Around the Pond: 5000 km on the North Sea Cycle Route

The weather is much better today, it is sunny most of the time.

After a nice breakfast I start again on the Formatine & Buchan Way, which leads me to Aberdeen. The route takes me through a small valley north of the city, to St Machar Cathedral. Here a take a break and visit the church and the extensive graveyard.

I have to cross the centre of Aberdeen, but since I explored much of it yesterday I have no problem finding my way. The route takes me through the harbour, then south along the coast.

About 20km south of Aberdeen my front wheel starts to makes funny noises. At first I suspect a small stone embedded in the tire. I stop to remove it, before it seriously damages the rather worn rubber. However, what I find is not a stone, but the tire itself disintegrating. Oops! I had planned to buy new tires in Edinburgh. Now I just hope to make it to the next bicycle store without major problems. My map shows a store in Stonehaven, about 15 or 20 kilometers south. A friendly passer-by gives me the same information. Alternatively I could drive back to Aberdeen.

I don't want to go back, so I continue my way towards Stonehaven. I don't follow the NSCR, but ride on the shoulder of the A90, a busy 4-lane road. This is no fun, but it saves me about 15km compared to the scenic route.

In Stonehaven the first stop is the camping site, to make sure I have a place to stay. That turns out to be a good decision: I get the last spot, and that only because someone else cancelled their reservation. To be on the save side I book for two nights.

I get directions to the bicycle store. Just a few minutes before closing time I buy two tires. They are not as good as my current ones, which served me for nearly 7000 km. It is especially difficult to get a decent tire for my 20" front wheel. I have to settle for a tire intended for a BMX bike.


Day 67 - August 8: Ellon - Stonehaven

Route

Ellon - Aberdeen - Portlethen - Stonehaven

Statistics

Distance: 70.11 km
Cycle time: 4:40 h
Average speed: 15.0 kmh
Height difference: 550 m
Total distance: 3608 km
© Thomas Stets ts.semper.d@googlemail.com
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