Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Close escape on the cycle path

Went out with Baz last night for a road ride and very nearly came to grief on the bike path between Loanhead and Roslin. Some complete idiot (or more probably idiots) had cut the top fence wire at the side of the path and stretched it across, round a post, along to another post and then back over the path again. It was only by sheer luck that I noticed it as it was beginning to get dark and we both skidded to a stop up against it. As we undid the wire another cyclist came bombing along on a road bike, I hate to think what would have happened to him if he'd run into it. I'll certainly be very careful going along there again. Any suggestions for punishments to the depraved culprits gratefully received, the more degrading the better!!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

More mishaps than adventures today!

What fool said that Spring was nearly here (actually it was me). This morning we arrived at the bottom of Glentress at the absurd hour of 6am (the clock went forward last night remember) in the equally absurd temperature of minus 5. Within a couple of hundred yards Baz's rear derailleur decided there was no way it was getting involved in any nonsense today and promptly gave up the ghost for the second time in three weeks. After a vain attempt to convert the bike to a single speed with frozen hands he decided to return to the car and let Clive and me do a quickish run round the Red Route. (Very gallant of him, I'm not sure if I would have been so gracious!). That was when we discovered that Clive's freewheel hub had frozen and there was no drive on his bike! Luckily we were still at the toilets at the car park so we removed the wheel and took it inside to run hot water over the cassette when bingo what did I spot but a hot air hand dryer, quickly converted to a freewheel hub thawer outer. If ever your freewheel freezes always have a hot air hand dryer nearby!!

The hub held out right to the top of the Red Route but on the way down packed up several times as a sort of warning to us that this was no ordinary ride today. We arrived back at the car park after about an hour and a half to find Baz looking decidedly p###ed off but at least he'd had the Australian Grand Prix to listen to!! Don't know if he appreciated that comment.

After we got back I had a rummage in the spares department i.e. the junk in my garage and unearthed an old derailleur which we put on Baz's bike, it appears to be working OK, so until he fixes up with a new bit of kit this should do the job.

Just goes to show, never throw anything away (think I must have inherited that from my parents!)

A view today from the top of Spooky Wood (top of the Red Route)

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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Nearly seized rear axle!

A 32 miler on the back roads of Midlothian today in a cold north westerly wind which made conversation difficult as well as riding when heading into it! I was accompanied most of the way round by a faint creak which developed into an alarming creak which I was sure would seize up the back wheel when we were furthest from home. Turned out on inspection back home that the rear bearings were a bit on the dry side! Soon put that right though so the rear axle lives to fight another day. Just goes to show that a little bit of maintenance is better than a lot of spit and polish, (not that I do much of that anyway)

We passed these rather grand buildings near the Rosebery reservoir, in their time I can just imagine the coach and horses careering through the gates with the coachman cracking his whip over their heads!

The overflow from Rosebery Resevoir in the background

The clock tower in the old farm steading at Rosbery

Impressive pillars at the entrance to "The Big House"

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Monday, 16 March 2009

The Bianchi rides again

OK so it's not a mountain bike but you have to admit it's not a bad looking machine. After some considerable time sourcing a reasonably priced bottom bracket and then fitting it, last night the last piece of the jigsaw was put in place with the fitting of a new chain. It was road tested, well street tested anyway, and the new maiden voyage was to have been this morning but the weather didn't play ball so it's been postponed till it's more suitable and yes it weighs about the same as two feathers that have been on a diet.........
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Sunday, 15 March 2009

Is Spring just round the corner?

It might be one or two corners till Spring arrives yet but it's definitely getting nearer. We set off from the bottom of Glentress at 6am this morning and there was no need for lights. It was also the driest it's been for quite a few months now and shorts , or in my case three quarter bibs , were the order of the day. What a difference a reduction in clothes makes!

On our way round Glentress we've made up a few names of our own for various sections, e.g. a very steep climb which I believe is really called Tower climb is known to us as "oh bugger" so named because one of Baz's mates out with us for the first time once said just that when confronted by it. There's another exposed part not far from the top of the Black route that we've named "brass monkey moor" after one particularly very cold and very snowy morning when no brass monkey would have ventured there.

