Sunday, 27 March 2011

The scree slope claims a!


Before it all went wrong

Baz sets off down the scree slope

The result of my unsuccessful descent of the scree slope!

The final humiliating crash!

31.5 miles today up over the Pentands and more than my fair share of spectacular offs! After reasonably negotiating Castlelaw and Black Hill, Baz and I decided that the scree slope was well within our capabilities, well it was for Baz but my attempt ended in near catastrophe with me diving over the top of the bike and it nearly cartwheeling on top of me. Baz, needless to say was doubled up with laughter as I licked my wounds, and there were one or two, and recovered the bike to examine the damage. Luckily there was none (to the bike). On the return journey through bluebell woods I wondered why Baz dismounted at a small gully we usually have no problem with and promptly went straight over the handlebars......must take a slightly different line next time! No lasting damage though to bike or body and as we always say "A bit of blood makes the ride more interesting"!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

My home "grown" repair passes the Pentlands test!

A 20 miler tonight over the Pentland Hills without a creak (from the bike) has given me reason to believe that my home made rear dropout is working and will do the trick until the official part arrives. At present I've no plans to go into mass production of this seemingly rarely broken part!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Home made dropout to the rescue!

This innocent looking little blighter in the picture got me into a bit of a panic last night. It's the rear non drive side drop out on my Trek ex8 and there was a bit of play around it. Thinking it needed a tighten up I delved into my trusty toolbox and with the adjustable spanner gave it a good tweak. Unfortunately I didn't realise it was made of butter and the damned thing broke in half. I half-heartedly tried to super glue it together knowing full well that wouldn't work (but still tried it!) and in the end went to bed to dream most of the night on how I could repair it. A phone call in the morning to the bike shop only confirmed my worst fears, it would take 2 weeks to get a new one. However I have some resourceful friends and armed with the size of threaded bolt to make a new one I called on a customer who builds his own hot-rods and more importantly has a lathe! This challenge was right up his street and in no time he'd produced a steel version of the butter drop out which only required a few minor bits of hacksawing and filing when I got home to get the bike back together again. The test ride seems to confirm everything is tickety-boo, but the real test will be a Pentlands ride tomorrow night........when I think about it the other side dropout is still of the butter variety!
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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday night 26 miler in the Pentlands

We started at 5.45 pm and managed to get the first hour in before we needed lights. The photo was taken just down from the underground earth house built around 200AD, I'll bet the occupants then never had mountain bikers puffing their way up the climb at the side of their residence. Conditions tonight were dry overhead but muddy on the tracks, so no clear rounds tonight! The final descent from the top of the hill above Balerno down to Flotterstone was fast and furious and made up for all the climbing that went before.
That's 75 off road miles I've managed this week, I'll have to increase this if I hope to reach my annual goal of 4000 miles by the end of April.
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Thursday, 17 March 2011

I seem to have got rid of that annoying creak!

No, not one of my bike riding mates, but a creaky crack that sounded only when going over hard rooty tracks, parts of Glentress for instance. I finally changed the bearings on the main pivot point of my bikes rear suspension, not without some difficulty I might add, as well as doing the headset which actually seemed OK. A 14 miler last night and a 15 miler tonight with as much hard rooty stuff as I could find and not a creak (from the bike) but a few from me. Hopefully that's it fixed, though I probably broke every rule in the mountain bike repair book with some of my methods!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Glentress nearly beat us today!

Reduced to pushing higher up the black route

Where the hell's the track gone?

A snowy descent near the top of the black.

Posted by PicasaBaz goes for the jump!
We decided on Glentress today as the Pentlands looked snowbound and it turned out to be a reasonable choice given that it was only near the top of the black route that snow started to get a bit awkward, involving a bit of pushing at times. We came back down to Spooky Woods from the top of the black to escape the snow and ended up having to cycle back up and do it twice after I discovered I'd lost a light when I'd had to carry out a repair on the bike. The light was discovered, I found a nifty pair of riding glasses, and we added about another 3 or 4 miles onto our trip! The mishaps today :- my brakes playing up in Spooky Woods and Baz's overshoes looking decidedly dodgy as they threatened to fall to bits as we pushed  the bikes in the deep wet snow higher up the track! Just over 18 miles but it felt like 38 !!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Night time visit to Glentress

A trip round the Red route at Glentress last night night with Mark, a mate I know through work. It was good to go round in the dark (with lights of course!!) as it completely changes your perspective of the track. It's been a few months since I've been down and at times in the dark I forgot where I was on the track. It still amazes me how sheltered it is in the trees at Glentress as it was a wet and windy night, a good wee ride of just over 11.5 miles.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

40 miler today with a bit of everything thrown in!

Baz celebrates a clear run up to the gate (grrrrrrrrr!)

There was about half a mile of north shore, most of it a fair bit higher than this bit.

Baz with the distinctive peak of West Kip in the background.

A 5.30 am start this morning with the aim of 40 miles today. It was frosty when we started and to be honest it didn't really get much warmer up until we finished at 11 am. The 40 miles was reached at an average of 8.6 mph and a new track was discovered into the bargain. The mishaps today...... Clive had a dress malfunction in that he had to rearrange shorts and thermals , a bit of chaffing, he said, and as we stopped for this Baz discovered a sudden need to disappear into the woods for some reason or other!
The highlight was Baz eventually putting a foot down when it looked like he was going to have a clear round!
Clive and I both breathed a big sigh of relief as we'd never have heard the end of it!
Great morning's biking, how can we better that? 
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