The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 Monday once more and it was a late start to the day, old sleepy head did not rise until near nine o’clock, then he has sat up until one in the morning reading.

I gave the washing a miss, the bed bugs are safe for another seven days, but I would have to go up to Aldi, in the rain, as it happened, but it was only a shower and was over by the time I had my shopping secure in my panniers bag.

The bike has never ridden so well, not sure what I did right but it is working. I think it all comes down to changing the back tyre and tube, for to do so I had to remover a lot of stuff you would not have to normally to remove a bike wheel, like dérailleur, to get at the overlarge nuts that secured the axil to the bike. Being at home with all the tools too hand and working in fine weather I could take my time when putting it all back together, so spent time on the adjustments, this, it would seem has paid off.

The tyres and tubes I already had in the cupboard they were Schwalbe Lugano 11 with K Guard (standing for Kevlar puncture protection) I have a customer prejudice in favour of Schwalbe, having used then over the years and have found them long-wearing puncture-resistant and good at sticking to the road. They were bought at a knocked down price for a pair including tubes, and I knew they would be needed for my tricycle soon enough. I will have to keep my eye open for further stock clearance sales for the tricycle now.

It was after 10 am when I set out on the bike, I headed for the cycle path which lies down the old road by the golf course, today the main road was closed to traffic for resurfacing, well done Mr Councillor, months of little traffic on our roads, but wait until the schools are back and traffic is returning to normal then close the road for repair, how did they ever win the war? (well the Russians, and colonial troops along with US armament actually).

As I neared Guardbridge, I could see snow on the hills beyond Dundee, and certainly, it was not warm although the sun was now shining on us from under a clearing sky. Looking over towards Leuchars airfield, Paratroopers, thirteen in all, appeared from out of the low cloud, I could not see the aircraft, and they were really a bit too far away to get a decent picture but I stopped and took one anyway.

I wonder if number 13 landed safely – or maybe like public schools (which are really private fee-paying schools, and no, I have no idea why they are called public schools). They do not have a number 13, the lockers jump from 12 to 14, daft really but it’s true.

As I passed Leuchars airfield the aeroplane was on the ground (I could not identify the plane but it looked a bit like a Hasty Bird (a Hastings) a small aeroplane used as transport in my day, but this one although much the same size did not sit down at the back end like the Hastings). A lad was standing by the fence with a telephoto lens camera, I thought of asking him to e-mail me some photographs of the drop but was passed by the time I had made up my minds.

Talking of Hastings – I bummed a lift in one from Gibraltar, little knowing that they could not fly high enough to clear the Pyrenees so had to fly all the way up the coast, sitting on a packing case in an ice-cold fuselage of an aircraft for hours and hours on end, is no way to fly.

I was now heading for Tentsmuir forest and the shore. Been a while since I was last along this road, and thankfully it has been resurfaced since then, but still a single track road, so don’t bother to come this way in the summertime its murder police.

Even today the car park had a fair share of cars and vans, then again if you are into off-road riding there are plenty of tracks throughout the forest too trail.

I parked the bike and walked down to the shore, then homeward bound,

In the fields were a good number of pony, all in winter dress.

Since they all look much the same size and breed, sturdy little animals, I wonder if they might be for pony trekking.

Back home by 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the sun was still out but gave off no heat and the wind had been rising all day, thankfully now mostly on my back so it was a fast pedal home, shower and time for tea.

The last of the potatoes were boiled, not planted, and eaten with beans, delicious, when you dine at Hungers Good Kitchen.

Stay safe.

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