Friday, 16 February 2018

Winter fork servicing time again

That's both my Anthems and Barries Anthem been given a fork lower leg service, the last service was last August so hopefully that should keep us going till the start of summer.

The result of  the snow melting is this road just along from Roslin is prone to a bit of flooding, it's a case of a bit of speed into it and then keep your feet up in the air out of the water! 

My yearly snowdrop pick, not strictly legal but I like to think I'm preserving the species by transplanting them in my garden.....a bit like saving the rhinos from extinction.....

Before the big melt I had a pedal up in the Pentlands and made friends with a snowman, I doubt if he'll still be there...

Quite a bit of snow higher up but thanks to the hill walkers, they come in handy sometimes, I was able to pedal on the tracks they'd made

Last Sunday Barrie came along but as I hadn't warned him that it was icy plus he didn't have his bike with the spikers on, so he just had to abort the ride, I managed a short one with my bike that was spiked though the conditions were about as icy as I've ever seen.

The nights are getting shorter, the days are getting longer, it can only mean one thing......we're in for some horrific weather before its Spring! It never fails!! 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Fake news alert! Rogers bike doesn’t have a tubeless set up!

Roger bought his new Trek about 3 months ago and said he’d managed to get the shop to convert his wheels to tubeless. Well guess what.... Roger had a flat today after picking up a thorn and when we got the tyre off the rim we discovered a tube lurking inside! Cue one very annoyed Roger, oh to be a fly on the wall when he takes the 2 wheels back into the shop, because presumably the other one ain’t tubeless either! Much laughter ensued with Roger threatening the shop with false everything, actually he was lucky we had spare tubes with us. 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Are contact lenses going to give me a different view of mountain biking?

After more years than |I care to remember, cycling with cycling glasses with prescription inserts that bounced around on rocky descents and made biking down them as much a matter of luck as it was skill , I went for an eye test and suggested I could maybe try contacts even if it was only for biking. The answer was yes and I was given a trial pack after some basic instructions on how to get the little buggers in and then to remove them! The first time I tried them last week it took longer to put them in than the actual ride itself and to be honest I'm not even sure I managed to put the one in my left eye successfully, however even if it was only one eyed it was still amazing the difference, the clarity and all round vision was so much better. My third ride with them today was itself a major step forward in that I popped them both in, in  under five minutes! The ride itself was muddy and wet, a complete change from the hard frost and snow of a week ago, but at least I had a good view of the mud!

Some of the mud on today's ride

The river crossing was a bit daunting but equipped with "super vision" I made it through with only slightly wet feet to show for it!

Back home covered in mud and about to make the washing machine earn its keep!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The snow has strange effects on some people......

Certainly had a strange effect on Barrie and Clive who decided that the Pentland Hills needed a couple of snow angels, from the picture it looked more like the soldiers at the nearby firing range had mistaken them for a couple of terrorists
The road up to Castlelaw wasn't even  clear enough to cycle right up

Once up into the hills the biking was spectacular!

We met a collie and his hill walking master who thought the snow was just great

There was still a bit of hike a bike where the snow was just too deep

And a bit more!

The final run to complete the circuit

This must rate a the best ever Pentlands snow ride, dry fairly powdery snow and hard frost, the only problem we encountered was Clive's freehub freezing up and ceasing to function for a while resulting in Clive having to push the bike up the seven steps from Harlaw, something he said later that nearly finished him off! It did eventually thaw out, probably a result of his cursing, and he made it home!  

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Even red handlebars can't manage three feet of snow.....

Came round a corner yesterday and this is what greeted me, tried to bike through it but failed least it was soft when I fell off....

With a bit of a struggle I managed to get the bike through the worst of the snowdrift but my confidence in my go anywhere red handlebars has been severely dented.

Monday, 15 January 2018

New wider, red, go-faster handlebars, will there be any improvement in my performance!!!

The new red handlebars, 20mm wider, what will make the difference, if any, the colour or the width!!

The rough little track down the final descent to the Howe.

Always a favourite track of mine on a windy day, this is usually pretty sheltered.

The wider bars make pedalling up the side of the fence here quite tricky
I managed to catch Clive coming to grief as we biked up towards West Kip

Luckily he only landed in heather and grass and not on rocks!

Out with Barrie and Clive on Saturday and Barrie was sporting his new handlebars, all 360mm of them, mine still hadn't arrived but they came today and were put on the bike pronto! After a 12 miler I was able to make a few adjustments as they didn't feel just right, I'm hoping I can get back out soon again to see how the feel as good as they look!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Man flu and mountain biking...not an ideal combination!

Probably going out in heavy rain on the 2nd of January wasn't the greatest idea to try and avoid the flu, soaked to the skin in only just above zero temperatures!

The flu was developing but at least there was the sign of better things to come (eventually) when I spotted the snowdrops starting to peep through
Man flu was developing rapidly on Sunday morning when I took this photo of Barrie and an old university friend who we met by chance up the Pentland's
A poor attempt at a group photo on Sunday morning at the side of Threipmuir Reservoir, by this time I was about past caring!

Man flu has come and almost gone (I think) it peaked on Sunday night when I produced enough snot to wipe out the national debt if I could have sold it! Two days off the bike and I'm going out tonight with Roger for what I hope will be a fairly gentle ride..........

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Fun on the ice and snow at Glentress and up in the Pentland Hills

It started with a visit to Glentress on Wednesday with Roger and Clive 

Clive and I had ice spikers on our bikes, Roger didn't but managed nearly all the red route without too many dabs
Quite a bit of snow the higher we went up, there's something very satisfying cycling through deep white snow

Thursday and I did a solo ride up in the Pentlands which boasted a fairish bit of snow and ice as well

Luckily there had been walkers before I came along or the tracks would have been not only invisible but also unrideable
Out again today with Barrie and even though a thaw was underway the ice still needed the spiker tyres to climb and descend safely

Barrie descending Maidens Cleugh, a track that was more or less a mile long sheet of ice

There's no way you could keep upright on this ice with ordinary tyres

This guy coming down gingerly on a CX bike couldn't understand how we were managing to peddle up the way

Another astonished biker

The river crossing, about the only bit without ice today

An old guy we passed as we went up by Glencorse Reservoir who was discovering just how hard it is to run on sheet ice.

A great week of biking on ice and snow with the ice spiker tyres and seeing the look of amazement on fellow bikers and hill walkers faces as you cycle past them uphill and blast past downhill as they expect you to come to grief big time. Unfortunately a thaw has arrived so the icy ground will have turned to mud in a couple of days again, that's the problem with Central Scotland, the snow and ice never lasts long enough!