A short blog post which recounts my dynamic crew having a fun but raw and foggy Remembrance Day (plus 1!) pedal along Sustrans Scotland The National Cycle Network #NCN Rt 764 – on the old Clackmannan to Dunfermline railway line.
The original plan was to do this ride – also known as the West Fife Cycle Way – on Remembrance Sunday but it was delayed by a day due to heavy rain. But the “old git” and “old gal” still sported poppies on their cycling helmets.
You can check out the details of our route – which is part of the Inner Forth area network of NCN routes – by clicking on the Strava map below.
At some points the thick haar coming off the Forth estuary meant the “old git” could barely see more than a few feet in front of him! And in the sections thru the woods, it was actually quite spooky!
It was however good to see the route so busy with many cyclists and walkers. Although it could be described as a “hidden gem” it clearly is a very popular route amongst locals. And the network of paths is part of a wider project to encourage access to the outdoors called Discover Clackmannanshire.
Sadly we were not accompanied by our good solo cycling friends, Gillian and Craig, who introduced my dynamic crew to this route. They have left their beloved Scotland for a couple of years for a new lifestyle in Malaysia. But they were certainly in the thoughts of the “old gal” and “old git” – and read on for more flashbacks!
Starting from just off the B910 to the north-east of Clackmannan the route follows the old railway line over open and wooded countryside over just short of 11 miles to the west side of Dunfermline.
The route usually offers some great views over the Kingdom of Fife towards the impressive sight of the Forth Bridges – tho not today! Just a thick blanket of fog!
A welcome coffee break at the half way point at the Dunfermline end was my dynamic crew’s self-supported socially distanced coffee shop set up on an old railway sleeper.
Which was much different to our trip with Gillian and Craig back in 2017 when they sped off and set up an impromptu mini cocktail bar on that very same railway sleeper! And amazingly they had brought along a spirit measure and even more remarkably – ice cubes! An effort fully worthy of a gold star!
Great memories – which I had to relive in these flashback photos below:
A quick turnaround saw Team Matilda heading back to the start at Clackmannan – but only after a quick stop at one of the many NCN Rt 764 signs along the way!
Despite a picnic lunch being packed in my panniers the “old gal” called the wise choice of abandoning the planned second ride due to the cold dank conditions – and decided on a short detour for a reviving hot soup lunch at the bike friendly Café des Fleurs in Dollar on the drive home!
Over steaming bowls of Thai sweet potato soup the “old git” checked Strava which officially recorded the ride as being worthy of a healthy total of 14 gongs – made up of 8 personal bests, 4 second bests; and 2 third best times.
The detailed Strava figures showed my dynamic crew tandemed a weather curtailed distance of 21.5 miles with a moving time of 1 hour 37 minutes. The average speed was a healthy 13.2 mph – which given the thick fog and visibility issues was perfectly acceptable! Elevation was a relatively flat 445 feet given we were pedalling along the bed of an old railway line. The maximum speed was 23.7 mph and Team Matilda managed to burn up 904 calories and produce an average power output of 138 W.
As always the route is brought to life in our Relive 3D mapping video – so take a look below.
Despite the inclement conditions, it was still good to be out and as always my dynamic crew managed to have fun – as it should be – on a bicycle made for two!
The “old gal” just wants a bit of Autumn sunshine for the next ride! Don’t think that’s too much to ask!