20th Anniversary Year

You are welcome to join our easy-paced bike rides. Click here for all the information you need.


Saturday 22 July 2023

To the Scottish Riviera

Today's third Extra ride saw us head across the water into Fife for the first time this year. Silver Sands at Aberdour (known as the Scottish Riviera) was our destination. A number of riders consider this their favourite of all our routes. With riding across the Forth Road Bridge, along the lovely Fife Coastal Path and lunch at the delightful Silver Sands, it's easy to see why. The weather forecast, that seemed to change by the hour, suggested we were in for either a full day or afternoon of light rain. Perhaps that goes some way to explaining why we only mustered nine riders at the Craigleith starting point. As it turned out, we had no more than a couple of spots of rain all the time we were out. It was overcast, the sun never got through the clouds, it was cooler than of late and it turned more windy from lunchtime onwards; but it was a good ride that was enjoyed by all. We took the familiar route to Cramond Brig where we had the obligatory pause. The path alongside the A90, through Dalmeny village, quiet residential streets of South Queensferry, past the new houses and we were at the Forth Bridge Visitor Centre for a comfort stop. Then it was across the bridge and into Fife. We can probably blame it on the weather forecast, but there were few pedestrians or other cyclists on the bridge for a Saturday in July. As it was, it was a bit breezy, the Forth looked grey and choppy down below, the views were less spectacular than on a sunny day; but there was a flotilla of sailing dinghies out, and there is always something magical about cycling across the bridge. At the other side, the path network is far better than it used to be, but there remains a section of slogging along the main road to get into the centre of Inverkeithing. Down Commercial Road, and we left the traffic behind as we headed for the Fife Coastal Path. A mixture of tracks with stunning views across the Forth, and paths through fancy housing estates took us past St David's Harbour, Downing Point and Donibristle Bay. All credit to the leader for finding the way through the maze of paths. The rest of us just followed blindly, confident that he knew the way - and he did. After passing the ruins of the 12th century St Bridget's Kirk, we turned slightly inland to follow minor roads and tracks past fields and a golf course to emerge in Aberdour. Another mile, and we were at Silver Sands for our lunch stop at the lovely Sands Cafe.

The wind was stronger and it was cooler as we headed back the way we came. Some people would have you believe that taking the same route home as taken out is boring. Whilst we try to avoid this as much as possible, sometimes it's inevitable. But everything takes on a different perspective once you've flipped through 180 degrees, especially when it is something as lovely as the views from the coastal path and the bridge. Once again we marvelled at the way the leader took us through the twists and turns past the big houses. Soon we were through Inverkeithing and heading back onto the Forth Road Bridge. Whilst it was windier than on the outward leg, there was still that magical feeling of crossing the bridge. Another comfort stop at the visitor centre, and we were soon leaving South Queensferry behind. A pause at Cramond Brig, and before we knew it we were at Craigleith where the leader declared the ride over. 

Thanks to Alan for leading us out to that old favourite for the first time since 2016, and to Alison for back marking. Everyone had enjoyed themselves, the cycling and scenery had been great and the weather had been better than we had dared hope. Those that stayed away missed a great day. It seems very likely that we will be heading there again next year.

Leader: Alan

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn 


Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds like fun, it would be good to know the distance of these cycle runs, for anyone with an E bike the last thing you want is to run out of battery miles from home.Ken.

Mike Lewis said...

Ken, we post an announcement here on the blog a few days in advance of each ride. In the announcement, we always give an estimate of the distance involved. (In the case of the "Scottish Riviera" ride, we said the distance would be about 34 miles, which I think turned out to be correct.)

Of course, when it comes to estimating battery usage, you will also need to take account of how hilly the route is. We usually give some indication of hills in the announcement, but it can only be a very approximate one.

Hope this helps.