Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Solo 17.5 miler tonight in the Pentlands

The start of the climb up Castlelaw

Round the first bend and still going up!

Over the gate and getting steeper!

Only about another half mile of climbing to go!

Looking back up to the top of the climb.

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An interesting ride tonight, I met a guy in the middle of nowhere who needed two sticks to walk because his knees were so bad with arthritis, he said he was considering getting a bike as he thought it might be a bit easier on the legs! Then I met up with a girl who had recently qualified as a vet and had an interesting chat with her till we went our separate ways, no two nights are the same when you're out on the hills!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bicycle repair man gets ready to go!

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Not quite the bicycle repair man made famous by Monty Python, but James from The Bike Station in Edinburgh was getting ready to set off for some bike  maintenance when I was in the shop today. He also, if you look at his t-shirt, does a front and rear shock service called Flotec with his mate called Taj (don't ask how he came by that name!!). Anyway he refused to pose topless for the photo!  

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tuesday night 23.5 miler

Clive, Roger and Dougie.

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Tonight's ride was part of the Tour de Ben Nevis training master plan!! If the weather is anything as benign as it was tonight it'll be a doddle, but knowing our luck it'll be a howling gale and horizontal sleet on the actual day of the event. (Or in other words, just a normal Scottish summer's day!)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

We find the Kirk Road from Silverburn over the Pentlands

Some hardy campers high up in the Pentlands this morning.

Starting off up the Kirk Road track over the Pentland Hills

At the top, now for the descent back down!

At the signpost just up from the Howe. 

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After last Sundays escapades trying to find the old right of way from Silverburn over to Balerno, we tried again this morning and turned left instead of right this time. The last 200 yards or so of the climb beat us and we had to push the bikes but the view from the top was outstanding and the descent down to the Howe at the top of Loganlea quite hairy on the wet grass. To think that in olden times keen church goers walked over this track to the church at Balerno! Makes you wonder just how far some of the lardarses of today would manage!
30.5 miles in total this morning and another route to add to our list of Pentland tracks.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Baz goes down the 29'r track!

Baz and his new Anthem 29'r high in the Pentland Hills.

At speed further along the track!

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I was the first of us to go full suss and now Baz has taken the next step and taken the lead from the States and bought himself a 29'r. Tonight was its baptism out on the tracks up the Pentland Hills and while it might have started off all bright and shiny, by the time we returned 2 hours later it was pretty grotty with mud and a fair bit of sheep sh#t, always a good sign that its been an interesting ride!! First impression are really good at how it handled the natural riding that the Pentlands provide, next step will be to see how it copes with a trail centre like Glentress.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Lost in the hills! (well sort of)

Baz cycles up a part of the track that was washed away with the recent heavy rains.

This is where we realised we were about a mile and a half from where we should have been!

Baz searching for a crossing point!

He eventually settled for this bit.

Me, nearly up to my knees getting over!

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Not the greatest of starts for me this morning , I must have set the alarm wrong and thought it was a bit on the dark side only to discover it was only 4am. However I was ready for Baz in plenty time for our planned 6am start and after last nights rain at least it was dry this morning. The heavy rain of the last week has gouged out parts of the track on the way up into  the Pentlands and also made some of the grassy sections a bit on the soft side. Baz suggested we try a new route today after we skirted the side of West Kip, so we went down by Eastside Farm onto the A702 and cycled back along to Silverburn where he said there was track back up over the top of the Pentlands again. The first 50 yards of the track were flooded so the feet got well and truly soaked there and after a couple of steep climbs, which Baz to his credit managed to clean we made our mistake. The track divided and I insisted we go right, bad choice!! The route we took  seemed to consist mainly of sheep tracks and there was a fair bit of pushing involved. The fun of mountain biking is discovering new tracks and even though I wouldn't do this particular route again there was the satisfaction of doing something different. (Well we told ourselves that anyway).
To get back eventually onto the return track we had to come down through heather which did its best to remove the skin from our shins and then cross the river at the bottom which thankfully had gone down a bit from the previous few days. (But was still bloody cold!)
28.5 miles today and probably a mile and a half of that was pushing through heather and bracken!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

New riding glasses make all the difference!!!!

                                                                                              The new riding glasses pose for a photo!

Halfway round tonight's ride just before the path down to Glencorse Reservoir

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After a weekend of heavy rain and not a pedal turned in anger I got out last night (Monday) and tonight again armed with my new posing riding glasses! At last I have a proper pair of riding specs done to my personal prescription and admittedly they are a bit over the top but hey, you need a bit of fun in your life (even if it's only the specs you wear!!!)
17.75 miles last night and 15.5 miles tonight, a good start to the preparation for the Tour de Ben Nevis which Baz and I have entered in September.