Crossing the bridge

Scotland is not a huge country, but every time I cross the Forth road bridge I am reminded of my friend who, several years ago, called me after crossing the bridge to say that they would be with me very shortly, not quite realising that it was another 2.5 hours to Banchory. I had a few problems getting out of Edinburgh due to my navigation system not liking the incredibly poor road surfaces (or at least that is one possible reason!). Once onto the old railway lines to the NW of the city the surfaces were much better (it is SO sad that the lines of the old railways were sold off so readily in most areas – what an asset they are now)

Another fabulous ex-railway bike (and pedestrian) track in the heart of a city

The Forth is now crossed at Queensferry by three bridges, from three different centuries. The rail bridge is iconic, being seriously over-engineered for its purpose (following the under-engineered Tay rail bridge disaster); the road bridge is a suspension bridge built in the 1960s that was over-used and had started to show signs of wear, while the newest Queensferry crossing is a cable-stayed bridge that opened a couple of years ago.

The bridges viewed from a distance. Rail bridge = red, Queensferry crossing is most obvious in white, the road bridge is less visible between them

Nowadays the road bridge is primarily for busses, bikes and pedestrians, though I did see a few cars driving across it too. It is being maintained, so I guess that it could be used in emergency also.

The traffic on the road bridge is minimal, so it was possible to park the bike and take a stroll across the carriageways by climbing the various barriers (well, nobody stopped me!)
A good view of the rail bridge
Terrific Victorian engineering
The Queensferry Crossing is equally beautiful to me, but difficult to photograph with clouds in the background
The winds yesterday were pretty strong and gusty so even though the cycle carriageway is wide, I rode gingerly across the Forth. This is me looking relieved to be on the Fife side.
A jack-up rig on a transport vessel
View across the Forth to Edinburgh
The outer Forth from Kirkcaldy with parked oil drilling rigs in the distance
Yet further great ex-railway cycle infrastructure
I was rather taken with this discrete memorial to a cyclist at a very fine viewpoint on a little-used back road in the hills of Fife. For those reading this on a small device, the inscription says “In loving memory of Charlie Milne 1954-2018. Loving husband, father, friend, still oiling the chain of our lives”


It was Father’s Day on Sunday and of course I thought of my father then. More significantly though yesterday (18 June) was his birthday, and I always think more about him on that day. He would have been 94.

Dad, in sun-glasses, on Frencham pond, early 1930s
Portrait of Dad, also early 1930s
Dad with his mother on her 80th birthday
I think this is the only picture of Dad in the brief phase that he had a beard and long hair in the 1970s
Dad with his family in the 1930s, I think I know who I inherited my dress sense from

Here’s to all Dads and their good influences on our lives.

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