Sunday, 27 September 2009

Getting to the root of the problem

The root of the problem as far as Baz's mate Bruce, who accompanied us at Innerleithen today, was concerned came in the shape of two very big ones close together at the bottom of a massive beech tree. Just as Baz shouted, a little bit too late admittedly, "watch these roots" Bruce did a quite spectacular somersault over the bars . Though he looks quite dead in the photo he was in fact unhurt (apart from pride).
Posted by PicasaBruce discovering that the climb to the Three Brethern is in fact quite hard. Bruce, by the way, is the figure in the distance ................. walking!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Messin' about by the river (and canal)

Did nearly 25 miles today starting just east of Balerno we cycled down the Water of Leith until we crossed the Union Canal. We then went onto the towpath of the canal and cycled into the centre of Edinburgh at Fountainbridge where we had our packed lunch. (sounds like schooldays all over again). We must have been there for over an hour and a half, first of all watching a crowd of people arriving for a celebratory trip of some sort on a barge, and then talking to a really interesting character who arrived on his bike having cycled from Fife. He had been in the Marines, had served in the Falkland War, as well as being all over the world, and was now retired and spent 6 days a week out on his bike. He apparently did his housework on the 7th day!! We then went back up the canal path all the way out to Ratho, had a coffee at the Bridge Inn there before returning to Edinburgh and going back to the car via the Water of Leith again.

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The east end of the Union Canal at Fountainbridge in the centre of Edinburgh.

Our ex marine friend (the one in the yellow!)

Canoeing on the Union Canal in Edinburgh.

The Bridge Inn at the side of the Union Canal in Ratho.
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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Skywatch Scotland 14

Sunrise in the hills around Innerleithen, the early rise is always worthwhile on a morning like this!
For more skies see here.
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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Clive's 200 miles in a week on the mountain bike.

It may not be much to a professional, but 200 miles in a week on a mountain bike when you're working every day through the week is quite an achievement. Clive needed just over 30 miles today to manage this and we did it in style, notching up 32 plus miles at Glentress. If anyone had said to me four or five years ago that I would manage twice upto the mast at the top of the Black route I would have thought them slightly deranged but that's what we managed today! Right round the Black route once then back up to the top again to then come down the fire road to the Red route and home. I think I may have an early bed tonight!!

Half way up to the top of Glentress this morning, the view down the the Tweed valley was quite spectacular with the mist lying down the river.

Posted by PicasaA pause to take in the view before the next horrendous climb!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Another trip to the Falkirk Wheel

Another bike trip along the Union Canal from just east of Linlithgow to the Falkirk Wheel, a round trip of just over 27 miles. Click on the picture and you can see a barge exiting the waterway after being lifted up by the Wheel.
For more about this engineering marvel click here.

The canal basin at Linlithgow, with bike and barge, two means of transport in bygone days!

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Skywatch Scotland 13

2000 feet up Minch Moor above Innerleithen last Sunday morning as the rising sun strikes the cairn that has suffered as a result of the recent bad weather.
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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Crash of the year, the winner is......CLIVE!!!

Don't know what was worse, the damaged knee or the damaged pride!

The final resting place, facing backwards of his ill timed jump!

Seeing someone on a mountain bike perform two somersaults and still be attached to the bike when they landed upside down is not something you'll see everyday. Today, Clive, after going down whats probably the most technical part of our route unscathed, decided to do a spectacular jump on his bike into a very large pool of water and completely soak me, this, by the way on a perfectly flat bit of forest track. As it was I saw his cunning plan and held back to witness the best crash I think I've ever seen that the victim was able to get up from, albeit with a bit of cursing, and walk away. My initial reaction as I watched him cartwheel was to say to myself "Bugger, that would have made a really good picture!", then it changed to "are you all right?" and judging by the language, he was, and finally dissolving into fits of laughter as he hopped around rubbing various parts of his anatomy. Of course we had to re-enact his final landing position but I was still laughing so much the picture is a bit blurred.

Short but tricky descent

This short technical descent is much steeper than appears on the video and though it was dry today it's still very tricky if you don't take the right line down. When it's wet and greasy it's a proper b****** !!!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Skywatch Scotland 12

The sun setting over the Pentland Hills tonight, Thursday, I took this photo while out cycling near Penicuik.
For more pictures of the skies around the world look here.
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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Worthy of a place on The Dragons Den!

This contraption, if you can make it out, is the brainchild of a young lad in West Lothian whose father is a customer of mine. The bit on the far right with the vertical pipe welded on is slipped over the seat post of a bike, the throttle is somehow fixed to the bike's handlebars and the engine and chain driven wheel stick out the back! The engine is then fired up and Bobs your uncle and off you go with the motorised wheel pushing you along! Heaven only knows how you steer the thing but he assures me he's had over 40mph out of it. I can only add, "rather him than me"!
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Sunday, 6 September 2009

After the rain

How I hoped Baz would hit a submerged stone!!!

Posted by PicasaMe coming through the flood at speed!
We did a road ride today and came across the aftermath of the recent torrential rain here and there. This particular bit of road is no stranger to flooding but there was quite a bit more today than usual and even at that you could see that it had receded a fair bit. Autumn is definitely nearly here now though, I think the clothing will have to be upgraded soon!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

first night ride (with lights) of the new season

After the summer (what summer?) and the long clear nights, last night was the first with lights for Baz and me. The helmet lights had been re-affixed the night before and the batteries all recharged so off we went to try them out! By the back of 8 o'clock the lights were needed in the tracks in the more wooded parts and just as we were coming to the end of the ride we met up with two fellow bikers who thought they were seeing aliens approaching as we rode up to them, me with four lights on the handlebars and one on my head and Baz with his ultra bright p7 on the handlebars and his helmet light as well! Mind you, they had a dog with a red light on his collar which threw us a bit as well as it darted about through the trees!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Skywatch Scotland 11

Posted by PicasaJust before sunrise high in the Border Hills last Sunday morning.

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