The line clung to the north shore of the Forth with lovely views across to Edinburgh. We crossed over the Tay Bridge with the stumps of the old piers alongside.
Eventually we approached Aberdeen and I started to shorten the distance between me and the bike by picking my way carefully along the carriages. I retrieved the bike and loaded up the bags on the platform before following the throng through the station barrier. The adjacent Union Shopping Centre was busy as I wheeled down the right hand mall, through the shopping throng towards the car park. I started to ride along the parking lanes following signs for the exit, not expecting it to be barrier controlled.
Leaving the car park became a real problem due to the lack of a ticket. The sensible option would have been to walk round somewhere, instead I decided to follow another vehicle. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough and the bike obviously didn't register on the under road sensors. I saw the barrier coming down, ducked and felt it strike the holdall strung across my back. Then I heard a crash and turned to the alarming sight of the plastic barrier arm bouncing along the tarmac.
All this was in front of two queues of cars waiting to enter the car park and my embarrassment level was at maximum. Feeling very guilty at breaking the barrier, I turned back and confessed to a car park lad. It seems that the thing is designed to fall off to lessen the impact of any collision. He then caught me up at the traffic lights and wrote down my details in his little black book, he told me that he was new in the job.
Riding round to Northlink was a relief, to extract myself from all the limelight.