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                                                         THE FIFE and KINROSS
                                                           DA NEWSLETTER
                                                                    ISSUE 51 AUTUMN 2006


  JUST FOR FUN..............ANSWERS                               EDITOR’S       RAMBLINGS

The answers to the quiz in the last edition are as         Autumn is a comin’ in. As we go to press, there are
follows:-                                                  reports of the tailends of hurricanes affecting the
                                                           west coast of Scotland; hard to believe, when it has
1 Climbing                                                 been so mild recently. Time to check out the
2 Fishing                                                  winter bike and locate the thermals, overshoes etc.
3 Surfing
4 Riding                                                   My month-long tour in France seems a distant
5 Billiards                                                memory. All went well, despite the heatwave,
6 Walking                                                  which apparently affected Scotland as well. A full
7 Cycling                                                  account appears elsewhere in this newsletter. Other
8 Golf                                                     DA members have been active too, with this issue
9 Shinty                                                   containing accounts of Charlie and Lorraine’s tour
10 Orienteering                                            of the Borders and Hadrian’s Wall, Douglas and
11 Cricket                                                 Lorraine’s tour of Mull and a rough stuff trip
12 Lacrosse                                                around Glenshee by George Berwick.
13 Squash
14 Polo                                                     Following Ken Livingstone’s bizarre proposal to
15 Tennis                                                  make number-plates compulsory on bicycles, the
16 Wrestling                                                ( English ) Department of Transport is said to be
17 Badminton                                               considering whether, in the interests of
18 Curling                                                 “ harmonising European standards “ bells should
19 Rugby                                                   be made mandatory on bicycles. In my experience,
20 Canoeing                                                a shout of “ bike behind “ is more audible than a
                                                           ping on a bell. After all the fuss about whether
Thanks to Lorraine Brown for this bit of fun               helmets should be compulsory and more recently
                                                           the enforced use of cycle lanes/paths, one wonders
                                                           what they will find to pick on us for next. Still,
                                                           mustn’t get paranoid, I suppose.

                                                            This reminded me of the new rules on car seats/
                                                           booster seats for toddlers; I can think of one or two
                                                           toddlers who would benefit from this approach!
          TAKING THE P*** ?


 A sign ordering cyclists to dismount has been
  translated into Welsh to read “ bladder information
  overturn “. All signs in Wales must be bilingual but
 officials admitted there had been “ an error in
 translation “ on the notice on a roundabout between
 Penarth and Cardiff.




The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the individual contributor or, for the editorial, the Editor
These views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fife & Kinross Cycling Club or CTC policies.
                        TOURING IN FRANCE: NOTES BY GEORGE WHITE

For those who may be interested in cycle touring in France, George White has prepared a most useful set of
notes on all aspects of the practicalities of doing so. The notes cover such topics as getting there, route
 selection, food, accommodation and, not least, the French culture and positive attitude towards cyclists.
From my own recent experience, I can vouch for the relevance of George’s notes.

The notes are a bit long to reproduce them in full in the newsletter but are available on request from George
by email gw@white39.wanadoo.co.uk or by telephone on 01337 828442.



                  SOME LIKE IT HOT: CYCLING IN FRANCE IN A HEATWAVE

Postie Brian and I met through the internet, when I responded to his appeal for company on a 1000km cycle
from Nemours to Narbonne. His proposed leaving date of 24 June was much later than he and I would have
preferred - but he could not get annual leave earlier in June because of the World Cup finals, which were
popular with his postie colleagues. So off we went on the European Bike Express. I got on at Stokesley,
near Middlesborough, where the EBE starts from. Departure was at 05.00, which meant I had to travel
down the previous day. I managed to get a £10 train ticket to Darlington, then a local train and short cycle.
Brian got on at South Mimms, several hours later.

The bus journey to France was a little tedious - not particularly comfortable - but not too bad. We got off at
23.30 at a service area on the outskirts of Nemours, an hour or so south of Paris. It was a bit of a scramble
getting bikes and all our stuff off the trailer in the dark and with pressure from the slightly over-stressed
EBE staff, as the bus was a bit behind schedule; we were conscious o the risk of seeing the bus disappear
into the night with some essential bit of kit. Brian had pre-booked a room in a Formula 1 motel; very basic,
with communal ablutions, but fine for one night.

