Sunday, 2 July 2017

The wettest June in Central Scotland since god knows when....

This is Threapmuir reservoir which was at the lowest level I've seen it on Wednesday night since I started riding up the Pentland Hills. Today, Sunday, the water was pouring over the overflow as a result of last Thursday and Friday's downpour! 

Barrie and I came up behind a small squad of armed soldiers presumably out on an exercise this morning and took no time in informing them we had no intention of launching an attack against them!  

Barrie trying to get a bit of air under his wheels early on this morning

Torduff reservoir which also had been well topped up with the rain this week

The river crossing wasn't too bad apart from a deepish bit that had been gauged out when it had been in spate resulting wet feet for the both of us.

The news that there had been record rainfall in June came as a bit of a surprise because generally the ground conditions have been very good with the trails drying quickly after any rain early on in the month.I can only assume the record rainfall came about as a result of the very heavy rain in the last week of the month, here's hoping for a drier July! 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Back to pruning jaggy brambles to save my arms and legs on the path to Bluebell Wood!

Barrie was in charge of the camera last Sunday morning 

Though he says otherwise I'm adamant he couldn't keep up with me on the descent from Black Hill!

This was the sweltering hot climb up to the top of Black Hill

As usual a good rides end with a problem.... ours was a puncture!

Out myself on Tuesday to do a bit of pruning, these brambles can tear your arms to shreds!

Thought this was a bit artistic looking.....probably not!!!

You couldn't have asked for better weather for a bike ride up in the hills of Scotland

A week of  hot dry weather with conditions perfect for mountain biking, the trails are back to their best only downside being we've now passed the longest day and nights start to get longer, at least it'll be a while yet till lights are needed!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dougie (road?) tests his new mountain bike up the Pentland Hills

The new Stanton Sherpa 29er and its proud owner

He's off, now to see how it performs on a fast descent 

Nearly at the bottom and all seems to be well

A little tail flick at the start of Maidens Cleugh

Me logging in on Sunday morning

Will Barrie go over the bars on this ditch crossing?

Rats!! He made it over successfully, now I'll have to do the same!

There's that view again, down over Loganlea reservoir before the final chaotic descent to the Howe

The broken chain that forced a 2 mile walk home for me earlier in the week when I didn't take my backpack and its array of spare parts with me! It could have been worse, it could have happened 10 miles from home.....

Monday, 5 June 2017

From jumping jumps to trying to get new PRs, just another week on the mountain bike up the Pentlands

Barrie went first in our pathetic attempt to see who had most style in the jump at the bottom of Maidens Cleugh

My effort was next and didn't really look aggressive enough, more a look of "HELP"!

Next morning and I was out pruning jaggies that threatened to tear my arms and legs to shreds on a narrow bit of path I often bike along 

Soon be finished!

Dougie looking out into the wide blue yonder on Wednesday when we reached the top of Capelaw Hill

A great vantage point for the view on a day like Wednesday

Barrie was sure he could conquer this tricky little climb at Black Springs.....

He was wrong...twice!!

What a way to spend a Sunday morning while 99% of the population are still lying in their beds!

Black Hill done and dusted, it's nearly all downhill from here on back home.

Another week of great biking weather with a bit of everything thrown in and a couple of PRs for me into the bargain, they don't happen that often these days so I'll gladly take any that come my way! 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Weather so hot even the fridge in the house gave up the ghost!

Wednesday night and things were beginning to heat up

By Thursday it was seriously hot for Scotland, we're just not used to this sort of nonsense!

Thursday night and Dougie and I tackled Hare Hill and met three other bikers cooling off, one of whom recalled Barrie and me fixing a burst chain on his bike five years ago at Innerleithen! I must have an unusual face that he could remember that!

The summit of Hare Hill was duly conquered after a fair bit of sweat had been spilt.

Friday and I went back up the hills in the heat for more punishment (and pictures)

Sunday morning and we're back to normal temperatures so arm warmers etc were back in action

Top of Turnhouse Hill ready for the last mad dash down to Flotterstone and Barrie attempts to "float like a butterfly", Clive remains unimpressed though!

We're off down the track, there's no turning back now

An earlier part of the climb up the rough track to the top of Carnethy Hill

The final part of the descent and there's a choice of tracks, Clive went to his left (his political viewpoint) while we went to the right!!

The start of the climb up the Kirk Road

This gargoyle outside Clives front door seemed an ideal place to put a spare helmet on, at 6am it's what a few people would be feeling like on a Sunday morning.

Last week our weather went crazy for a few days and temperatures soared to the 30s C which is just not what the people of Scotland or for that matter our household appliances can cope with! My fridge suffered a complete breakdown and had to be given life support and I've since heard of other household machines which objected to the extreme heat!! We still went out on the bikes though and maybe we didn't go as fast and drank a bit more fluid, but the ground was dry and hard and you cant argue with that!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Leg power v horse power v electric power

The sign says it all "The Magical Bluebell Wood", at its very best just now!

Along the side of the River Esk near Lasswade

Deep in the heart of Bluebell Wood!

An irate biker who thought his cross bike was able with its flimsy tyres to tackle the sharp stones on Castlelaw, he was a bit bad tempered so I didn't have much sympathy with him! 

Round the side of Harbour Hill and I encountered two people with riding helmets but only one horse between them!

On the track up to West Kip I came across more horses, this time with a rider on each of them, seems like an easy way to go uphill!!

Met this Brad Pitt lookalike(?) who assured a doubtful me that he was off to catch some fish

The top off Hare Hill this morning and it was certainly no heat wave up there!

From here on its mostly downhill and a tail wind into the bargain, things can only get better!

A week in which I was offered the chance to participate  in an ebike trial which I turned down simply because if I had an hour on an ebike I reckon I'd never be really happy on an ordinary mountain bike again! I met a few horse rider as well but the cost of buying, feeding, stabling and generally maintaining a horse makes buying the occasional part for a mountain bike relatively cheap, so at the moment it's going to continue to be leg power!