Sunday, 28 July 2013

Four punctures in one ride....then soaked in a thunderstorm!

Trying to look happy pumping up the fourth puncture of the day in a thunderstorm!

The trials and tribulations of being a mountain bike continues, some days everything goes according to plan.....then you get a day like yesterday when very little did. Four punctures between Baz and me but at least we had a good pump to blow them up even though it was Clive's! He also provided Baz with a spare 29er tube when he had his second flat, luckily he got off scot free, which is quite ironic as he's English!
But for the punctures we would have been home and dry but just to finish off a day of mishaps the heavens opened for the last five miles to have the water running out the back of our shorts by the time we got home! Apart from these minor mishaps it was a great ride of over 28 miles! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

High jinks in high temperatures!

The start of the route just outside Salen

Leaving civilisation behind for a few hours

The road through the forest had numerous fallen trees to negotiate

Out in the wilds at this point

Is this the it's Sanna Sands in the Western Highlands of Scotland!

Destination reached, now for the 25 mile cycle back to the car (by road)

On Saturday Baz and me set off to do what we didn't manage on our coast toast charity ride, that was the final leg off road from Salen to Ardnamurchan lighthouse. The weather was perfect and just as well as we crossed about 3 bogs which could have swallowed us up in a normal Scottish summer but this year with a bit of care were crossable, if that's a word! One of the highlights was meeting a German couple in the middle of nowhere who were on a walking holiday but were finding the heat a bit too much, I bet they never expected that in Scotland. The whole journey took 8.5 hours and isn't one I'd care to repeat but its ticked and done!!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sideshow Bob falls for the Bandit!

Mark and I were out on the bikes last night and met up with Robbie Ballantyne who rejoices under the nickname of "Sideshow Bob" (don't ask me why!). Bob asked for a short ride on Mark's Bandit and immediately fell head over heels for it, announcing that it was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with (I may have overdone it a bit there). Anyways we enjoyed a great wee ride together in the evening sun and its not often you can say that in a Scottish summer!  

Friday, 12 July 2013

The bandit returns from holiday and Baz and Dougie get competitive!

The Bandit ready to be unloaded after a weeks holiday!

A few laughs in the hills with a couple of riders we met.

Baz and Dougie lift over the fence at a remote reservoir pump house.

Couldn't resist this picture of pink water lilies up in the Pentland Hills.

After a week's holiday it was back to the hills for Mark on Tuesday night, though to be fair, he had done a bit of biking when he was on holiday in Greece. He did say it was quieter back in Scotland, there being a lack of wild dogs and snakes that he'd encountered out there when out on a bike!
Wednesday night and it was out with Baz and Dougie and the favourite Strava challenge of the moment which is Phantoms Cleugh a mixture of ups and downs, slightly technical ditch crossings but at the moment fast and dryer than I've ever seen it. Dougie set the initial fastest time only to be then pipped by Baz, expect this saga to run and run......

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Pentland Skyline.....has it ever been dryer? Oh and Andy Murray won Wimbledon as well......

dougie completes the hike a bike to the top of West Kip favouring the "over the shoulder" method.

The bikes appear to be having a conversation, probably why two idiots have brought them up here....

On Wednesday night Dougie suggested an assault on the Pentlands Skyline on Sunday morning so we set off at 7am (no Baz so it was not in Dougie's words "stupid o'clock!). The weather was perfect a light south westerly breeze and a slight cloud covering to keep the temperature reasonable, there is after all a fair bit of hike a biking to be done. the look on hill walkers faces when they see two guys puffing up a steep track near the top of a mountain is priceless, I'd like to hear what they say about our sanity! The descents were a bit hairy a times, it's so dry just now (I cant believe I've written that about Scotland!) that the tracks a very loose and slidey but apart from the odd foot down (from me) there were no accidents. Just to finish things off the sun popped out on the final mile back home to bump the temperature up, and even better to finish things off, Andy Murray won the men's singles at Wimbledon, though I couldn't bear to watch some off it and went out for another12 miler!!   

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

First walk the dog then out on the bike!

Baz's dog, Rebus, looking suitably disgusted at being told to pose for a picture.

Clive leading the way......

First of all this morning it was dog walking duties with Rebus, Baz's pooch who's on holiday with me, actually it's Baz who's gone to sunnier climes for a week (that wouldn't be hard) and the dog's being fed, watered and walked by me. So at 5.30am it was out to see if Rebus would do his duty, and he duly did, in the long grass at that. By 6.30 Clive was out and we were off up the hills for Clive's last ride before his holidays. Considering it was mid-summer in Scotland the weather could have been worse, it could also have been better, but at least it was dry, what more can you ask? 25 miles ridden and for the next two weeks its going to be Sunday morning solo rides for me.