Tag Archives: fife

SBT is go

Guide log 2/4/2016 if anyone had said to me that I would be setting out on a new direction at 58 having already taken early retirement i would not have believed them but here I am ready to guide my first tour of my very own cycle touring company!  Scottish bike touring.  Follow me on Facebook and WordPress book a tour novices to experienced cyclists.


Feeling like Spring has sprung!!

There has been a few days lately know locally as “Taps aff” days.  These days occur sparingly in Scotland but can be celebrated at almost any time of the year.  There are a few events which have to be in synch for a “Taps aff” day to be declared.   First and foremost the big yellow ball has to be up in the sky, it should be still with very little wind what is there should be a Mcscirroco-warm and from the south and finally the ambient air temperature should “feel” as if its in double figures!  Fifers then declare a “Taps aff” day and a parade of wobbly, pasty and quite frightening male physiques can commence!

What else has been happening since my last post well I have now got all of the accommodation for our cycling holiday in France booked.  The most problematic part has been booking rail travel by Eurostar they just do not make it easy.  To take a cycle as a cycle you have to book your seat and then call another company to check if a space is available if not they will transport your cycle and it will meet you at journey’s end.  Aye you think so!!  I still have two internal trains to book in France but, its all over bar the shouting as they say!

On Sunday I spent a very pleasant day out on the bike at the Kelpies and Falkirk wheel the full trip account is in Scottish bike touring blog please take a look.


Winter base+ week 16

The first week of the last training cycle before the Scottish duathlon champs at Stirling.  It turned out to be an eventful and very busy week and that would be without the training!

Training has gone up a gear intensity wise and I can feel the difference.  More attention to protein foods and shakes and better compression protocols are helping keep everything together and hopefully I will be lining up at Stirling in  top condition.

The stats:Bike 85.4 miles in 6h 46 with 4800 ft of climb.

Run 30 miles in 4h 41 with 1303 ft of climb.


I got the Ridley out this week and to be out on the open road after a winter of turbo felt absolutely amazing!  I have increased my training paces on the run and feel a lightness coming in again.

A catch up

It’s been quiet a while since I have posted and a lot has happened.  August has just flown past and it hasn’t because I have been sunning myself at home or abroad it has just melted away and now we are into September with my “I” marathon a week and a day away!

In no particular order-The Fringe a show with Phil Jupitus in the Scottish Potrait Gallery.  First time I have seen him but I really enjoyed the show.

Carol and I spent a day at the Botanics a really good day and something we have been meaning to do for ages.  I am not a gardener but I like looking at gardens and the Botanics is really special.  Needless to say we will be going back.  We also visited a garden centre we had not been to before after a recc from a friend it scored on a number of fronts-different selectionof plants at reasonable prices, well laid out with loads of stuff but no clutter, good BLT’s and a great cup of tea!  Lastly its on one of my cycle routes.

I spent a weekend at the Ullapool YH with the Glenrothes Hillwalkers Club and bagged 6 munros making my total now 206 from 284.  I also discovered that in Sept 2017 it will be 20 years since I bagged my first.  I have another weekend coming up at Mar Lodge Braemar and hopefully I will bag my final 2 Cairngorm munros while I am there.

Training has been consistent with a race and a couple of Park runs.  The biking has been going esp well and I have completed my MBLA route cards and shall be chasing up my assessment in the meanwhile I have been experimenting with routes I can take clients on.  I have been looking at road and off road routes and have discovered trails that I had not been on myself.

My Jog Scotland group has not seen much growth but I did have a newbie this week after I had put an add up on our local radio stations web site.  In two weeks time I shall be going on a Mums on the Run course so I have been distributing leaflets to nurseries and putting them up in stores in the hope that I can attract some new blood.

An MTB ride from Leven to Muddy Boots Balmalcolm

Fife has a load of paths called the core path network They are well publicised and maps are free to print from the net.  A site details latest closures or diversions.

With maps 27 and 43 in my grubby little paws Carol and I headed from Leven to Muddy Boots on the MTB’s.  We left from the Broom and headed up the Kennoway road taking path 375 from Wester Durie to Bonnybank.  In by the Inn and onto paths 377 to Balgriebank and 267 to Devon Wood and Clatto Hill this is the worst stretch as the ground is v rutted and muddy not deal for biking!  A nice descent from Clatto Hill leads you to Clatto farm and onto a road for a short distance.  Into  the left following signs for Burnturk.  You go by Downfield and Middlefield cottages once more on a minor road for a short time till you come into Burnturk village.  From Burnturk you take the path from Kettlehill and Airdits farm this path leads you straight into the back of Muddy Boots.

