Thursday, 30 June 2011

I thought the bike was going too well!

Bike under repair, miles from anywhere.

A view of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth beyond from one of the tracks in the Pentland Hills.

The cycle path goes through these wild flowers about 3 miles from home.
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Just when the bike seemed to be going really well (I should have known better) it decided to play up in the middle of nowhere high in the Pentlands. First of all a spoke in the rear wheel broke and snagged the chain bringing my progress to an abrupt halt. I managed to get this unsnagged and got underway again for about a hundred yards when a hideous scraping noise started. the bike was turned upside down again and eventually after removing the rear wheel I discovered the spring holding the brake pads had somehow managed to come out at one end and rub against the disc. I managed to free this off slightly and continued on my way to the accompaniment of much scraping and screeching which eventually got quieter as the spring wore away!
I managed a rather noisy 18 miles in the end and tomorrow night's going to be repair night!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Black Hill done in reverse!!

                                                                                          Dougie does the climb up the side of Black Hill.

And still going strong into the distance!
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Dougie and I did a fairly rapid 23 miler tonight in the Pentlands with over 1600 feet of climbing, and in Dougie's case some pretty rapid descending! The route in reverse to what we usually do round Black Hill was remarkably dry considering the recent rain and the reservoirs appear to have filled up quite a bit again. Great night's biking!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Late Saturday night riding (and falling off)

Military land ahead.....don't touch anything suspicious (like a ripped old tyre?)

Posted by PicasaQuite a spectacular over the bars from Clive when he under-estimated the gloopiness of the mud in this hollow!

Clive and I didn't get out till after 7pm in our attempt to do the West Kip loop on Saturday night  and even though we had to abort the final bit round West Kip due to the time we still managed to do 27.5 miles with over 2000 feet of climbing. The highlight was Clive's bike doing a fairly good impression of a bucking bronco when the front wheel got stuck in the thick mud at one point and he very kindly lay until I got the camera out to record the moment for posterity! It was still reasonably light when we got back home at 10.30pm , a reminder of just how far north we live! With another 10.75 miles today that takes my off road biking for the week to 83 miles.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Tricky conditions on the wet grass

All right, this photo was staged, but this is how Baz ended up after loosing control on a wet, slippy, steep grassy descent and into the bargain I nearly ran over him as I came down behind him! Yesterday's rain made the top surface this morning greasy and slidy and when his back wheel started to overtake his front one there could only be one result. Luckily there were no rocks of any significance and apart from a small cut on his elbow and a massive dent in his pride everything was fine. (How I laughed though!)

This contraption I'm attempting to crawl through isn't a cat flap but must be one of the most remote dog flaps in Britain, I think next time I'll use the style.
28 miles this morning for Baz's final bike ride before he goes on holiday to warmer climes next week, I'll make him suffer from lack of training when he gets back.
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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Glentress 7, cuts, bruises, etc.(But no photos as the camera didn't work!)

Did the Glentress 7 yesterday, and did it solo! First time I've done an event solo and didn't know what to expect. Would I go too quick to start with, getting caught up in the excitement, would I be able to last the pace anyway and maybe have to stop early and make a fool of myself. In the event I think I managed to pace myself reasonably well and did 6 laps, finishing third in my class. I came home with a few souvenirs, a sliced knee and grazed elbow, courtesy of a crash on a greasy corner and a bruised shoulder when a tree jumped out at me on the final descent.  Oh and also a painful thumb when I came off on a particularly greasy bit on the last lap, but then nearly everybody around me were coming off on that bit.
The course itself was a classic with a mix of standard singletrack and special for the event sections added in. The route stood up remarkably well considering the rain that fell in the afternoon, I heard that one competitor got taken to hospital with hypothermia, the temperature never got out of single figures centigrade, and this nearly in the middle of June!
All the marshalls round the course did a great job in the rotten weather and deserve a round of applause.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Ruby the Jack Russell does a runner!

This is Ruby the Jack Russell who took one look at Baz and me and promptly took to her heels and bolted. We'd gone down a previously unridden track and met her and her minders (they were only looking after her) coming up the way. She obviously has a dislike of bikers, probably had her tail run over at some time, and ran off with her desperate surrogate owner in pursuit! We followed at a discreet distance and to our relief after at least a mile he managed to grab the little b##### at the second attempt! All's well that ends well though I don't know who was more relieved, him or us.

I'm wondering if it might not be a lot less strenuous on something like this, it matches my cycling top at least. 

Baz decides the brown one is more his style, looked a bit more speedy!
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Over 30 miles today with  over 3000 feet of climbing and a temperature nearly 10 degrees Celsius less than yesterday, but then that's Scotland for you, no two days the same!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Mishaps before we even started!!!

Looking down over Glencorse reservoir.

High in the hills.
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Clive's bike had a flat front tyre before we'd even started ,so we changed the tube. After half a mile it was flat again, a protruding spoke I suspect, and we put another tube in. This never even fully inflated and in the end we decided to return to base and start all over again! With a new tube and a change of tyre we eventually got going again and ended up with 19 miles on a beautiful night, well worth all the trouble at the start!