The next morning saw us refreshed and breakfasted and ready to rock and roll at 09.00. And that’s when the
rain started! We delayed leaving for 30 minutes , thinking it would be a passing shower Aye.....right! So we
cycled off in pouring rain, which was to last until lunchtime. We got well and truly soaked and sweaty, as it
was fairly warm. Eventually we reached our first campsite west of Orleans, on the banks of the Loire, which
we were to follow for several days.

Mercifully, the weather was now good - warm without being too hot. Little did we know what lay in store.
The days started to fall into a pattern as we got better organised. We would get up early - at 06.00 or so -
take down the tents, have a wash/shower then breakfast of cereal. We’d be cycling by soon after 07.00 and
aim to cover 20 - 30 miles before stopping for a second breakfast. Along our route lay plenty of villages
where we could find the boulangerie and stock up on newly-baked bread and perhaps a quiche or pastry.
One of the many joys of cycle-touring is that you burn so many calories you can afford to pig out at every
opportunity - and we certainly did.

We’d start looking for a campsite around lunchtime, aiming to cover 50 miles or so a day; a pretty gentle
pace, really, although I was carrying over 20 kilos of stuff and Brian had even more; with that sort of load,
you’re aware of every incline. We had no trouble avoiding the busy Route National roads, preferring instead
the Departmental roads. These were often delightful, ranging from country lanes with almost no traffic of
any kind, to slightly busier roads, especially near towns. Navigation was seldom a problem, except
 occasionally when passing through towns or ( rarely ) cities. Signposting was generally excellent, once you
got used to the French custom of placing signposts at odd angles.Our route took us down the Loire as far as
Nevers, then south-west to Aubusson, Tulle, Figeac, Albi, Castelnaudary, Carcassone and hence to
 Narbonne.Plenty of hills, although we skirted round the edge of the Masif Central and thus avoided really
huge climbs.

As we got further south it got hotter, and hotter, and hotter........ By 09.00 the temperature would be well into
the 30s and by midday we’d be looking for shade.
We resorted to getting up at 05.00 so that we could be on the road at or even before first light, so that we
could stop for the day by midday. Afternoons were spent lounging about in the shade or - if we were lucky -
the pool. The heat was just crushing, even for the locals. There were public health warnings on French TV
advising the elderly to stay indoors and not exert themselves. What’s that line about “...mad dogs and
 Englishmen.....” ?

Well, despite the temperatures, we arrived in Narbonne 11 days before the scheduled date of departure of the
bus home. Clearly we hadn’t done our homework properly or didn’t take enough rest days. After a couple of
days R & R in Narbonne - an attractive and historic Roman city - I was hankering for some more action and
set off on my own for a mini-tour in the foothills of the Pyrenees to the west of Perpignon. This gave me
some of the best imaginable touring in near-deserted roads, through gorges and over passes around the
1000m level. Truly wild and unforgettable terrain, with few villages and always burning hot.

The journey home was uneventful - longer, of course, since we had started much further south - and even
more tedious. In 1500 km of cycling, we had no punctures and no mechanicals. We were careful to keep
chains, sprockets and chainrings well lubricated and reasonably clean.

Highlights: those few days in the Pyrenees and cycling in the pre-dawn countryside. Lowpoint: getting
soaked on the first day. Would I tour in France again? You bet! But not in July. Next year.......perhaps Nor-
mandy and Brittany


Len Findlay



Seen near Princemadog, wherever that is. Wonder if anyone rides down the ramp at the side
                                               TOUR QUESTIONNAIRE

Name(s):           Charlie & Lorraine Brown

Rough Itinerary:      Fifeto Hadrians Wall and Return thro          rde
                                                          ugh the Bo rs

Planning: (eg. Whether organised tour, pre-booked accommodation, flights, etc.                            o     a f
                                                                                No real planning just a go d ide o
  ute
ro and o   vernights.       A first attempt at to                    m                 d
                                                 uring with the tande and newly acquire trailer
   m
fro Edinburgh Bike sho    p

Major Equipment: ( eg. Make of bike, Number of panniers, etc. )   Canno           m                   rs
                                                                       ndale tande with 4 small pannie with
clothes trailer with all the camping gear

