The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 Today was a bit special, cold but bright and sunshine always gladdens the heart.

Sunday is Opera day and today was not different but alas starting at 10.45 it would have to be a very good opera to keep me indoors, as it turned out it was Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and since I have that very same opera from Sidney Harbour in my collection, there really was no contest, the bike won out. I really wish Sky Art would save these operas until a more reasonable time in the evening, even if they are streamed live they could be recorded and show later in the day.

My trip today took me up over Brownhills, here at the top and over your shoulder, St Andrews Bay and the East Sands, always worth stopping to admire after climbing up here. I went out on the B9131 for Anstruther then turned off opposite Stravithie Mains for Kinglassie and the A917, a road I have never tried before. Just before you make the A917 there is a road off to the left, where you can visit a standing stone, today I simply pressed on and at the main road turned right for Kingsbarns.

Entering the village I turned down to the car park at Cambo Sands the North Sea seems vast today, in normal times these sands would attract many visitors, out for a Sunday drive and picnic but today the sands were all mine.

Back in the village I headed inland crossing back over to the B9131 and home, not a long run but I was out and that is always a blessing.

Yesterday I sold my wee van, the amount of inquires I had from people wishing to buy it, I could have sold it a couple of dozen times over, so I received the full asking price, from the first lad that came to the door.

It was pointless keeping the van, my European trip is only a pipe dream now. First the coronavirus then Brexit, ending freedom of movement, followed by my insurance company wanting green cards and a lot of extra money, and no health/travel insurance will touch me with a barge pole (being over 70) too many hoops to jump through. It was pointless hanging on to the van, The good news, no more tax and insurance to pay and no worries over forthcoming MOTs, hip, hip, replacement.

I had to unscrew a lot of the stuff I had installed in the van for the trip, inverter, solar panels, old sea chest………… anyone need a large solar panel for their car-a-van?

So what is the plan for the spring and summer?

Well, I just love my e-bike so much, and have found out that long round trips of 50 miles per day are very realistic on the bike, so I want to do some serious touring in Scotland next year. I want to travel to these areas by bus and stay at Youth Hostels or do a bit of camping if the weather is favourable, the problem with my bike, it is not only very heavy and clumsy to get in and out of the boot of a bus, it can’t be taken on a local bus.

I have been looking at carbon fibre folding e-bikes, expensive but with some cash burning a hole in my pocket, and no pockets in shrouds, maybe come spring I will purchase one of those. Then again I have always fancied having a go at hang-gliding……….

Well, that’s all my blethers for today, keep well.

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