Sunday, 29 March 2015

British Summer Time, but nobody told the weather

A brilliant sunrise at the top of the Castlelaw climb which was obscured by mist  almost immediately!

Baz and Clive ride over to the start of the descent to Bonaly reservoir

Through the woods round the side of Harlaw Reservoir

British Summer Time began this morning which meant an hour less in bed but Baz still insisted on a 5.30am start! As it was this worked out really well as we would have missed a spectacular sunrise as we went to the top of Castlelaw, the mist rolling up the hillside to obscure it within half a minute! The temperature yet again barely rose above freezing, I'd love to know where this global warming nonsense comes from, obviously not from mountain bikers out early on a Sunday morning! Over 30 miles this morning and conditions are back to greasy and soggy again!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

No snow but it was cold enough for it

The first stop, a bit of shelter from the icy cold wind

Baz sits after his off, still unable to believe it happened on such an easy bit of track!

Up the top of West Kip again this week, and it's too cold to hang about

The start of the descent down the track from West Kip across to East Kip

A 5.30am start again this week and it's not long until we can switch off the lights. The temperature hovered just above freezing for most of the morning but the ground conditions have improved a lot since last week due to it being rain free most of the time. 29 miles this morning, the highlight being the descent from East Kip down to the Howe which in today's dry conditions was just fantastic, it makes the hard hike a bike up West Kip more than worthwhile!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A hard push up to the top of West Kip

Some sustenance at the bottom before the hike a bike up West Kip

Half way up and we stopped for the view (and a rest)!

Almost at the top, and it's the tricky rocky bit where you can quite easily break your ankle!

We've made it up and over West and East Kip, now for the fast descent down to the Howe!

A 5.30am start this morning with Clive having his usual early morning problems, however we eventually got going and it was a relief to have the hard climb up Castlelaw to get some heat into our bodies. We changed the route from the last 2 weeks and went round Harbour Hill before eventually reaching the bottom of West Kip which was the aim today. The hike a bike up was the hardest I've experienced up it, the ground was frozen and any moment I expected to slip and fall on my face and watch the bike disappear back down to the bottom on its own. Clive baled out saying he'd have put on hiking boots if he'd known what the conditions were like (?) but Baz and me persevered  and were rewarded with a terrific descent from East Kip back down to the Howe. Nearly 27.5 miles this morning and the cheese toastie has never tasted better after we'd finished!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Wet, windy and cold, just a normal day in Scotland then......

A short stop while Baz adjusts his knee pads!

There's always a few horses up near Harlaw

Mark still looking fresh(ish) after the climb up Black Hill!

Mark not looking quite as fresh now on the climb back up Hare Hill, and Allermuir was still to come!!

The weather at this point actually looks good, 5 minutes later the hailstone were trying to remove the skin from our faces!

4 of us set off at 8.30am on Sunday morning for a Pentlands trip. Clive baled out after an hour and a half as he had to be home early but Baz, Mark and me continued on for another 3 hours in soft greasy muddy conditions, getting battered by the occasional hail shower blasted into our faces by a gale force wind. Over 4k feet of climbing which had Mark almost on his knees at times but to his credit he never once complained (at least if he did I didn't hear him!) and true to form on some of the descents he continued to cause mayhem with any hill walkers who happened to stray into his path!A great mornings biking and today,Monday, I've managed to fit in an easy 17 miler as a recovery ride!