Sunday, 28 June 2009

Toad on the road,(not in the hole)

This little fella was about the only other creature I saw this morning as I did a solo 32 miler on the roads and tracks of Midlothian, solo because my two usual riding buddies were both elsewhere, Baz in Crete and Clive returning from another trip to Japan. I'll be in Fife on Friday, ain't I the lucky one.
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Thursday, 25 June 2009

Skywatch Scotland 1

Dead flat calm at Gladhouse Reservoir, Midlothian , Scotland.
To see more skies around the world visit

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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The fastest Ferrari production car

This low slung sleek racer was in for a service at a customer of mine in Port Seton where they service all manner of high performance cars. The owner lives in Jakarta of all places but has a home in Scotland (and apparently a fleet of luxury cars as well) and probably uses this one to nip down to the corner shop for his morning paper and pint of milk. At a top speed of 240 mph it shouldn't take long to get there and back!
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Sunday, 21 June 2009

The SDR V Storm kit car

Posted by PicasaChanced upon this unique three seater sports kit car at a small country tea room near Peebles. The owner assured me there were only five in existence at the moment and only the one in Scotland. Its powered by a 1000cc motor bike engine and goes like stink as it weighs about the same as a butterfly on a diet. Apparently there are plans to power them with Subaru engines which will probably enable them to go into orbit.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

The skirl of the pipes gets the adrenalin going!

These two got more than the adrenalin going!

Thought this was Billy Connolly at first!

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The Peebles Beltane Festival

On a visit to Peebles today we were surprised to arrive just as the Parade of the horses, brass bands, pipe bands and any number of decorated floats marched and danced through the town. I've never heard so many "hurrahs" at any one time in my life as this is how the parade is cheered as it passes by, the participants replying with a "hurrah" as well! Needless to say the Scottish weather had its say as well and produced a downpour which failed to dampen the spirits of all those taking part whilst many of the onlookers appeared to be partaking of a different type of spirit!

Tribute to the Ghurkas (and a reminder to the Government)

Leading the parade

Had to get a bike in the post somehow!

More advice to any politicians present!

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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Mugged by the hawk yet again!!

For the second week running we were dive bombed by Henry the hawk (as we now call him) at the very same bit as he gave us a hard time last week. This week he brought his girl friend along for company and we now know his reason. Apparently they're going on a hiking holiday because today he repeatedly attacked Baz trying unsuccessfully to snatch his backpack! He even left a few holes in it from his talons! If only we could video it but he arrives like a bat out of hell and doesn't hang around to be identified! He eventually settled on a tree nearby and a free trip to be attacked by him to the first person to spot him!

Another 30 odd fantastic miles today in what was to be the best weather of the day, early this morning.

Not spot the ball but spot the hawk, can you see it?

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The mist down the Tweed Valley at 6.30am this morning

I've always been an admirer of drye stane dykes and this is a really good one!

Directions in the middle of nowhere!

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Sunday, 7 June 2009

Dive bombed by a hawk!

Highlight of the 32 mile bike ride that Baz and I did this morning was the experience of being dive bombed by a large hawk, species unknown but bloody big, as we descended through the forest into the Tweed Valley. Whether it had young nearby or was defending its territory from would be intruders I've no idea but at least four times it dived at us and flashed past only a foot or two from our heads, quite an experience!

The ride itself was one of the best we've ever done, starting at Innerleithen, climbing to Minch Moor, riding along the Southern Upland Way to the Three Brethern where we met a gentleman who kindly took our pictures and then descending by various tracks through the forest before returning to Innerleithen again. A mixture of hard climbs, fast descents as well as a good few technical bits thrown in as well, perfect four hours ride!

This is the gentleman we met today who's walking from Cockburns Path to Portpatrick via the Southern Upland Way, a distance of some 220 miles on his own, to raise money for Alzheimer's. He took a picture of the two of us and unfortunately his camera wouldn't work so I took one of him and gave him the blog address, here's hoping he finds it, a real gentleman in every sense of the word.

The two of us pictured at the Three Brethern near Selkirk.

Thought this was quite picturesque, near Yair in the Tweed Valley.

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Saturday, 6 June 2009

The two faces of Midlothian

The one face is the noise, dust and bustle of an opencast coal mine with modern machinery roaring their heads off.

Posted by PicasaThe other face is the quiet tranquility of the numerous reservoirs high in the hills, frequented only by fishermen and daft bikers!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Final pictures of Ten under the Ben

The view from the Snowgoose restaurant 2500 feet up Annoch Mor, looking down over Fort William and Loch Linnie at nearly 10 pm last Friday night.

The race gets under way, led for the first mile in a procession by two motor bikes , the guy in the white vest got out of the way before he was run over!

This rather scary looking chappie provided entertainment for the non bikers, for one horrendous moment it looked like his pants had caught fire as he jumped through a burning hoop!
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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Glencoe and Rannoch Moor

Posted by PicasaThese pictures were all taken from the moving car as we drove over Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe last Friday evening on our way to Fort William. It was a fantastic sunny night and the views were truly awesome. Careful inspection will reveal some lingering snow!

My "trophy" from Ten under the Ben

I'm very proud of this scar, a result of my leaving the track involuntarily at the race, I think it resembles a small fish, probably something philosophical about that!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A study in concentration!

Posted by PicasaThis photo was taken off a site on the Internet from one of the photographers who was present at the event at Fort William and shows a very concerned looking me riding on a section of North Shore (raised wooden track), definitely not my forte!!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Ten Under The Ben.... the race itself

Posted by PicasaHere's a picture of the podium which Baz and myself had hoped to be standing on but sadly we missed out, beaten into third place by fitter competitors (or was it local favouritism) we'll never know! It was a fantastic experience, from the journey up to Fort William (I refuse to refer to it as Fort Bill as most bikers do!) through Glencoe on a magnificent sunny evening and then the registration for the event that night in the Snowgoose restaurant which sits at about two and a half thousand feet up Annoch Mor and is reached by gondola/cable car. The race itself started at 9.30 am on Saturday morning and Baz did the first lap which had an extended 6 mile bit at the beginning to stretch the field out and hopefully prevent a bottleneck at the first technical section. By the time he had completed the first lap he'd done over 18 miles and was looking a little the worse for wear! I set off on my first lap and within half a mile took a technical drop down a bit too fast (and not very well!) and ended up careering through some small trees, slicing some skin off my forearm before coming to rest by head butting a tree. However the rest of the lap was relatively uneventful and I managed to patch up the cut, and my self esteem, when Baz did his next lap.
We managed 8 laps all together between the two of us, the winners in our class managing 9 laps and another couple of riders beating our time by 10 minutes or so. Unfortunately there was only a prize awarded to the winners of our class so our moment of glory on the podium was denied, but there's always another time. Now we know that to gain that elusive first place there's more training to be done, but I'll have to get rid of the aches and pains from the cramp in my legs before that starts!!
Edit to post- I've checked the web-site and we were beaten into third place by only 2 minutes 44 seconds!!! Grrrrrr............