Monday, 30 May 2011

Pictures up in the Pentland Hills

I managed to get the camera working tonight and did some of the route we did on Saturday night. The first photo shows where I've come from.

This one shows where I'm going to!
Just over 18 miles again tonight in great conditions (for a change)! 
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Another new route in the Pentland Hills

Saturday night ride due to family commitments for Baz and me, so it was off just after 6pm for a look for new paths. The camera played up so no photos but the view down over Edinburgh at one point was pretty good. Next time we're on that route I must make sure the thing's working! We did just over 18 miles and didn't push it too hard as I'm trying to get into 7 hour solo mode for the Glentress 7 in two weeks, maybe I should be doing a bit longer rides.......time will tell!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Ten Under The Ben....wettest and windiest ever!

Things looked ominous the night before the race as we drove up to the camp/park site with the snow level lower than any of the previous two races we'd done! The pre race meal was at the Snow Goose restuarant halfway up Aonach Mor, reached by gondola, which swung alarmingly in the gusty wind. Halfway through the meal there was a heavy snowstorm, just the thing you want to see the day before the race!

After about half an hour of sleep on Friday night, interrupted by torrential rain and storm force winds, we crawled out of our rather basic pop up tent, the small blue thingy in the background, to discover we'd nearly been clobbered by a gazebo that had been blown to bits through the night

The Le-Mans style sprint start to the race itself. Somewhere in the throng is Baz, elbowing his way through the runners in the race for their bikes!

In another 20 years this could well be a contender in one of the solo events, I never asked whether it was male or female.
We left the race early, beaten by the weather (and a desire to get home to a warm dry bed) . At the time of leaving we were  second in our class but until the results are posted up we wont know where we eventually finished. Not the best race we've ever done but good friendships renewed and a great experience.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Next week it's Ten Under The Ben!

The long haul up from Glencorse reservoir.

Honestly I've only stopped for a second or two!

Baz on the Font Stone, at this point it was only a couple of degrees above freezing point!
Posted by Picasa
Off at five this morning for the last big ride before next week's Ten Under The Ben at Fort William. It was fair when we set off and within 4 miles Baz had a puncture in the front tyre. We couldn't have picked a better place to have it though, in a sheltered spot in the trees and a quick change of tube and off we went again. We did a route today we hadn't done for a while, skirting West Kip to take us down to Nine Mile Burn. The Garmin later showed the temperature up the top to be just above freezing and with the wind nearly blowing us off the bikes, it felt like it too! From there, back along the road and down past Penicuik House, eventually coming out at the west end of Penicuik where we went down onto the Penicuik-Dalkeith cycle path, coming off at Auchindinny and then home to record just under 34 miles with 3373 feet of climbing in four and a half hours. The rest of the week wont be so strenuous!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Shiny new cassette, chain, inner and middle chain rings etc.

Posted by Picasa
Ten under the Ben beckons next weekend and the usual nonsense started on the bike before an event, i.e. everything that could go wrong with it went wrong. First the forks, which to be honest were looking the worse for wear started to under perform really badly, so they were replaced, then one of the pedals started to go wonky, they were replaced, finally the gears started jumping all over the place and the chain slipping so that meant a complete new drive gear replacement. Oh and I forgot the back wheel developed a bit of play so I replaced the bearings in there at the same time! Mind you the difference is amazing, I hadn't noticed what a creaky old wreck I'd been riding through the winter. With this surge of confidence in my revitalised bike I've also signed up to do a 7 hour solo event at Glentress on June 11th! Better keep the training going a bit longer!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Another 3000 feet plus of climbing at Glentress today.

Had to take a piccy of the Garmin which now rules my riding!

Lifting Baz's bike up in celebration of a successful climb has bent my legs!

The start of the new blue descent route, not technical but good to finish of a morning's ride.
Posted by Picasa
Chucking down with rain this morning so off went Baz and myself to Glentress where at least there's a bit of shelter under the trees. The Garmin 800 now virtually dictates how I ride, i.e. how far each time, how long each time and what  vertical gain each ride achieves! Cant wait when I get home to link it up to the PC to see what rate my heart's been beating at today or if my cadence has been up to scratch!! Still got a few things to learn about it yet and as computer literacy is not my strong point it may well take some time! It is an amazing little bit of kit though and should prove to be bloody helpful. 24.5 miles today with 3343 feet of climbing involved. We discovered a recently opened new bit of Blue descent track and although not technically difficult it was a good way to end the ride.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Over 3000 feet of climbing today, (thanks to Garmin!)

Mist rolling up the Pentland Hills at 6.30 am this morning.

What a view! (No, not the over sudocremed backside!)

The welcoming committee at the gate onto the road to Flotterstone.
Posted by Picasa
A 5.30 am start this morning and the temperature just above freezing had us wishing we'd opted for full finger gloves. However the climb up Castlelaw soon warmed us up and we were treated to some spectacular views as the mist was blown up over the hills. A slight technical hitch with the Garmin meant that I missed out about 3 miles so we had to rely on Baz's bike computer for the final total today of just over 34 miles. We also had a loan of a mini camcorder but some work is needed on the positioning of it before any videos worthwhile are produced. It even failed to catch me coming off on the final descent from West Kip! Baz did the scree slope twice in spectacular fashion, nearly over-shooting the track at the bottom the second time.
Apart from the "technical dismount" as I like to call it, and a puncture, there were no more mishaps today.