Sunday, 19 November 2017

Out with the roadies, and now Clive's getting back on his bike!

Out on Friday at Glentress with Dougie and some of his road biking club, hells teeth some of their descending might be a bit iffy but they more than make up for it with their climbing!

A stop for a breather before the last steep climb up to the mast.
Roger managed a bit further this week in his return to fitness endeavours, after this gate it's the point of no return with a lot more climbing to be done to complete the circuit!
Saturday with Barrie and a view from the top of Black Hill on a cold but dry and clear November morning 

Barrie's been desperate for me to photograph him doing this jump for weeks which he's convinced gets higher every time we pass it!
Out with Clive this morning, Sunday, the first time in about 6 weeks at least he's done any mountain biking and he announced he's 2 stone heavier than he was at this time last year. There was no way the thin ice this morning was going to carry his weight!
Not a pretty sight! It's not hard to see where all the extra weight is!!

A week of fairly good biking weather but next weeks forecast looks as if it's all downhill again ( the weather that is, not the biking!)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Rogers' new bike and the greasy sleeper climb challenge

Roger had a fairly substantial win on the National Lottery and like any self respecting husband spent as quickly as he could on a new shiny carbon bike before his wife could get her hands on it, trouble now is he needs to get his fitness back to justify the bike he now owns!
Out with Dougie mid-week and ended up with him attempting the climb up the railway sleeper steps which are quite greasy at this time of year. Dougie managed on the 2nd attempt and after this was put on facebook it was of course ridiculed by our so called friends! The camera does make it look easier than it actually is so the challenge was made, can anyone do it first try!
This was Barries' effort on Saturday and even though he made it, he did need three attempts!
Earlier on in the day on Saturday the weather was perfect for a Pentland Hill ride, cold but dry with only a light wind.
It was my birthday yesterday and Madeleine my next door neighbour and equally obsessive biker and Pentalnd Hill enthusiast gave me a hand painted card of what we like to call the "best view in the Pentlands", it even has me on my bike.......brilliant!!!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Getting close to the years target mileage, (weather permitting)

The start of the week and last weeks gales meant there was the occasional obstruction

Nearly an over the bars incident with this cheeky little dog that thought it would be fun to run across the track in front of me 
took a photograph of this tiny lizard , put it on Facebook and said we'd encountered a crocodile in the Pentland Hills and actually had people believing it!!
A fine piece of graffiti under the bridge of Braveheart celebrating with a bottle of Scotlands favourite yobs drink, highly inspiring (if you're not Scottish)
A birthday present from Barrie which needed a home made extension to keep my rear end pristine clean!
Nearly there after a bit of hike a bike up from the Howe so we could enjoy the steep descent back down the other side to Silverburn 

Time for a biscuit after the sun appeared
Got stopped in Auchendinny by an old friend we hadn't seen for a few years, Bob was out trying to get back to full fitness after a bad bike crash.
There's not going to be as high a mileage as last year but that was never going to happen this year, however I'm well on my way to achieving my target of 4500 miles as long as that little dog doesn't run in front of me again! 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Halloween with a vengeance.....

It's maybe not exactly Halloween yet for a day or two but as we got to the viaduct over the gorge this morning we found our way blocked by police in what they described as an "incident", apparently someone for whatever reason had jumped off the viaduct overnight and as there's about 200 feet of a drop and no parachute or wings were to be seen things could only turn out one way. 
We took a detour and left the police to clean up the mess...
This is the long hard climb up by the side of Eastside Farm, though the temperature was just above freezing the climb meant you never felt cold.
A hill walker who chatted to us in a friendly manner? Whatever next? We met this guy at the top of the climb and spent a few minutes chatting about this and that before we went our separate ways, quite a difference from many of our meetings with the walking fraternity who seem to be under the impression that the hills belong to them alone.
Back along by the side of Threipmuir Reservoir and the sun was just peeping over Black Hill.
The final Pentland descent of the morning down Maidens Cleugh and the strong winds of yesterday have done an amazing job of drying the tracks up, 27 miles in total this morning in cracking weather even if it did have rather a gory start!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

More a storm in a teacup than real storms!

