Friday, 29 April 2011

What better way to celebrate the Royal Wedding than a bike ride!

Heading north over the Forth Bridge at the start of the ride.

A stop at Burntisland for a drink and then an ice cream!

That's what you call a nail, no tyre can withstand that size!
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With the Royal Wedding virtually shutting down the country and no particular desire to sit and vegetate in front of a television watching it, Baz and me decided it was time to try the Fife Coastal Path eastwards from Inverkeithing. Judging by the people we met both walking and cycling there were more of the same mind as ourselves! The new Garmin 800 was used for the first time and proved that Baz's bike computer was hopelessly over calculating his mileage, no wonder he says he does so many miles each week! We ended up with27.53 miles with two punctures, me with a piece of glass and Baz with a nail which was about two inches long. When we got home they were still wittering on about the days events on the about boring!!!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

130 off road miles for the week

somebody hit a boulder please!

the only way is up.
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Saturday night and needing 28 miles for 130 miles for the week. So it was off with Baz and Clive to do the West Kip loop to achieve it. When we got back to the house we were still a bit short, so alarmingly for grown ups, we cycled around till we reached the desired mileage! Just how sad is that?

Friday, 22 April 2011

No mishaps tonight (and plenty pumps)

After last nights debacle with the pump and gas canister shortage, we set about doing the West Kip route again but this time equipped with enough pumps and gas canisters to blow up the tyres on a London bus. Needless to say there were no flats and we did the trip with a little extra thrown in at the end to finish up with 27.2 miles. It's all getting too easy.......I just know I shouldn't have said that................

Thursday, 21 April 2011

This was Mishap Thursday

Clive and I set off at 6.45 pm with the intention of doing the West Kip loop, a distance of just over 25 miles, and  reached halfway up the pass above Loganlea reservoir when we discovered Clive's rear tyre was down. We'd left home and Clive had remembered he'd forgotten to change his pump over from one rucksack to another but I foolishly declared that I had a pump and also 3 gas cylinders to put the tyres up in the event of a flat. Anyway the pump failed to work very well and then the handle parted company with the body, "we've still got the cylinders" I stated confidently, only then discovering there were only 2 not 3 as I had thought. The new tube in the tyre was duly inflated with one and a half cylinders and off we set only to discover that after about quarter of a mile the tyre hadn't been properly seated in the rim and had popped out and jammed the wheel! We had to then let air out the ruddy thing to get the tyre seated again and with only about half a cylinder of gas pump the tyre up again, which wasn't very hard at all! We decided to abort the West Kip route, too rough, and go back by Harelaw where we were bound to meet another cyclist but tonight of all nights there were none to be seen. However with careful nursing of the almost flat tyre we made it back down to the Flotterstone and civilisation again where we eventually managed to stop a roadie of all things and borrow his pump to put a little extra pressure in. (these roadies do come in useful sometimes). The last 4 miles were incident free and we managed to do over 24 miles which considering the tyre only had just over 10psi most of the time wasn't too bad at all! 

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Innerleithen to Peebles and back via Southern Upland way and Drove Roads

Baz does the bomb hole!
Back down to Innerleithen this morning bright and early, started at 6.05 am and did the climb to Minch Moor, then the descent on the Southern Upland Way to Traquair. Along the road from there and then the climb up over the hills till we arrived at the old Drove roads that descend to Peebles via Gypsy Glen. The brakes didn't half squeal on the way down though, probably would have been better not to have been of the sintered variety! 18.5 miles to Peebles from the car park at Innerlethen and a hard (apart from that descent) 18.5 miles at that! We returned to Innerleithen by the back road along past Cardrona and the entrance to Traquair House to get back to the car with 26.7 miles  and 4 hours 15 minutes since we left.
The exit from the bomb hole

                                                        The cairn at the top of Minch Moor

Hows that for a view?

Final river crossing at bottom of Gypsy Glen

A couple of bacon butties and Irn Bru to finish things off!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A quick 21 miler in the Pentlands tonight.

Off at 6.30 tonight with Dougie for a fairly rapid 21 miler in the Pentlands. Amazing how the tracks dry up at this time of year and help to make the biking that bit easier, even though the climb up Castlelaw isn't ! A final run along the newly extended cycle path to the ponds finished off the ride.

Some fellow bikers starting the descent down to Glencorse Reservoir.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Innerleithen-Glentress Loop, not for the faint hearted!

The mobile snack shop at the start of the ride at Innerleithen, I started to fantasise of this after about 30 miles and I'd run out of food and energy drink! Unfortunately the camera went on the blink after this and I didn't manage any more pictures
This trip has been bugging Baz for some time now and with a good weather forecast and a free Saturday we went for it! The first 100 yards or so at Innerleithen are pure torture but after overcoming that we made good time up to Minch Moor.We then had the fast and furious descent down the Southern Upland way to Traquair, along a narrow road and then the agony began, a never ending grassy climb, which come to think of it, seemed to be what we did for the duration of the ride! After eventually reaching Peebles we were then faced with the climb to the mast on the Black route at Glentress where at 25 miles Baz began to cramp (yippee it wasn't me!!). This actually made me feel stronger for some strange reason (he'll never hear the end of this) and the torture continued until the final suicidal descent from the top of Lee Penn down to Innerleithen. The last 1/2 mile along the tarmac road to the car park seemed like heaven, but on reflection, which is always the case, it was an epic ride! The total distance was 35 miles, but felt more like 50!!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

23.5 miles in gale force winds!

Baz, Dougie and myself went out for a Pentlands ride tonight and although the temperature was just short of 20C the wind was gale force and threatened to blow the bike over on some of the more exposed parts higher up. The darkness comes down quickly about 8.30 pm and we finished the last 10 miles or so with the lights on and thankfully a tail wind!

One of the windier parts of tonight's ride


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Clive makes another comeback!

The start of the Castlelaw off road climb, at this point Clive was feeling bad!

20 miles further on and Clive's feeling good, and who wouldn't with this view!

He does the steps to finish things off in style!

With Baz on holiday Clive and I set off at the more civilised time of 7am for a Pentands foray. After being away on business all last week and no great biking having been done in the weeks before, Clive was a bit apprehensive as to how he'd perform today and after the Castlelaw climb he was all for a fairly short trip. We took a trip down a previously unridden track and found it to be quite disappointing in its challenges so decided to go for the West Kip trip which involves a fair bit of hard climbing (and a fair bit more miles as well!). The end result was a 32 miler, both of us suitably knackered, but the satisfaction of a good mornings mountain biking!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Solo 34 miler today

Did a mid-day solo 34 miler in the Pentlands today, seemed strange seeing so many people both walking, running and cycling up in the hills but then we're usually out either before dawn or in the evening so I suppose there's not so many nutters out at that time(except me and my biking buddies!). That's 93 miles for the week, still short of the magic 100.