Saturday, 21 July 2012

More fun with the Strava segments!

Baz and Roger make it to the top of the Castlelaw climb

Making use of the "bike wash" yet again!

My three co-riders last night,
discussing tactics for the upcoming sprints!!
The weather god smiled on us last night as four of us set off up the Pentlands for a 26 miler in warm weather for a change, so warm in fact that I had to remove my base layer before the second part of the Castlelaw climb, totally unheard of this year! Amazingly after all the recent rain the tracks were reasonable and no-one came off in the mud which was unfortunate as it always makes a good photo! The highlight near the end of the ride was the jockeying for position before the Strava segment known as "the copperbowl sprint" named after the Indian restaurant  nearby. Baz and Dougie had a fierce head to head which Baz ultimately won by one second, becoming the new KOM. After that they battled out again on the "dog dirt sprint", named for obvious reasons, with Dougie coming out on top this time. A great nights riding before I go off for a couple of weeks holidays.   

Friday, 20 July 2012

I've got hooked on Strava!

What used to be going out for bike ride and enjoying the scenery and the weather, if that's been possible in Scotland this summer, has now turned into a race against segments on Strava, the app for smart phones and Garmins!
Last night I decided on an assault on the "barking dog" segment up the Pentlands, so named because the route resembles a dogs head (quite original) , the magic time to beat being one hour. Conditions were not really ideal but I managed to do it in 59 minutes 33 seconds to lie third overall! Downside was I hardly slept all night as the adrenalin was still pumping round my body!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Round the Forth, and then a meal to remember!

The rather grand gates into Hopetoun House

In the background are the two Forth Bridges with the start being made to the third one in the foreground.

In the background here is Hercules, one of the biggest cranes in the world, being used to build the new aircraft carriers at Rosyth Dockyard.

A mixture of road and trail today as Baz and me did a trip round the Firth of Forth via the Forth Road Bridge in the east and along to Kincardine Road Bridge in the west to complete the circle. Some interesting sights on the way, the gardens of the Hopetoun House Estate, looking as if they were managing to survive the recent rains, the start of the construction of the New Forth Bridge which should be open in 2016 (maybe) and along the North shore of the Forth the old villages of Limekilns, Charlestown and Culross. The west crossing was by the old Kincardine Bridge which was opened in 1936 and must have made quite a difference at the time. Just over 40 miles ridden and Baz treated me to meal of chicken breast and (wait for it) ..........raw cabbage, soaked in Paul Newmans balsamic vinegar!!!! A meal fit for a king!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

And I thought it couldn't get any wetter!!

We're struggling to get through the ford these days.

We opted for the bridge rather than cycling through the water pouring over the overflow.

Mark looking a bit dishevelled after two offs into the mud coming down the descent to Glencorse!

We set off tonight at six pm after it seemed to be drying up after another day of heavy rain, just how wrong can you be. After being cunningly lured into the hills the heavens opened and tipped it down on us. Mark and Roger had the sense to have jackets with them but Dougie and me just had to let soak through to the skin, at least it doesn't go any further than that. The tracks are wetter and greasier than they were in the winter, Mark finding that out on the Maidens Cleugh descent and the temperature for the height of summer never even reached 50 Fahrenheit. Apart from utterly crap weather we had a good 24 mile ride with no serious mishaps.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Baz's dog supports Andy Murray, (cause he's Scottish)

Bazs' dog Rebus, who's staying with me just now while Baz is on holiday insisted on watching Andy Murray's semi-final against Jo Wilfred Tsonga at Wimbledon wearing a tartan shawl to support one of Scotlands' few world class sportsmen. The fact that he's facing away from the television and is a Tibetan Terrier are completely irrelevant as Andy strolled(?) through the game and now faces Roger Federer in the final on Sunday. Rebus will don full Highland Dress if Andy comes through that test victorious...maybe.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Getting away from bikes for a minute (but not much longer)

Clive had his eye on this beauty

While I thought I'd look good in this one

Clive, ever the gentleman, makes the ford a bit safer by removing some stones swept down with the flood the other night

A fine array of vintage Bentleys at the Flotterstone Inn last night, obviously taking part in some vintage car event, some of them were the type that raced round Brooklands in its heyday (I think!).
Anyway, enough about automobiles, we rode round the course that was hit with the torrential rain the previous night and saw for ourselves a fair bit of water damage. New records will be hard to set for some time!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

We'll be needing an Ark if this continues!

This bit of the usually quiet small river is known to us as "the bike wash" as we quite often cycle through it, last night you'd have been taking your life in your hands attempting it

Another bit further up where the flood's made a new course.

A flash of lightning and a loud peal of thunder kept me from going out at 6 pm last night and a good job too, as up in the Pentlands there had been a violent thunderstorm followed by a torrential downpour. By the time we reached the hills water was flooding everywhere with the road to the reservoirs being under 18 inches in parts. Further up past the Howe the normally quiet little river was going ballistic and it was impossible to cross the usual ford. I managed to have an off watching two sheep trying to reach dry land but apart from that no other mishaps, well not unless you include soaking wet feet.

Monday, 2 July 2012

The wettest June since 19 canteen

The soggy bottom of the Maidens Cleugh descent, the best hard descent up the Pentlands!

Mark checks his time for his ride down.

Clive's version of a wheelie at Threipmuir reservoir1

It gets wetter and wetter.....

I cant wait for winter, it can only be an improvement for the excuse we've had for a summer so far! Saying that it's not held the biking back too much, just meant that the washing machine filters have had to work overtime and the bike bearings and drive chain are wearing out faster. I still managed to beat the 100 miles off road last week but looking out the window at the rain coming down right now I'll have to fit a couple of pontoons shortly if I'm going out today.