Sunday, 28 September 2008


the fife coastal path in 1 day has been on the to-complete list since an attempt by chris and i in march07 was cut short just shy of kirkcaldy. i suffered a two bru bonk as we hit the climb out of dysart and had to pull the ejector handle and bail to the train (for the 6 mile journey back to B to the I). chris managed it with dan a wee while later, but it took an age for the planets to realign to let me go for it.

the trip started on the 0816 from burntisland to kirkcaldy to pick up the dundee train. a quick coffee in the station and a gentle roll across to the tay bridge to start properly.

into the lift and i cinch my sidis up to tight+1.


the doors open and we're off at 0930ish.

turn left at the end of the bridge and head east with a lovely tailwind which whips me along the banks of the silvery tay and on towards tayport. past the WORST BMX TRACK EVER and i'm soon into tentsmuir forest. no time to visit the seals or seek out bits of singletrack, i've got a long journey ahead of me and some demons to lay to rest.

quick stop in st andrews to pick up a map, 1/2 a pb&j sarnie and out past the ruined cathedral onto the first of the tougher bits along a rugged bit of north sea coastline.

lots of steps
caravan park
bit of scrambling
golf course
caravan park
golf course

and on via some lovely riverside singletrack and a fair bit of pushing along empty, sandy beaches. i stop at a lovely plaice (sorry) to for another bite to eat and watch gannets dive bombing a shoal of fish a hundred or so metres offshore.

more sandy pushing and we're at fife ness where the path turns west and i start to hit the picturesque east neuk fishing villages - crail, enster (am becoming fifer), pitenweem, st monans and elie. all pass in a blur of slightly sore arse, hastily grabbed snacks and the odd wait whilst a group of walkers clears a narrow section. up the cliff path which avoids the elie chain walks and a slight detour to avoid a long push along the beach to lower largo. chris had suggested this diversion and it was a godsend. what had been a long trudge through the dunes and then the beach turned out to be a quick spin along an old railway track.

the only downside was that the heavens opened and it tipped it down for a bit. for a bit, read all the way to methil. a shithole at the best of times, pissing rain does nothing to improve it.

onto east wemyss-west wemyss-dysart and the bonk point. i'm feeling chipper and know that i can do this now. off comes the waterproof, in goes a pb&j, on goes the headlight and out comes a pleasant, pinky sunset.

through kirkcaldy and it's properly dark now. duck onto the path to kinghorn and scare a couple of dog walkers.

home stretch

manage a magnificent 12mph through the speed sign at the east end of burntisland and stop briefly outside the hoose to phone susan, wave and take a photo. this is an unsupported trip, so i'm not going in - even for the pee i desperately need.

big smiles as i head along by the railway towards aberdour - mainly the result of the sugar kick of a last lap gel. resist the temptation to take the heughs path.just as well. things are still really overgrown and i'm rewarded with nettle stings to both calves and my face. why don't dock leaves grow that high?

no time to play at braefoot, so it's on to dalgety bay (or "The Bay" as some woman with too much time on her hands calls it on radio scotland's daily phone-in show). through inverkeithing at a rate of knots and past the quarry and the scrapyard to pick up the very last bit of fcp before passing under the forth bridge at 2110.

11 hours 40 minutes.

quick pedal up to the station and a long cold 30 minutes before the train arrives to take me home.

very done.

photos here.

Friday, 19 September 2008

lucha liberace

we're back. it was braw. more soon.