To Alford over Banchory
I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures from that tour. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Aberdeen" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures
I moved to Aberdeen in March 2001 and I brought with me my bike. I was looking forward to some bikerides here up in the north. I stared ambitous with this pretty hard bikeride.
I set off early that freezing cold morning from Aberdeen, covered from top to toe in clothes. Not the best conditions for a bike ride. I prefer rides in only my Lycra shorts and cycling shirt. But I had no choice that day. I headed up the hill towards the beginning of the A93 up the River Dee . There was not much I saw of the river though. The road was pretty flat on the north banks of this river up past some villages. A steep hill at Peterculter got my attentions. I had been here before though. Back in 1995, to be more precise. I remembered this hill from that tour so I took it easy. The road became a lot more flat after that to
Banchory. I left A 93 here and headed up the hill on the A 980. The road was a bit steep in the beginning before it was joined by B 977 and the road became docile flat along some farming landscapes. It also started to climb a lot up to the small idyllic village of Torphins. The road started to climb pretty hard up some farmfields before descending to a small valley at the Lumphanan village at the foot of the hardest climbs of the day. This climb was hard and I was happy at the top of them. A descent down to some crossroads followed and further down to the Alford Bridge and some easier bikeriding into Alford.
This village has a railway museum and a lot of shops as it's main attraction. I headed back towards Aberdeen again on the A 944. With too many clothes and an untrained body, the remaining 30 km or so of this bikeride was very hard. The road is not exactly flat as a pancake either. The first bad hillclimb was through a forest some km after Alford. The descent down the other side was a bit hairy. I was suffering from some very sore legs. The rest of the ride past Loch Of Skene was hard and I parked my bike at a pub in Kirkton of Skene for a dinner after the hard climb up from this loch. When I did the same bikeride with less clothes and a lot more training four months later, after 130 km in the saddle the same day, I found next to no problems on these 30 km. But in April, I was really struggling.
I had this dinner and continued over Westhill and down the hill to my flat in Aberdeen again.
On the map, this is a really good bikeride and I am sure it is a good bikeride for those who are really trained. Which I was not back then. The road from Alford to Aberdeen is a bit boring though. The rest is a good bikeride and it is therefore recommended.