Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Is this the next generation of bikers?

Haven't been out much on the bike much this past week due to two things:- 1. the weather which has been pretty diabolical and 2. my visitors who came equipped with their bikes unaware of the vagaries of the Scottish weather.
However they did venture out when the sun did eventually peep through and I like to think the future of the family bike skills looks in good if somewhat small hands!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

More pictures from the Hairy Coo

Before the race started the weather turned quite cold, and though it looks like Clive was seeking inspiration from above, he was in fact trying to heat himself up, if only he'd realised how warm it would become during the race.

We were piped off at the start of the race by a very serious faced young piper playing what seemed to me like a lament (I feared the worst). No wonder Clive set off at such a speed....... he's a sassenach, not so keenly tuned to our national musical instrument!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The Hairy Coo Challenge arrives at last

The day arrived at last for our first proper mountain bike race, previously we had only ridden Enduros which are not strictly races. Off at 7 am Clive and I went to Comrie Croft, the venue, near Crieff thinking this would be a relatively easy ride. Boy were we to change our minds about that quickly! It rained fairly heavily on the drive up, not exactly perfect conditions for mountain biking. However it had fair ed up by the time we arrived and after sliding about in the field to park , the van was eventually parked where we had a reasonable chance of getting out the field again.

We decided on a trial run round the 3.5 mile course to see what it was like. Hells teeth, there was a 1.5 mile climb at the start which knocked the stuffing out of me right away! After that it was just one technical stage after another and damned greasy into the bargain!

Our races, my age group did 3 laps (thank god) while Clive's did 4 (sucker!!), started at 1.30 pm and after a reasonable first lap I developed cramp on the second, however I managed to ride through it and carry on while Clive did a striptease after he realised he had too many layers of clothes on, oh for a photo of that! I managed my 3 laps and Clive continued on and finished his 4 laps looking annoyingly fresh. So far we don't know exactly where we finished in our respective races, but it was an excellent day and an added bonus was we came home with no broken bones!! Clive, by the way won a special prize for being nearest guess to the microphone announcers correct age (jammy sod). His prize:- wait for it.............2 nights for two at Comrie Croft Hostel, his wife's gonna love that one, not quite The Paris Ritz, is it?!!!!!!!!

Friday, 17 October 2008

The bikes are loaded up for tomorrows race, off at 7 am bound for (I hope) sunny Crieff and The Hairy Coo Mountain Bike Challenge, will it be a triumph or a tradgedy........

Thursday, 16 October 2008

mountain biking in the dark (well with lights)

Baz appeared at 6.30 pm with his new lights, all the way from Hong Kong (the lights that is) and off we set for our first ever night ride at Glentress. It started disastrously as the helmet torch lasted about 30 seconds before switching itself off, much to my amusement. However he produced a spare battery and everything worked OK after that. Strangely, climbing the trails in the dark actually seem easier than in daylight although descending is a fair bit slower. All in we did nearly 13 miles and his lights were not only brighter than mine but they lasted longer as well (much to my disgust and his glee!!)

The picture which looks a bit daft was taken as evidence of our maiden journey.

That's the final ride now before the "Hairy Coo Mountain Bike Race" near Crieff on Saturday, thank goodness I didn't come off tonight or that could have been the entry fee down the pan!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A couple of pictures taken in late March this year at Glentress, more snow in the spring than at any other time of year .

Monday, 13 October 2008

Was this picture posed?!!

Taken yesterday mainly to show the mist lying down the Tweed in the background.
Discovered my own minor mishap from yesterday, a broken spoke, but thats been repaired tonight.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

A day of minor mishaps

Only two of us out today, Baz is on holiday so only me and Clive which means a slightly later start as we dont have the eary morning tornado which is Baz arriving at 5.15 am demanding that we be ready to go! Set off about 7.15 am and it was quite chilly at 2.5 centigrade.

The later start meant there was no need for lights today so off we set up the first 2 miles of singletrack, Clive in the lead and me puffing along at the back. As we climbed the track there are numerous rocks strategically placed that you can either cycle over or around. Clive went over one such rock with a sharp six inch edge and I remarked " that one could be a tube puncturer", sure enough within 100 yards his tyre was soft. This was repaired with a spare tube in about 10 minutes and pumping it up to pressure again certainly warmed us up!

About another 2 miles up the trail we came to Clives nemesis, an 18 inch or so drop off that he used to clear every time, but for some reason he developed a mental block to it. However he'd overcome this and we decided a photograph of him clearing it was the order of the day. Using my camera phone in a style I thought would do justice to David Bailey I attempted three times to snap him going over it, but for some reason or other only succeeded in videoing my foot!

