20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 22 June 2024

A Fife favourite

Today's second Extra ride of the year saw us cross the Forth and follow the Fife Coastal Path to Silversands Bay at Aberdour. The weather forecast suggested we could be in for wall-to-wall sunshine. In the end, we had a mixture of sunny spells and some bright, but overcast skies. There was a bit of a breeze, but that and a pleasant temperature made it ideal for cycling. The weather clearly helped us muster seventeen riders at the Craigleith starting point. With the briefing over we headed off on what for many in the group is their favourite ride. 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. From there we headed across the old Forth Road Bridge into Fife. No matter how many times we've cycled across the bridge, it remains a magical experience. Today, there was a bit of a breeze, it was pleasantly warm and the waters of the Forth were a lovely blue and quite calm. One rider had never ridden across the bridge before, so was able to experience that magic for the first time. Having crossed the bridge, we had to endure the least enjoyable part of the ride - an uphill slog along the main road to get into the centre of Inverkeithing. Leaving the town behind, 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 on the edge of Dalgety Bay. How the leader found his way through the maze of paths remains a mystery. But he did and we were soon passing the impressive ruins of St Brigget's Kirk. Just prior to St Colm House, the leader's view was obscured by a rider getting too close and he missed the turning for the underpass. As a result, we ended up at the oil terminal gates, and had to retrace our steps. Through the underpass, we were back on course. Turning slightly inland, we followed minor roads and tracks past fields and a golf course to emerge in the village of  Aberdour. Another mile, and we were at Silver Sands for our lunch stop at the lovely Sands Café.

Lunch over, we left Silversands Bay behind and began our journey home. We retraced the outward route from the morning, and were once again able to marvel at the views across the Forth. No missing of the underpass this time, and once again, the paths through the houses saw the leader seem like he was a local. Leaving the delightful coastal path behind, soon we were through Inverkeithing and heading back across the Forth Road Bridge. Another comfort stop at the visitor centre, and we were soon leaving South Queensferry behind. A pause at Cramond Brig, and a short while later we were at Craigleith where the leader declared the ride over.

Thanks to Alan for leading us out to that old favourite, and to Neil for back marking. Everyone had enjoyed themselves, the cycling and scenery had been great and the weather had been kind to us.

Leader: Alan

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn

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