Cycling Holiday 2017

 

For 2017 we cycled south to the Scottish Borders, crossing the Forth Road Bridge on the opening day of the new Queensferry Crossing.

 

 

 

The map above can be zoomed and panned to follow the route.

Route grading using <Cycalc>

 

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Off we go! A lovely sunny day for a 39-miles with 2360ft accent, grade mild-C cycle from home to the Queensferry Hotel

 

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In to new territory for us, we cycled to the west of Loch Leven, ascending Nivingston Craigs and past Loch Glow

 

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We were surprised by the quality of cycling through the Loch Glow forest

 

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Eventually our destination came into view: Queensferry Crossing, the new bridge over the Forth

 

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Undeniably a beautiful structure, the Queensferry Crossing was at the time of this photo closed to traffic and open to a few thousand people to walk over the bridge

 

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The 'old' Forth Road Bridge was carrying its last heavy traffic, and we would cycle over it the following day. We spent the night at the Queensferry Hotel: a much-revamped hotel now part of the Hilton Group

 

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After a 'selfie' we headed off south (41-miles with 2030ft accent, grade mild-C) over the Forth Road Bride and had this view of the three great bridges over the Forth: the rail bridge, the old road bridge and the new road bridge, built in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries respectively

 

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In Edinburgh the cycling route takes you through another 19th century railway construction, the Innocent Railway Tunnel. A nice description of it is available on <The Scotsman> newspaper

 

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Looking back to Fife, and The Lomond Hills from Musselburgh, approximately halfway through our day

 

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Our second night's stay was at the Crown and Kitchen at East Linton: we very much enjoyed our stay here

 

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Next day we headed down the coast (the photo above is of the Bass Rock) from East Linton to Allanton, 31-miles with 2180ft accent, grade average-B. The route was intended to be 10-miles further, but the weather forecast was appalling for mid-afternoon. And the forecast was spot-on: at 2pm the heavens opened, but by then we were tucked up in the Allanton Inn :-)

 

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This section of the holiday, day-3, was rather uninspiring; unless you enjoy busy roads, cement works, atomic power stations.

We did have to ford a small river, which was somewhat entertaining, but then immediately followed by an exhaustingly steep hill!

We were glad to reach our accommodation just moments before torrential rain!

 

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Day-4 started in the rain, but the forecast was for the rain to give-way to sunshine. The route from Allanton to Melrose was 39-miles with 2120ft accent, grade hard-B. And rain or no-rain there's always tea and cake :-)

 

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We spent the night with our friends (Martin and Janette) in Melrose, and the following day, day-5, the weather was great - and we were now in The Borders proper: beautiful cycling along the river Tweed: 41-miles with 2870ft accent, grade average-C from Melrose to Newtongrange, a little south of Edinburgh

 

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This is The Borders at its very best; there is probably no better cycling anywhere else in Britain!

 

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Day-6, our penultimate day, 35-miles with 2120ft accent, grade hard-B, would take us back through Edinburgh, over the Forth Road Bridge and on to Aberdour. For most of the way through Edinburgh we followed the Union Canal, with aqueducts over the motorway

 

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The bridge was now deserted of traffic, closed to all but cyclists and walkers. It was very strange to be cycling on a motorway!

 

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Our accommodation for the last night was A Room with a View, Aberdour, near the site of the old paddle-steamer jetty, excellent food - recommended!

 

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And finally day-7, 35-miles with 2040ft accent, grade hard-B, from Aberdour back to home.

 

The end of our fifteenth annual cycling holiday, not the best, to be honest, but with its memorable moments :-)

 

 

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