Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Ten days to go before we tackle the West Highland Way

Baz and I are joining another six riders to ride the West Highland Way which goes from Milgavnie just north of Glasgow to Fort William. The aim of the ride which is spread over three days and covers 96 miles is to raise money for Meningitis Research which one of the riders suffered from just over a year ago but happily has made a good recovery. The picture shows Baz ,and me going over the bikes trying ,hopefully, that everything is OK to take the challenge as the terrain can be pretty rough at places!

Me out on one of my training rides up the Pentlands on a really cold miserable day a week ago, thankfully the weather has improved since then but the Scottish Highland weather can be quite unpredictable so we'll have to be prepared for anything.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

At last it appears to be getting a bit warmer, only needs to get drier now......

Out with Dougie a couple of weeks ago and the weather was starting to look up!

An old ruin up the Pentland Hills, I think whoever was the last person to live here will have been pushing up the daisies for a year or two now.

The view from the top of Castlelaw which Baz and me did for the first time in two years last week end, we did it again today and the track down we discovered is well worth the hard climb to the top.

The weather at last seems to be warming up and with nights getting longer Spring is in the air. The grass at the house is going to need cut in the next week or two but first of all the ground will have to dry a bit. All in all, Winter might still have a last go at us but the worst would seem to be over.......

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Help!!! Winter arrived for a couple of days.....then left again!

The road along the side of Loganlea Reservoir on Friday morning when it looked as if winter was here for a few weeks!


The views were spectacular on Friday but didn't even last till Saturday!

A lot of disappointed skiers who thought the Pentlands would be good for the weekend!

On a different theme, I had to drill out the retaining pin that holds in the brake pads on Clives Tektro hydraulic brakes on his mountain bike and what better way to replace it than with a bent nail....CBE (crude but effective) at its best!

On Wednesday night winter arrived in Scotland with a flourish in the shape of a storm with the rather odd name of "Doris" not exactly terrifying but a storm non the less. By Thursday night the Pentland Hills were looking at their best covered in a blanket of snow so a ride up them on Friday was essential for some photos, just as well I did for by Saturday the snow had more or less disappeared and flooding was the next problem.
Baz attempted to jump the river after I'd nearly come to grief cycling through further back a bit, but over estimated his ability and nearly ended up in the water!

The overflow from Threipmuir Reservoir was going flat out and try as I could to will him to fall off for a better picture he made it through.....

Friday, 17 February 2017

Winter's never really arrived here this year.........yet!

Last Friday and I struggled to the summit of Hare Hill into a stiff easterly wind.....then got slightly lost on the descent!

Monday and the sun was shining again

The track along the side of the river Esk en route to Lasswade

This photo was taken by a friend with a "real camera" on Wednesday afternoon as he cycled over to meet up with Mark and me.

Another photo from the "real camera" showing me looking as if I knew what I was doing on the descent down to Bonaly Reservoir.

A bit later and Mark and me made it to the top of Hare Hill though it wasn't an easy climb up the muddy track.

The wind blew from the East for over a week and the weather was cold  and a bit miserable, however this week things have perked up a bit and the wind has veered back to the West again to make things slightly warmer again and we've even had a glimpse of the sun now and then.....we're going to pay for this.....

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Mark gets some help from the Beatles.....

A wee jaunt on a cold Wednesday afternoon up the Pentland Hills

Monday, 6 February 2017

Never the twain shall meet......well they did today!

Came across this roadie today who rejoices under the name of Black Wind on Strava. He'd unfortunately had a chain snap going up the Bavelaw road climb and like all good roadies had forgotten to strap his spare bike onto his back! Having been caught out myself on the odd occasion I now carry quite a comprehensive supply of spares and was able to fix the 10 speed chain with an old KMC 9 speed link, ( being a thrifty Scot I wasn't going to put a new 10 speed one on!!)  The chain appeared to have been submerged in black oil for about 3 weeks by the state it was in, I think I should change my Strava moniker to Black Hands now. Anyway it was good to do a fellow biker a good turn on a cold day and show him we Scots aren't all miserable nationalists, (we're just miserable!!) 

Soon after the broken chain nonsense Kathy was charging through the river crossing like a woman possessed!

Sunday morning with Baz at the side of West Kip and we both managed to stop shivering in a mini snow shower long enough to get a selfie taken.

From skinny tyres to fat tyres and a biker I met just up from Harlaw on his fat bike. He gave me a ride on it but as he was about 10 inches taller than me I never really managed to come to terms with it, however he wasn't able to cycle through a particularly gluey muddy section further up the track and failed to convince me that the future is fat, I'll stick to my 2.35s for now!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Pentland Hills, end of January 2017..... a wee trip on a cold day

A wee video taken last Sunday afternoon with a bit of the Proclaimers to accompany it!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hard frost one day.....mucky trails the next

Monday 23rd January, hard frost and no wind makes for good photos!

Tuesday and out on my own with the iphone timer getting used after some difficulty!

Friday and out  with Kathy again and its hard frost again after crappy mud the day before!

The river's running really low just now due to very low rainfall and snow so the crossing's a piece of cake!  

Sunday afternoon and we find two spent (we hope) bullets presumably left after some army manoeuvre, we didn't bother keeping them just in case!

The view from the top of Black Hill looking over to West and East Kip and Scald Law

The three amigos having a photo break or as Baz puts it "a rest!" Probably the truth!

A good weeks riding in cold conditions every day but at least it's been mainly dry with only the occasional wind higher up in the hills, some snow added to the beauty but not enough to make riding too hard.