After numerous let downs I eventually managed to take possession of my much waited for ebike last Tuesday, it was smuggled home and hidden in the garage under a cover so that my other half wouldn’t go nuts too son about (her words) “squandering money” ! A solo couple of runs on Wednesday and again on Thursday when I cleaned two climbs I’d never managed before convinced me I’d made a good move, didn’t really take much to convince me mind.
The top of Castlelaw on Thursday after doing a climb I’d never managed before!
Dougie took this picture of me and Ernie the ebike up the Pentlands this morning
I ordered an ebike a week past Thursday, as mentioned previously I've been struggling to keep up with my younger and increasingly fitter riding buddies, so to avoid suffering a heart attack and ruining everyones bike ride I bit the bullet and after much(?) research did the fateful deed. Once you start to look into the subject of ebikes it becomes more and more complicated and the ones with everything from long travel to silent, lighter motors need a lottery win to finance them. Eventually I settled on a 2018 Trek Powerfly 7FS, £1300 cheaper than a 2019 model the only difference being the position of the battery and the fact there was one available in my size made it even more attractive. Not maybe the bike to be careering crazily downhill through the trees on but my main concern is climbing up steep trails and still being able to talk at the top (and even waiting on my fellow riders!) The bike was in the Alpine Bike shop in Aberdeen and was to be brought down by courier to a local bike shop in Edinburgh in a couple of days or so (they said after taking my deposit). After five or so days I phoned them up to be told it'll be here tomorrow (to me that meant they'd post it tomorrow as they'd messed up). Got a phone call on Friday to say the bike is now in Edinburgh all set up for you, tubeless etc. but they've sent the wrong keys with it, we'll have to wait till the correct keys are sent down from Aberdeen, it's the weekend of course so that's another day or two to wait......
I just hope all this waiting is worth while, I could be in my grave before the bloody thing arrives!
Barrie and I had to do a fairish bit of climbing at Glentress to find the snow, and to be fair it wasn't exactly deep! But it did qualify as the first snow of 2018/2019 winter and still in October at that, where's all these global warming screamers when this happens, they're strangely silent!
It was however a cracking day to be out on the bike even if it was sub zero most of the time.
Dougie took this photo of me on Saturday morning at more or less the highest point of the Kirk Road over the Pentlands, another sub zero morning though there was no snow to be found only the occasional icy patch.
Apparently there's going to be a bit of tree planting taking place in the Pentland Hills and to that end fences to discourage the deer from eating all the young trees have been erected. these are the gates that have been put in place on the paths, how long till some crafty super intelligent deer discovers how to open them?
And finally, our usual Wednesday night bike ride, now totally from start to finish in the dark, here's a non deer resistant gate getting crossed, don't know how I'm going to get an ebike lugged over here!
In the 10 years I've been scribbling on here I've gone through about 5 or six bikes, 2 of them were stolen from my garage by lowlife who appear to regard other peoples property as their own and don't mind damaging anything (my garage door) in their way to get it.
This is the present steed, I've actually got another more or less identical bike but with different wheels on it (for different ground conditions).
The next bike is going to be an e-bike, mainly because for some unexplainable reason the hills have all become steeper and longer and everybody else seems to have become faster and fitter, once I'm mounted on that I'll show em!!
Sunday mornings ride started off chilly, just above freezing point and ended just as the rain and wind arrived from the mid Atlantic!
As you can see from the photos cows and sheep featured on Sundays ride in the Pentlands, I should really know them all by their first name by now.
And my faithful companion on 99% of my weekend rides, Baz, who's actually smiling on a photo, he likes to keep a poker face usually, here's to another 10 years in the saddle!!
Early morning starts are going to need lights as well in the next few weeks, this photo was taken about an hour after we'd started on Sunday . Three of us are planning on going out tonight just after 6pm and I reckon we'll need the lights in just over an hour.
We're still experiencing high winds nearly every day so biking up in the hills can be a bit daunting , so I've done most of my solo rides at lower level in the trees for a bit of shelter
Even after some really heavy showers of rain the ground remains bone dry and brick hard, I suppose that's something we can thank the wind for!
Various trees either blown down or branches blown off, either way I wouldn't like to have been underneath them when it happened.
Mark and I did the Red Road up to West Kip and discovered it had been trashed by logging operations, lets hope its's reinstated fairly soon as it's a complete mess for biking and hill walking as it is presently.
Even with all the rain this week, there's very little difference to the water level in some of the reservoirs, this is Harlaw which is going to need a lot more wet weather to fill it back up!
Barrie and I managed to find a track we'd never ridden on before and though there was the odd tricky patch it'll make a good diversion from time to time.
Out today and came across a cow on the track at one point, it looked a bit aggressive at first but a volley of bad language sent it on its way and it cleared the fence back into the field it belonged in with consummate ease!
Finally, even after all the wild weather this week I still managed to get a photo of a fragile butterfly feeding on one of my fuchsias!!