Dont ask me how......... in the end we gave up!

Next week we mean to take part in a mountain bike race named very "Scottishly" the Hairy Coo Mountain Bike Challenge and as always happens in the week before any event we have ever entered a mechanical problem arises! With about 5 miles to go today Clive said he thought there was an unusual noise from his bike. I tried to reassure him it was only his seat creaking or my stomach rumbling but no, true to form his bikes bottom bracket began to emit terminal creaks and groans. So thats the job for this week, get it fixed for next weekend.

I forgot to mention apart from the mishaps it was a great ride!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Tweed in spate

Out this morning at 8 am and did a 12 mile road ride, the highlight of which was to peddle back up Roslin Glen brae without dropping below 7 mph, a first for me! Mind you I hate to think what my heart rate was when I reached the top.

We went to Peebles (in the car) after breakfast and parked on the outskirts so that we could walk down by the River Tweed, gee whiz was it in spate, and by the looks of things it had been about 18 inches higher yesterday or overnight. I suppose with all the rain we've had this week it was only to be expected. Note the appropriate spelling of "cold" in the piccy!!

We stopped at a small tearoom outside the village of Eddleston on the way home and had the compulsory coffee and piece of cake, the tearoom reminded me of holidays in the Highlands more years ago than I care to remember where there were numerous similar tearooms always stocked with home baking mmmm.........

Off to get the bike ready for tomorrows Glentress ride.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Fridays thoughts on the week

A few musings as I drove about my business today in the Lothians and then over the Forth to Fife; it looks as though Gordon Brown has at last found somebody he feels he can boss around, namely Iceland. How long before he declares war on this mighty nation and calls on his equally hapless friend George (shifty eyes) Bush to back him up. His equally feckless chancellor Alaister Darling looks as if he's lost all control of his eyebrows, either that or he's bought a spare pair from Denis Healey, after all the hoo haa about their economic rescue package in which we the taxpayers lend money to the bank so that they can then lend it back to us with interest, the stock market actually looks to be in a worse state!!!!!


Thursday, 9 October 2008

Night time riding

Went out tonight with Clive on the bikes , the purpose of which was to try out the lights we rigged up on the bikes and my cobbled together helmet light! Held together with what seemed like several miles of double sided tape I felt I could barely move my head when I put the helmet on, however I decided against a neck brace as this would have probably taken another hour to constuct!
Once out in the country and into the pitch dark we were reasonably impressed with the lights combined performance and did a 10 mile loop taking us through Roslin (home of Roslynn Chapel of Da Vinci Code fame) down Roslin Glen, up the other side, peching and panting. "Peching" by the way is Scots for ...... well,.... panting!!!!!
Back to the house for a shower and a jump on the scales, bollocks, I've put on 3 pounds since I last weighed myself, I'll have to cut out the sugar a bit more. This training is damned difficult as you get older.......................

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Last time in the Forth...........

Driving over the Firth of Forth Road Bridge today on my way to a customer in the Kingdom of Fife I was surprised to see just downstream of the Rail Bridge the Cunard liner the QE2 which is apparently making final visits around the British Isles before retiring to become a floating hotel (where else of course) in the middle east somewhere.
After a dreich (miserable for non Scots) day of rain, it faired off around late afternoon and I decided that a bike ride was the ideal medicine for a day of doom and gloom about stock markets and banks, is there any other news in the world at the moment? I've always been a great believer in burying my head in the sand when news of the the worlds impending disasters are broadcast non stop.
Anyway the bike ride went ahead, short and fast, about 7 miles, ideal preparation for a race I'm, meaning to enter soon which is a sprint compared to the marathons we usually do, but more of that later...........

Monday, 6 October 2008

First frost of the Autumn

My son arrived as usual, bright and breezy at the unearthly hour of 5.15am. My bodily functions have not kicked in and I'm still breakfasting on my soggies and then toast washed down with a mug of strong coffee! We eventually get out and load the bikes (3) onto the car, the third being Clive who lives next door to me and he appears looking somewhat dishevelled, apparently his youngest daughter had slept all night for once and in some strange way this had unsettled him.
Off to Peebles and Glentress where the temperature drops to minus 1.5, christ its cold!!
Four hours later we're finished, covered in mud. Clive with a few grazes from a fall and pretty knackered, we've done just over 25 miles and the thought of a bacon butty now seems the just the thing to finish off with.