THE FIFE and KINROSS
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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
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
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
Seen near Princemadog, wherever that is. Wonder if anyone rides down the ramp at the side
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
ro and o vernights. A first attempt at to m d
uring with the tande and newly acquire trailer
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
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.
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
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
Bikes 01877 331100 ~ Hostel 01877 331200
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, 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
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
23” Wester Ross 1982 19 December ( hamper night )
23 January 2007
Black; chrome ends; 531 d/b 27 February
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
firstname.lastname@example.org Please make this change in your runs list. It will also
be changed on the website