Drumcarrow Craig

Some time back I bought a DVD in a charity shop in Dundee, it was ‘You’re cheating heart’ exploring the Scottish country and western music scene and Glaswegian life and culture. And turned out to be a laugh-a-minute, six-part BBC series, written by John Byrne – the cover told me that John Byrne was the creator of Tutti Frutti. I spotted that the BBC was showing a re-run of Tutti Frutti about a rock and roll band in the day of black and white television (the 1960s) retracing the Majestic band’s gigs as a silver jubilee tour, and as a tribute to Robbie Coltrane, so I watched the first part – then the second part yesterday. I don’t know how it went down in its day, but it did not set the heather on fire for me, it was after midnight when I turned in for bed, so not surprisingly it was after 8.30 when I woke up this morning.

The overnight rain had left behind overcast skies – but like the Egyptian Moslem girls – it wore its veil light. I really needed to get out on my bike.

Although the roads were now clear of black ice and snow the air was still very cold, an extra layer and thermal gloves were the order of the day. Drumcarrow Craig is no more than about six kilometres from my home and a mere pimple at 217 meters above sea level, but starting at near zero you have to climb them all.

Leaving the bike at the bottom of the farm track that runs up to what was once a quarry

I set off for the trig point. The most direct route onto the top is via a steep scramble at best graded Difficult. The horses spend their time up here, and I’m sure do much to keep down perennial weeds as they mow the grassy slopes with their feeding, paid me little attention, as I closed on the summit.

This is another of Fife’s numerous iron age settlements and again like Norman’s Law the outline of what would have been a large structure, is outlined in the foundation stones that make up the circle. The door lintel is still here on the side that faces away from the prevailing winds – coming from the southwest – today the winds were more southerly but bitter cold.

I dropped down the lame route from the ridge, much easier on my knees – unfortunately, the lame route is also the route of least resistance so closely followed by the runoff water. My cycling shoes are for off-road riding (you can ride and walk in them – designed with hidden cleats) not taken into consideration by the designer chappie, it rains a lot in Scotland, and they leak. and wet short shallow grass over a granite base can be graded at VS (very severe).

The homeward journey was a joy, downhill all the way and with the motor disengaged you can’t half get up speed down those steep sections.

The wee bike has now covered 4442.0 kilometres, and I believe the battery is coming to the end of its useful life; I have to put in much more effort on longer runs these days. Batteries have become much cheaper, and when I do replace it I will do so with one with twice the Amp-hours, for those long summer days – when they finally return.

Already looking very dreich out there, I think I have had the best of the day. time to get stuck into the last of the potato and leek soup, it’s gid tell yir ma’

Stay safe.   

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