I love cycling. But since doing the Etape Caledonia in May I’ve only managed two 50+ mile rides and I’ve barely been out on my bike at all. I need to get back in the saddle in a serious way with the Pedal for Scotland 100miler coming up on the 11 September! So with another gorgeous day in prospect Bill, Malcolm, Raymond and I set out to do a 50mile loop of Fife along the Kingdom Cycle Route.
We caught the train out to North Queensferry just after 11am and the plan was to take the Kingdom Route out past Dunfermline, through Blairadam Forest, up past Kinross and Loch Leven, past the Lomond Hills and then along the A912 for a stop at The Pillars of Hercules (a gorgeous cafe and shop and small farm) before getting back onto the Kingdom Route and coastal path back to North Queensferry.
Well that was the plan!
In my defence, the Kingdom Route was not very well signposted. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Within the first hour we realised we were ‘off piste’. With the assistance of the map we managed to get back onto the route. Eventually.
So things weren’t off to a flying start. Then Malcolm got a puncture. Not a simple puncture though. Luckily there was a bike shop half a mile away (dontcha just love that iphone maps magic!). it was on Malcolm Street which seemed fitting.
It turned out Malcolm needed a new tyre, such was the damage.
Malcolm looking distinctly unimpressed with proceedings
Some while later we got back on the road. I have to tell you Fife is hilly. Very hilly. We managed to keep ourselves mainly on the right route, though we did have to turn around a few times. We spent almost as much time perusing the map as we did on our bikes! Fife Council your Kingdom Route signposting is lacking!
At 3pm we arrived at Kinross and decided that lunch was in order. A lucky break saw us directed to The Boathouse Bistro overlooking Loch Leven. It was fantastic, and just what we needed.
We sat basking in the sunshine, enjoying the view and tucked into huge portions of great food. Lunch always tastes good after a long cycle!
There are no pictures of the cakes and scones we ordered but rest assured they were ordered and enjoyed.
Christmas comes early in Fife. The Boathouse already has a Christmas tree up! To remind people to book their Christmas events.
Boathouse you were doing so well. But a Christmas tree in July?! Too much.
With all the delays we hadn’t made as much progress as anticipated so we decided to return via a shorter route of around 24miles. I won’t bore you with the many twists and turns in navigation! We aimed for Cowdenbeath and ended up in Auchtertool.
We eventually arrived in Aberdour at 7.10pm and found the next train wasn’t until 7.50pm. Being keen, or mad we decided to cycle on to Inverkeithing and ended up catching the same train by the skin of our teeth.
It was a lovely day out. And I managed to make my dinner date with Mr Mac just an hour-and-a-half later than planned!
Verdict: some way to go in building up my fitness for the Pedal for Scotland Sportive!