Detailed Itinerary Below:              Start date   13t h august 2006

DAY        DATE         FROM             TO              VIA            *ACC    WEATHER       MILES    TOTAL
 01        13th     Dunfe rmline    Biggar          Lang Whan           Camp   Dry, Bright   48       48           7
 02        14 th    Biggar          Ecclefechan     Devils be ftub
                                                             e          Camp   Same gain     52       100          9
 03        15th     Ecclefechan     Haltwhistle     Bramp nto           B&B    Ditto         41       141          8
 04        16t h    Haltwhistle       ilde
                                    Ke r            STEEP HILLS         Camp   And again     45       186          9
 05        17 th    Keilder            lro
                                    Me se           J urgh
                                                    edb                 Camp   Guess what    45       231          8
 06        18t h    Melrose            lro
                                    Me se                     e
                                                    High stre t         Camp   Mo o
                                                                                  nso ns     1        232          2
 07        19t h    Melrose         Dunf’mline      Edinburgh                  Dry, Bright   60       292          7
 08

                        ad ngside Hadrians Wall – De straight fo mile but de
Lasting Memories: The ro alo                           ad       r    s             ly t
                                                                             finite no flat.
  ilde rest o a be
Ke r Fo       n                        rre
                    autiful day. The to ntial rain fo 6 ho at Me se and the fo o the Fo co
                                                     r    urs   lro            g n                 me
                                                                                        rth ming ho .

Things to Avoid: BIG HILLS - impossible

HotTips         xtre ly ful        e rds          ne          r
            Be e me care with bunge co as we had o dangling fo a co      f    s
                                                                   uple o mile VERY lucky

                                           ff n                     d.       rce t   ut therwise no
Breakdowns: (Hopefully None!!) Chain came o o the last day and jamme Brute fo go it o o            ne

* Indicate B&B, Y.H. (Hostel) P.H. (Private Hostel)         for Camping etc.
    = Grin Factor 1 (bad) - 10 (great)
Attach extra sheet if necessary

   Mull Revisited       by Douglas Allan

   The tandem with trailer was duly packed in the van and we were off to Oban for Mull. We hadn’t visited the
   West of the island for a while and had never been there with the trailer.
   Saturday e saw us on the ferry, armed with hopscotch tickets, heading for Craignure and the campsite; mis-
   take nr 1, this was August and still the busy time, no room. It was the first time ever I’ve been refused ad-
   mission to a campsite when walking or cycling and there were many other souls walking towards the site as
   we left; ho-hum, a least we were mobile so it was off down the road to find a quiet piece of grass. An old
   piece of road sufficed for the night and we were up bright and early to avoid the traffic going to Iona. The
   weather was grand as we skirted Ben More and then turned at Loch Scridean before Pennygael over to Loch
   na Keal. The climbing began but it was all worth it for the views on the descent and the squadron of dragon
   flies that accompanied us on the way up. The road is distinctly Nordic as it clings to the South side off the
   loch to Gruline and the turn to Calgary. Lunch on the shore and onwards to more hills and the serious hair-
   pins just South of Calgary. We walked up them, with the trailer this would become a habit when we got
   down to 3MPH!!!.
   Calgary is an “official” wild camping area and was very busy; on previous visits we had the place to our-
   selves. We had one night there and on to Dervaig and Tobermory and more hills and hairpins. Sweltering in
sunshine we arrived in Tobermory for the ferry to Kilchoan on Andnamurchan and a shower. There are
showers at the community centre and at the village pier; the pier supposedly for sailors and grand they are
too, lottery funded. We showered, dried in the sun and camped on the hotel lawn. There is a new campsite
to the West but it was a bit out of the village and busy; we were the only ones on the lawn.
Refreshed after dinner etc. in the hotel the undulations continued next day to Salen and Strontian. We met a
couple, at Glen Borrowdale, cycling with three children (one tandem and a triplet with a trailer), the bloke
looked shot pedalling the triplet with two daughters and the trailer on the back. We had memories of per-
suading nr1 son on a solo bike over these roads when he was ten and it’s still a mystery; resilience of youth!
We spent o night at Strontian; bistro now closed of an evening so to Hotel for meals or self cook, and then
next day the short but serious climb began to get back over to Lochaline; over 2 miles at a steady knee
breaking grade; we walked it and also avoided being caught by the tour buses and timber lorries that were on
the road; quieter after the ferry rush. The weather was cloudy and damp on the way up but cleared com-
pletely as the day wore on.
We found a delightful campsite along the coast at Fuinary with fantastic views over the Sound onto Mull.
The crossing back to Mull was on a mirror sea with glorious sunshine only slightly marred by an individual
who’s repeated comment, to his travelling party, was his joy at getting 5 bars on the signal strength on his
mobile phone; get a life!!!!!!!!!
We lunched at the Saline hotel before camping at Gruline (rough but ready, the view is fantastic but a walk
to basic facilities). Next day was back to Craignure and Oban and memories of the previous trip with Stuart
when he walked off the ferry with a puncture after a mechanically uneventful trip. This time we got to the
terminal before the rear tyre went flat. You can put up with problems easier at that stage; so we walked
back to he van and “flung “the tandem in the back.
The rest of the afternoon was spent strolling in the sunshine in Oban and the sun was still out when we left
about 5pm. We then met torrential rain on the back from Glen Dochart to Dunfermline. Again easily ac-
cepted at that stage.
A fine little trip in grand weather with fantastic scenery.

