Home Cycling Better of ED: E-Bike Graveling Route #3 From MacDuff Over the Bawbee Bridge to See Robinson Crusoe

Better of ED: E-Bike Graveling Route #3 From MacDuff Over the Bawbee Bridge to See Robinson Crusoe

Better of ED: E-Bike Graveling Route #3 From MacDuff Over the Bawbee Bridge to See Robinson Crusoe


“I’m by no means happier than once I’m writing.”
~ Ed Hood, as spoken to Martin Williamson from the passenger seat, driving alongside a stage route on the Tour de France.

Pricey Readers – Our beloved colleague and pal Ed Hood suffered a severe stroke in February.  We don’t count on Ed will make it again into our bunch, so we’ve began a GoFundMe web page to assist Ed together with his future.  Learn the total put up right here – and please think about donating.

** Click on this hyperlink to donate to the GoFundMe web page to assist Ed **

We’ll be posting a choice of Ed’s work from the previous 16 years, as a result of nice story-telling by no means will get outdated.

Ed’s Native E-Bike Gravel Rambles: Our man within the wilds of Scotland, Ed Hood, has been out on his native ‘off highway’ routes with Barney, his Ribble gravel e-Bike once more. He takes up the experience from MacDuff Citadel and heads towards the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, the actual Robinson Crusoe.

# You may see Ed’s first E-Bike route HERE and his second E-Bike route HERE. #

The costal path at daybreak

With the candy odor of ‘ganja’ wafting out of the home windows of a minimum of two of the Dysart Excessive Road flats and into my nostrils, Barney Ribble and I set off for the Fife Coastal Path as soon as extra. The final time we headed east we completed up at MacDuff Citadel so we’ll decide it up there.

West Wemyss sea mine memorial

However earlier than we do, we’ll cease off at West Wemyss for a memorial that I solely just lately seen. It’s in reminiscence of the 5 native males who, in January 1941 went out to stop a sea mine which had damaged free from its moorings from drifting in direction of the village however sadly misplaced their lives when the system exploded. Incidents like this weren’t reported within the conflict time press for concern of, ‘damaging civilian morale.’

Wemyss Personal Railway

Simply throughout the way in which from MacDuff Citadel up on the principle highway is a reminder of the times when South Fife was on the coronary heart of the Scottish coal trade. The Wemyss household invested closely in collieries and their very own railways to move the black gold from the pit head to the docks at Methil – thousands and thousands of kilos value of the stuff. From East Wemyss the Coastal Path follows the flat and quick line of the outdated crimson gravelled tram line to Buckhaven. In my ignorance I believed that the identify got here from one thing to do with deer – as in ‘buck’ and ‘hind,’ which is what us locals name the city – ‘Buckhind.’ Nevertheless it truly comes from Norse, a ‘hyne’ was a haven between the rocks the place boats might be safely hauled ashore and ‘buck’ meant to ‘roar.’

Buckhaven in historical past

And there’s a reference to the biking Heartland of Belgium in that Flemish refugees, escaping non secular persecution settled right here within the sixteenth century. Buckhaven used to have great seashores however as with Dysart seashores and the Frances Colliery, ‘redd’ from the lengthy gone Wellesley Colliery put paid to the golden sand.

Buckhaven sea mine plaque

The trail ‘goes city’ by Buckhaven however not earlier than a reminder of one other 1941 sea mine tragedy, this time eight poor souls misplaced their lives to one of many devilish gadgets.

Robert Dunsire

On the entrance to Toll Park the place your journey throughout city begins there’s a memorial to one of many city’s most well-known sons, Robert Dunsire who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in 1915, rescuing two comrades from no man’s land, carrying them on his again to security underneath heavy enemy fireplace. ‘They didn’t weigh any greater than a sack of coal,’ defined ex-miner Dunsire; sadly, he didn’t survive the battle.

Fabrication Yard

The place the outdated Wellesley Colliery stood is now a parking lot, overlooking the large fabrication yard, it was once oil associated works however wind farms are the factor now. There’s no plaque to mark the location of a pit which gave employment to some 1,500 males. The Wellesley canteen was open to public and on the varsity summer season holidays again within the early 60’s once I used to exit with my dad in his wee works van we’d cease in there for sausage rolls and tea at knock down costs – life was less complicated then.

