Aberdeen City Rides: Kincorth Nature Reserve, Tullos Hill, Doonies and Torry.
This route has great views across the city and coast the whole way, with easy riding. Despite the urban, and often industrial, setting the route is exposed to fresh sea breezes so make sure you have warm clothes with you.
Leave Duthie Park by the southwest gate and cross the lefthand side of the George VI Bridge. At the southern end of the bridge, use the path to go underneath it and head west along the river bank. Cross the dual carriageway, at the Bridge of Dee, and follow the A92 uphill. There is a wide verge with tracks to follow here until you reach Nigg Way or stay on the side road, Gardner Drive (don't go as far as the Shell Petrol Station). Follow Nigg Way almost to a gate, then turn sharp right, almost back on yourself in to Kincorth Nature Reserve. There is a really steep stretch here to the crest of the hill.
Cross the hill, taking in the panorama across the city. These are similar views to a painting from 1756 by William Mosman which hangs in Aberdeen Art Gallery. It shows the business of the city, much as today, before the channelised harbour was created.
Keep right at all forks on the main path, to arrive at the road, Redmoss Walk, and on to the main Tullos Road. Cross to the north of the roundabout, on the downhill side, and take a path straight ahead from the pedestrian crossing. This is signposted Tullos Hill. Take all the righthand forks across the hill, making sure to take a right turn at a major crossroads, and follow the fence southwards to Doonies Rare Breeds Farm and the coast.
From here make a short loop of the coastal path. It is easy riding, but near the edge in parts, so not recommended for young children. To miss this loop simply take a left and join the path at the bridge to the north after the traffic lights. The coastal loop starts at the bridge over the railway to the south of the carpark, down the railway and then left and back, along the coast, towards town.
The trail's surface on this route is loose in places, so controlling speed is important. Brake with good technique, which means sparingly because bikes and riders both get twitchy while braking. Look and plan well ahead; pick good places to brake and brake firmly and effectively without skidding. Use a good position, looking up, with weight centred over the pedals. Spot braking points before an obstacle not on it. These are where you are going straight and the trail surface has most grip. Squeeze both brakes smoothly and firmly, drive your weight through your heels to the tyres, then release and carry the correct speed through the obstacle.
Pass the plant working on the new harbour, to the bottom of the hill, then take a trail behind the ruin of St. Fitticks Church (which is worth a look in on a snack stop). From here make your own circuit of the golf Course, lighthouse, Torry Battery and dolphin watching. Beware, Balganask has more hills than you'd think. And rejoin the route at the north end of St.Fittick's Road over looking Footdee and the harbour.
From here the route takes the most cycle-friendly course back to Duthie Park and the city. Head straight along Abbey Road then Crombie Road, set one block back from the harbour, through the fishing centre of Torry. Then turn right on the main road to the Victoria Bridge. Just before the bridge, take a riverside path on the left leading to the Aberdeen Boat Houses. Cross the road after the boat houses to reach the traffic free, Wellington Suspension Bridge. Return to Duthie Park on the riverside bike path.
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