Douglas Allan
                                    A few images from my French tour




The bus and trailer at Dover. Postie Brian is the one       Second breakfast on the bank of the Loire
with the funny hat




       Under the spreading chestnut tree.....            A particularly beautiful Village de France




                                                        A view from the hilltop town of Cordes sur Ciel




         A warm day in Aubusson
                                       EUAN PORTER
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Euan Porter on July 8th.
Euan, along with Morwyn and their children, joined the CTC in 1998 and very quickly became part of the
DA’s Saturday scene. Euan represented the DA at CTC Scotland from 2002 until last year, only retiring
due to his illness. Euan was a strong cyclist and toured extensively with his family, not least a trip across
America. He also enjoyed audax rides. Not only did he ride many of these events but he also organised
rides for the DA for several years. Over the last year Euan had a hard time, but on better days, he and
Morwyn would cycle to the Saturday meet, if it wasn’t too far.
On the 21st July many DA members joined his family and friends for a celebration of Euan’s life, held in
Cupar. It was obvious, from the many speeches there, that Euan was much, much more than the cyclist we
knew. Not least of all, he was a very accomplished musician, playing oboe with Kirkcaldy Orchestra. He
was also extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects. One comment from a DA member “when
out on your bike the talk is usually about bikes, or cycling - but with Euan you were very quickly putting
the world to rights”. Euan will be sadly missed by the DA and our deepest sympathy is extended t o
 Morwyn, Ruth, Robert, Anastasia and Thomas




         " Thank you to DA members who have been so supportive throughout Euan's
         illness and since. True friends will out.” Morwyn




                                                           Cycling Centre & Trossachs Backpackers
                        CTC Members                                   Hostel, Callander
                         5% Discount
                                                         Bikes 01877 331100 ~ Hostel 01877 331200
                                                         www.scottish-cycling.co.uk         www.scottish-hostel.co.uk

                                                         Bike Hire                                 Accommodation
                                                         Kids from £3 per half day,        Prices from £12.50 - £15
                                                         £5 per day                        Includes continental breakfast,
                                                         Adults £7.50 per half day,        use of all facilities and free tea
                                                         £12.50 per day                    and coffee.
                                                         Tandem £15 per half day,          There are no extra charges for
                                                         £25 per day                       linen, electricity or shower.