The Swan

Simply alongside from the location of the Wellesley is the previous Swan Lodge, the Swan is the image of the rich Wemyss household who owned lots of the native pits and railways earlier than nationalisation. There’s a steep brae down from the Swan to Decrease Methil; certainly one of Dave’s work mates reckoned there wasn’t a person alive might experience a motorbike up that brae! He’d clearly by no means heard of these 60 kg. Colombian boys, albeit I needed to stroll it one time when Barney’s battery died on me.

Bawbee Bridge

On the east finish of Buckhaven and Methil is the Bawbee Bridge, crossing which takes you into Leven, a onetime Mecca for Glasgow vacation makers. It’s known as the Bawbee Bridge as a result of a Bawbee was an outdated Scottish coin and that was the fare the ferryman used to cost to row passengers throughout the River Leven within the days earlier than there was a bridge. The river rises in Loch Leven, which in a surprising feat of Victorian engineering was lowered by some 4 toes, sluice gates put in and the river ‘straightened’ to offer a constant move of water for the 2 dozen paper and textile mills alongside the banks.

Milk Race

Leven Promenade was the scene of Tour of the Kingdom finishes within the 90’s and Scottish Milk Race finishes again within the 70’s; within the 1975 version Dave and I had been positioned on the Stanin’ Stane Street, the lengthy, straight undulating highway which heads east into Leven from Kirkcaldy. On the head of affairs was that late, nice, stocky bear of a person, Ryszard Szurkowski of Poland, glued to his wheel and making an attempt in useless to get some shelter from the squat type of Szurkowski was large Phil Griffiths. Phil was all the time fast witted with a lot to say – however not that day, Szurkowski had him on the rack, en route one more stage victory.

Polish paratrooper memorial

Leven isn’t any stranger to Poles although, the first Unbiased Polish Paratroop Brigade skilled there earlier than their involvement within the catastrophe that was Arnhem.

Sand dunes

Persevering with previous Leven takes you into the sand dunes which separate Lundin Hyperlinks golf course from the seashore. There’s a lot of it rideable; that might be ‘all of it’ if you happen to had been Freddy Maertens and the Flandria boys again within the 70’s – however not if you happen to’re 67 years-old, even with an electrical motor within the rear hub. And with regards to the motor; some chap on FaceBook was sounding off that ‘e Bikes’ are a curse, all I can say is that it’s a pleasure to get to the highest of the village and to not should cease and fake I’m taking a look at my cell phone till the ache in my hip eases.

Anti-tank blocks

In widespread with many seashores in East Scotland, Lundin Hyperlinks has concrete block anti-tank defences to thwart potential World Conflict Two German landings; albeit it’s loads additional throughout the chilly North Sea than it’s throughout the English Channel.

Sea battle portray

If you happen to enterprise inland off the trail to Higher Largo you may nonetheless see the canal dug by native legend Sir Andrew Wooden from his house to the native church so he might journey by barge to the Sunday service. It’s been mentioned it is a fantasy, however because the well-known photographer, Robert Capa as soon as mentioned; ‘by no means let the reality stand in the way in which of a very good story!’ What’s no fantasy is that Wooden twice defeated superior English forces in sea battles within the Firth of Forth in 1488/9 and was often called, ‘Scotland’s Nelson.’

Artist’s gate

Lundin Hyperlinks runs into Decrease Largo previous the quirky and wonderful gate of native artist Alan Faulds.

Alexander Selkirk

Journey’s finish for this secteur is on the Alexander Selkirk birthplace statue, the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ There are two variations of why the Scot ended up on Fernandez cluster off the coast of Chile; one is that he might see that the ship he was aboard, the Cinque Ports, was a ‘loss of life ship’ and doomed so he requested to be put ashore. The opposite is that he was a cantankerous fellow who his shipmates deposited there to do away with his fixed unhealthy tempers.

Subsequent time we’ll go west once more. . .

Steps on the coastal path – A part of Ed’s work out. . .

# You may examine Ed’s journey from time trial bike to Ribble e-Bike HERE. #

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