This is the track in May that I remember describing as "being as dry as I can remember", now it's like a bowl of soggy porridge.

I'd cycled through the water crossing and tried my best to encourage another biker to do the same but he chickened out at first till he discovered that it was less risky to bike through it than to try and cross any other way! He did make it but lacked conviction and put a foot down!!
I was chased by this cheeky bugger through the week and had to stop to reunite him with his owner, while we waited he started chewing my back mudguard!
Midweek and between mini storms the sun came out!
A bit of nonsense this morning with a discarded bit of sheep fleece!
This was 1.5 hours into the ride this morning , it was still pitch dark which made riding on narrow greasy rutty trails quite difficult!

That notorious water crossing again, at least it was daylight by the time we reached it and if you pick the correct line it's "nae bother"!

Nearly home and riding into what should be the sunrise, only it didn't appear till mid forenoon this morning.
A week in which we were promised two storms, one by the grand name of Ophelia and the second one by the ridiculous name of Storm Brian, both of them turned out to be damp squibs in our neck of the woods, I've seen more turmoil in my bathwater....

Monday, 16 October 2017

Up before the larks get up.....

An early start means lights are needed for the first hour 
A baby’s dummy teat provides some light (get the pun?) relief

Hurricane Ophelia hadn’t arrived but it was still hard going into a strong headwind along the side of Thriepmuir reservoir
At least the water level wasn’t too high at the ford and we both managed across with no mishaps 

Off before 6am on Sunday morning for a Pentland cycle with a wind that just got stronger the higher we went, at least it had the decency to blow from behind when we turned for home. 26 miles covered and over 2.500 feet of climbing meant it was a reasonable way to spend an early Sunday morning!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Crash, bang, wallop.....again!!!

I reckon I got off pretty lightly after I came off when my front wheel washed out on a greasy banking as I came down the track to Eastside farm. Embarrassingly my departure from riding a bike to having my bike cartwheel over me was witnessed by the farmer who enquired when we met him a few minutes later if I'd taken a tumble, I swear he was laughing as he drove off in his Landrover!
However apart from a couple of grazes around my knee a liberal coating of muck and sheep shit I live to ride another day, in fact we did another 10 miles. 

Prior to the off we'd climbed up to the bottom of West Kip on a morning that could only be described as "dreich"! 

How I'd hoped I might catch Barrie to have an over the bars moment here but apart from his back wheel lifting as the front one went in a hole nothing else happened!!
Considering I'd only had just over 4 hours sleep after being at a wedding the night before I think I acquitted myself OK and I'll put my accident down to fatigue, though Barrie thought lack of skill was more appropriate, September continues to disappoint on the weather front, I'm beginning to think it could be a rough winter.....

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Dumyat in the Ochil Hills

Barrie and I have had a hankering after a ride in the Ochil Hills for some time now with Dumyat in particular being the favourite so Paul who did the West Highland Way with us and who lives in Dunblane was contacted to help us out.
The start from Paul's house in Dunblane

Roughly half way up Drumyat and already Paul was suffering from cramp!
Barrie, Garry and I reached the summit, Paul said we would meet up on the descent, it seemed like a scene from Scott of the Antarctic and Captain Oates!!
Captain Oates had recovered and showed us some of his biking skills on the way back down through the woods 

Unfortunately my biking skills didn't match Paul's and I did an embarrassing face plant in front of the other three!
 Barrie happily points out where I met my Waterloo, which on reflection doesn't look particularly technical! That was the end of the photos as the Go Pro came to grief in the crash but we all made it back to Paul's house in more or less one piece with me probably sporting the most injuries, but as we always say "it's always a good ride if there's a bit of blood "