Today's ride was nearly 22 miles and I managed much to Baz's disgust to outdo him on a few of the tricky little technical parts.......(awaits comment from him!)............
A blurry Baz emerges at the top of "oh bugger"

Posted by PicasaBrass monkey moor on a good day

Monday, 9 March 2009

Ban hedge cutting next to cycle paths!

Went out tonight on my own for a short blast with the slicks on. I'd forgotten how much smoother on the tarmac they are as its a few months since I had them on. Rather foolishly as it turned out I decided to cut across an old track about half a mile long to join up with another road and guess what..........yip.....somebody had done a bit of hedge cutting along the track and scattered the usual array of prickly tyre busters everywhere. Luckily I'd remembered to take a spare tube (and tyre levers) but if I could have caught up with the phantom hedge cutter I know where I'd have stuck the thorn I pulled out my tyre..........

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The local bike shop comes good

The curse of the Strathpuffer struck again today as Baz's rear XT Shadow derailleur lost all its tension just over halfway up the black route at Glentress. Obviously something untoward had happened to the spring to add to Baz's woes, he's already had to renew all the chain rings, chain and cassette after his stint at Strathpeffer. Anyway he had to turn for base while much to his disgust I decided to carry on up to the top of the black, returning to the bottom via the red trail. As I'd had a late night and a few shandies as well as a streaming nose I was able to set my own pace which suited me fine! There was only a light covering of snow at Glentress today but on the way back home to Edinburgh in the car we suddenly ran into about two inches of the white stuff,with the road like an ice rink.

Back in Edinburgh, Baz decided a quick visit to the Edinburgh Bike Coop was required as he needed a new helmet. After the helmet had been bought we went for a look at the new bikes, or to be honest I wanted a look at the Giant Anthem, one of the bikes I fancied. While we were speaking to the young guy who lifted the Anthem down Baz mentioned his problem with the derailleur and he suggested talking to the bike mechanics in the workshop. The upshot was the bike was brought in, the derailleur dismantled and the problem discovered, the spring was not broken but somehow had jumped out of the retaining hole at one end. A quick clean up, a re grease and then reassembled and it was as good as new at a cost of a fiver, saving Baz over fifty five quid on the cost of a new one! The mechanic was happy as well as it was the first time he'd dismantled this part and been able to repair it. Ten out of ten for the local bike shop, that's something you cant do on the Internet!
One very sorry rear derailleur
Me on my way to the top of the black route

Posted by PicasaThe snow covered road on the way home

Friday, 6 March 2009

A good excuse for a look at a new bike

On my travels today I called into Hardie Bikes in Cairneyhill in Fife. One reason was to see if I could place an order for a bottom bracket for Clive's Bianchi road bike which was proving to be a bit problematic. Occasionally you can strike it lucky and today was one of these odd occasions, not only did they have one but it was still at a fair price. I got this and a chain for him as well and then turned my attention to the other reason for the visit, a look at the mountain bikes on display.I rather fancy a new bike this summer and the Trek Fuel EX8 looks pretty nifty, lets face it the Trek 9.9 is the dogs danglies but I'd have to remortgage the house to afford it so I'll try and be realistic...................bugger......

The Trek Fuel EX8 I slightly lust after.

Clives new (in front) and old bottom brackets for his road bike

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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Back in action at Glentress

Baz and I had a trip down to Glentress last Monday night and discovered it was now snow free, so this was the first Sunday morning ride there for about 6 or 7 weeks. We set off at the usual godforsaken time of 5.30 am which normally has the best weather of the day, but not TODAY. It rained nearly the whole ride and the temperature was hardly ever over 6 Celsius so we were in the words of a true Scot "pretty clerty" by the time we were finished. There were a few demons to be faced today, first one was for a picture of Clive clearing his Nemesis, a stone he had trouble with for quite some time, (and me managing to take a picture of him doing it!). I managed the picture today but due to the drizzly rain it was a bit blurred, I'm blaming the rain anyway! The next demon was on the steps near the end of the goat track where I came off at the start of December and had walked down since then, well today I cleaned it, though to be truthful I did sweat a bit as I did it.

We managed 23 miles in just under 3 hours riding time and the washing machines had to work overtime after we got back!

A blurry Baz clears the infamous stone.

An even blurrier Clive clears as well!

A grotty Baz at the end of today's ride.
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