                                                         Phone for detailed                Group discounts also available
                                                         Prices and discounts



                Near Hospital Hill
                                                                          Invertrossachs Road, Callander
                                       RON POPE

Ron Pope, of Milnathort, died in June at the age of 88. He had a stroke five years ago. Ron was a long time
member of the CTC and a very popular member of Fife and Kinross DA. As a teenager in Lincolnshire, he
saved up and bought his first bicycle, and it wasn’t long before he was touring the country. He even man-
aged to ride a bike during his service in the Second World War. His unit was issued with khaki coloured
folding bikes during the invasion of Europe in 1944. He was also official artist to his regiment. Over the
years since then, Ron solo cycled-toured and camped throughout Europe. One notable trip being an exten-
sive tour of Norway.
He would occasionally sell drawings of local scenes to supplement his trip. Ron once spent a week alone at
the Loch Earn hut concentrating on drawing scenes around the loch.
Ron and his wife, Else, hosted Saturday meets at their home in Milnathort for many years. He would always
ask “how many are here?”, as their home was very popular. Indeed one of the DA’s highest ever attendance
was at Ron’s when 39 members descended (or ascended) on their house.
As you will gather he was an accomplished artist, and he had paintings exhibited on many occasions. An
exhibition at the Lochgelly Centre was devoted entirely to Ron’s work. He was also very keen on music and
was a member of the Woodmill Singers in Dunfermline.
Ron was a very gentle, kind man, mildly eccentric but always interesting. The DA has sent a card of Sym-
pathy to Else and the family. Else would like to thank all DA members who attended Ron’s funeral.
As a tribute to Ron, a couple of his later drawings have been reproduced below.




            LESLIE BIKE SHOP
                                 101 High Street
       Large stock of     Leslie
   Cycles and Accessories Fife


           Suppliers of -
SPECIALIZED ~ RALEIGH ~ GIANT ~
       DAWES ~ FALCON ~
  CLAUD BUTLER ~ PINARELLO ~
~ ALTURA ~ SHIMANO ~ CAMELBAK
       ~ CATEYE ~ MET ~
    ALL SPARES AND REPAIRS

   Open 6 days 9-00 to 5-15, Closed Sundays
          Visa and Switch accepted




Phone: 01592 741786 ~ Fax: 01592 741786
Email: bikedaft@aol.com
                   FIFE & KINROSS DA AGM

    Please note that the AGM will take place at the Freuchie Village Hall
             On Saturday 11 November 2006 at 7.30pm

Members are reminded that notices of motion for the AGM should be in the hands of the DA Secretary,
Lorraine Brown, 91 Garvock Hill, Dunfermline KY12 7UT by Saturday 4 November 2006.

Please note also that any nominations for election to the committee should be made using the following
form. Members may wish to note that your President is willing to serve for a further term of 3 years and
your Secretary , Treasurer and all members of the committee are willing to serve for a further term of one
year. Members are of course free to nominate alternative/additional officers or members.


                     COMMITTEE MEMBER PROPOSAL FORM

I wish to propose.................................................as President/Secretary/Treasurer/Committee Member
 ( delete as necessary ) to represent Fife & Kinross DA for the year 2006/2007

Proposed by.....................................Seconded by.................................

I ..........................................agree to the above and if elected will serve on Fife & Kinross DA Committee for
the stated period.

Any proposal forms should be sent to the DA Secretary by Saturday 4 November.

         BIKES FOR SALE                                                                DATES FOR GAMES NIGHTS

    Ladies 22” 1930 model; 28” wheels                                    Darts/dominos nights will be held in the Gunners’
                                                                         Club, Kirkcaldy on the following dates, starting at
    Spare tyres                                                          7.00pm:-

                                                                         24 October 2006
                                                                         21 November
    23” Wester Ross 1982                                                 19 December ( hamper night )
                                                                         23 January 2007
    Black; chrome ends; 531 d/b                                          27 February
                                                                         27 March
    26 by 1¼ wheels                                                      24 April

                                                                         For further details, confirmation of dates etc
    Front and rear stainless carriers
                                                                         contact Nan or George Shepherd on 01592 612942
    Enquiries to George Berwick                                                         CHANGE OF RUNS LIST
    Tel: 01382 330217
                                                                         The runs for 2 and 9 December have been reversed
                                                                         and should now read:-
    CONTRIBUTIONS TO NEXT ISSUE
                                                                         Sat 2 Dec: Dougie Latto, 82 Napier Road, G’rothes
Contributions for the Winter issue of the
 newsletter should reach me by the first week of De-                     Sat 9 Dec: Church Centre, Kinross
cember please, preferably by email to
len@len50.wanadoo.co.uk                                                  Please make this change in your runs list. It will also
                                                                         be changed on the website

				
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