Sunday, 25 April 2010

Training for Ten under the Ben is stepped up.

The Ten under the Ben 10 hour race takes place on the 15th of May and today we stepped up the training a notch with a 30 miler at Innerleithen. We set off just after 5.30am from the bottom car park at Innerleithen and reached the top of Minch Moor in an hour and five minutes. From there it was along the Southern Upland Way to the Three Brethern and then down and up various technical bits of track until we eventually came down to the River Tweed at Yair. By this time it was heavy rain but thankfully that passed and we cycled along the singletrack road until we reached the fireroad which takes us back up to the notorious Zs as we call it, a track that's a mile long and zig zags its way back up the hill for a mile. After that killer climb there's some fantastic technical descending through the trees, at some points it seems nearly vertical before we emerge again onto a fireroad. A well earned freewheel down this to the tarmac again and a 2 mile cycle back to the car. A terrific morning's riding even with the rain!

A crowd of bystanders appear more interested in something other than Baz!

Baz corners at speed after falling behind to pick up his water bottle.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Bontrager freehub on its way!

A new Bontrager freehub has been ordered and is on its way to my LBS. While I'm waiting on it arriving I'm doing some essential maintenance on the bike which is just short of four thousand miles as it approaches one year old. The front wheel bearings were pretty well shot so they've been replaced and the rear shock has been re-bushed as there was a bit of play there. The rear wheel bearings seem OK but there's a spare pair lying handy just in case. Throw in a bit of TLC and the bike is raring to go.......wish that freehub would hurry up!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Mishap with the freehub.

We set off for Innerleithen bright and early this morning and the going was remarkably good considering there must have been about 12 inches of snow only a couple of weeks ago. Apart from a few creaks and strange noises from the bike transmission everything went OK on the climb to the top of Minch Moor and then along the Southern Upland Way to the Three Brethern, (see photos below). We then did the descent to Yair, finding that the often tricky technical bits were really dry and relatively easy today. That's where the problems started, my freehub started jumping, then whenever any pressure was applied to the pedals just failed completely. By this time we'd thankfully reached the singletrack road that runs alongside the south side of the River Tweed and decided there was no way my bike would manage another climb into the hills up the singletrack. It actually couldn't manage anything that went even slightly uphill and so Baz set off for the car while I tried to nurse my invalid bike along as best as I could. I needed 25 miles today for my 150 miles for the week and cursed my rotten luck at falling short but dame fortune smiled on me (for once) and there happened to be quite a lot of downhills which I was able to freewheel down. I'd just got the 25 miles on the bike computer when Baz appeared with the car to rescue me so at least all was not lost. Now the hunt is on to find a new Bontrager freehub to fix the goddamn thing.

Baz in contemplative mood (or is it mode?)

Posted by PicasaMe, still unaware of the problems the bike was about to have!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Scenic Sunday near Benderloch, West Scotland

Posted by PicasaMountains blend into sea on a perfect morning in the West of Scotland.
for more Scenic Sundays look here.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Skywatch Scotland 22

Posted by PicasaThis is the view from a vantage point above Benderloch village, north of Oban, of Tralee Bay on what we all hope is the beginning of a sunny summer. (But I wouldn't bet on it!)
For more skies look here.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A weekend near Oban (with some biking thrown in)!

Just back from a weekend away at a holiday lodge at Tralee Bay a few miles north of Oban. A weekend of fantastic weather made all the better by the terrific scenery that abounds there.

Baz and I managed to talk our other halves into allowing a bit of biking to take place, mind you the taking place started at 5.30 am , so that it didn't interfere with anything else! The loop we did twice was 21 miles long and included a quite steep climb on a single track road of just under 1 mile. The views once the sun had risen were stunning and well worth the effort of reaching the top. If only Scotland could guarantee more of that weather..............

Pausing for a breather the first time we did this climb of just short of a mile, but we managed it non stop the next morning.

Baz does a bit of track standing while he admires the view!

Is it the Colosseum in Rome? No its a bit similar but its in Oban!

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Saturday, 3 April 2010

In broad daylight!!

Posted by PicasaCaught these two at it in broad daylight today, in close proximity to Morningside (posh part) in Edinburgh. Cant our politicians pass a few laws on this display of gross indecency instead of talking nonstop about the economy?

Friday, 2 April 2010

Most snow I've seen in April.

Posted by PicasaThese two pictures taken tonight about 8pm show the snow still lying on the roads and fields up near Gladhouse Reservoir in Midlothian. There were actually deeper drifts that had been dug through with a digger further on a bit, but by this time it had become too dark for the phone camera to cope. Quite impressive for the time of year.