains and looked out to the horizon, you could just about see the end of it”

“And whit did you say ta’ that Jessie?”

“Well I telt him Annie, if I sit in the back green, I can see the moon”.

“O’, right enough Jessie”.

Another week in and how have I found the e-bike, was it a good or bad idea. I would have to say it is a success. My millage has improved at least two-fold, even with the weather as bad as it has been, so getting me out of the house and into the fresh air, 100% successful. I was simply struggling on the hills and into headwinds and would have soon given up on cycling all together so again 100%. If I had known what I know now, I would have chosen a bottom bracket motor. and if the cost was an issue and I still went for the wheel kit, I would mount the heavy battery over the front wheel (on a carrier there) so that the weight was better distributed. I really think it will come into its own when the better weather comes along. And moving the Battery could still be an option.  

 2008

The UK Risk Register of Civil, Emergencies lists epidemics and pandemics as likely threats to the UK.

2010

The Strategic Defence and Security Review lists epidemic, pandemics and climate change among the greatest threats to the UK – Before concentrating on preparations for war.

2015

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (again) lists epidemics and climate change among the greatest threats to the UK – Before (again) equating “security” with preparations for war.

2017

The UK Risk Register of Civil Emergencies warns of a “high probability” of a major epidemic. It says the MoD is involved in preparing for this possibility.

2018

The UK government’s National Security Capability Review states that major outbreaks of disease are among the most likely threats to people in the UK.

2019

Following the general election, the Queen’s Speech promises an increase in “defence” spending.

2020

The Covid 19 pandemic reaches the UK. Several ministers say that it was impossible to see it coming.

The NHS struggles to cope with insufficient Personal Protective Equipment.

British ministers confirm that they will go ahead with plans to spend £10.4 Billion on new fighter jets. (Merry Christmas US Arms manufactures, remember to hand out the brown envelops along with the New Year bottles).  

Keep the peddles turning keep safe.  

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