The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

 I have been going out early in the mornings these past days, much cooler and empty roads. Today however it was after 9 am when I left for, well where ever. I cycled over to the car park at the Tay Bridge, I did not want to go into Dundee with this spike in coronavirus, so turned for home. The wind was freshening and like an old drunk man had no idea of direction, since it was coming from all quarters.

As I came out of the car park rather than take the A92 I headed back towards Tay Port then cut the corner by taking the back road from Cemy onto the B945 for St Michaels. I was mossing, along singing away to myself, when a lad on a road bike came alongside,

“Creeping Jesus”, I wish they would not do that, near give me a heart attack.

His bike was carbon fibre, a road racings bike, and looked brand new. He himself, I found out later was 73 and the colour of mahogany, he pedalled as if he had a few miles in his legs. I clicked up a gear and tailored my cadence to keep paces with his, and as the miles disappeared below our wheels, we blethered non-stop, and yes he had been around the block a few times. I had forgotten just how pleasurable it is riding in company. All too soon we would part company, Guardbridge, the parting of the ways, he to Cupar me to St Andrews, I hope we meet up again.

I had been touring down around Galloway when one evening, I got in tow with an Irish farmer in a bar in Kirkcudbright, the live music had attracted him and his wife as it had me into the place. They like me were on a touring holiday. His wife was still not convinced it would be all holiday. In a jovial manner, he told me that he was a Turfallagist, the first to turn his fields over for the growing of turf for gardens. My farmer friend’s thought I was mad, but who is laughing now? he asked, it really has taken off.

As I travelled along the cycle track I saw where they had been adding topsoil to a field that had been used for turf, It looks as if they had added around a meter to its height. Alongside was a mound of fertilizer. Instantly I could hear the deep Irish brogue of the Turfallagist in the bar in Kirkcudbright,

“Whose shout is it anyway?”

The hawthorn and broom is in fine fettle today and the sent from the hawthorn assaults the senses as you pass.

Another find day awheel.

Stay safe

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