A good ride of 9.7 miles with just over 1000 ft of climbing.  We returned using a mix of roads and paths.

A long run on the Fife Coastal Path

A point to point long run is so much better than running in loops and it was with that in mind that i decided to hop on a train on Saturday and go to North Queensferry and run home to Kirkcaldy approx 20 miles.

An early rise, breakfast of toast and jam a beetroot and a cup of tea and I was off for the 07:26 train.  Forecast was for high winds and rain so I packed an extra layer and a pair of waterproof trousers in my camelbak.  Also in my pack I had rice cakes spread with peanut butter my nutrition plan was to stop every 5 miles and have a rice cake and peanut butter sandwich fluid was water only.

Train arrd just before 9 and I set off down the hill heading for the water.  The FCP is in general well signed and you need to make a sharp left turn coming down the hill to get on it.  At NQ you are right underneath the iconic Forth rail bridge an amazing view if you have not been up close to it before.

Gloomy morning

The first  part of the trail is uphill on a bouldery  well defined and used path towards an old quarry and nature reserve.  On the cliff is a modern home totally out of place but designed to make use of the light and view.

It is not long and you are rounding the point and coming into Inverkeithing not a pretty sight at first but as you head into the village some old buildings come into view and it’s obvious that at some point in history Inverkeithing was more than an overspill from Edinburgh and a rail stop. The nutrition plan had failed me on this occasion and with just 2 miles in I popped into a shop and bought a mars bar which I nibbled on like a wee field mouse for about the next 10 miles!  Necessity? Crutch? Placebo?  Leaving Inverkeithing you come to a long flat straight and with the wind at my back this was prob the fastest stretch of the whole day such a shame it was so short!

The commuter village of Dalgety bay then comes into view with St Davids Harbour, Downing Point and Donibristle bay all forming this part of the coast.  At this point I stopped for my first rice cake.  Five miles in and the forecasted wind and rain was begining to make an appearance.  I could see across the bay to Braefoot Point and ships at the marine terminal getting loaded with thier cargo.  I set off again, the path hugging the coastline past “the” beach where all the problems with radioactive waste have surfaced, excuse the pun!  Up a slight rise to St Bridgets Church.

You then head along a wide tarmaced path which takes you towards Braefoot Bay terminal and Aberdour.  You run through some of the village and then back down towards the shore following the signs takes you to a narrow steep staircase not recc with bikes which brings you out at a plateau above Hawkcraig Point  you then descend  and follow the path leading to Silversands.  Leaving Aberdour the rain came on heavier than previously and I sought shelter at 10 miles for another rice cake and the last of the mars bar.  Under the railway  and towards Burntisland past a lovely wee waterfall  and onward into the second “industrial” village  on the route.Heavily industrialised at one time, the dock area is still very much an eyesore  but the path along past the leisure centre and beach is pleasent.  At the end of this there is an option to take a low tide route this cuts out a boring road section luckily the tide was out and I managed to get along the sand from Burntisland to Kighorn beach.  At the beach the small cafe was open and I purchased a cup of tea to have with my third and final rice cake sandwich.  Fifteen miles in and although slightly cold my legs were fine and it was brightening up!

Time for the final push from Kinghorn to Kirkcaldy.  This is a section I have ran on many times and although scenic it does tend to be muddy and is quite undulating, but feeling good and with a spring in my step the milees were eaten up and I was soon  approaching  Kirkcaldy prom and home.  

Distance-20 miles Av pace-9:39 Climb-1557ft Time-3:13


Home, rest and back to training.

Although the flight out was pleasant the facilities at Nimes left a lot to be desired.  The “lounge” was packed with passengers for the Liverpool flight with only 4 vending machines and a souvenir shop.  On the two hour flight many people voiced their displeasure at the lack of choice and speed of service.

We reached Liverpoool on time despite a late departure and were soon on our way North with Andrew at the wheel.  A stop at Tebay services for some food and drink and we were on our way again.  We got to Dunblane and swapped cars and Fraser took over driving duties.  I was dropped at my flat and after a quick unpack and freshen up headed to Leven and Muff.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent unpacking and washing with 2 yoga sessions and a hill circuit session in Letham Glen at Muffs.  As previously mentioned we are both getting our gardens done but whilst mine had ground to a halt we worked away at Muffs lifting stones so that the builder would not have as much to do when he arrived on the 22nd to start the job.
During the week I managed to get another run, 3 bikes and a gym session in.

The Kirkcaldy film festival was on Fri to Sunday and we had tickets for 5 films one of which was a gala showing of Goldfinger I took a stroll downtown to hire a dinner suit with white tux unfortunately they did not have one my size. So my plan to surprise Muff on Saturday was a no goer.