Sunday, 30 October 2011

2000 off-road miles, 6 months to the day since I got my Garmin!

Baz stands on the direction indicator on the top of Allermuir Hill

Me still recovering from the climb up Allermuir at the trig point at the top.

A new track, but a bit precarious in the strong wind today!

The Garmin tells no lies ( though it is a bit grubby!)
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18 miles were needed this morning to pass the 2000 miles mark in the 6 months since I got the Garmin and we did it with one of the hardest routes we've tried in the Pentlands. First off it was up Castlelaw and then up to the top of Allermuir though there was a bit of hike-a-bike involved near the summit! Brilliant descent back down the steep grassy slope and up over and down to Glencorse by another new track. Back up via the track at the side of the wood strip and then another previously un-cycled (for us anyway) sheep track to the top of Castlelaw again! From there the descent down (thank goodness) the north side of Castlelaw and right down to the side of the Edinburgh Bypass, along to Hillend, up to Swanston and back home via Old Pentland. In the relatively short route of just over 18 miles there was nearly 3000 feet of climbing with an average speed of just over 6 mph, not very fast but pretty knackering!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Roger takes half the Pentlands home with him!

Four of us out last night up the Pentlands, Dougie, Roger, Clive and me. It started off dry and then rained a bit later on but no wind made it a good ride. 23.5 miles all in and the highlight, for Dougie, Clive and me, was the state of Roger after he came off in what must have been the muddiest spot of the whole ride. He had a chocolate coloured covering from head to toe right down one side! He later posted on facebook that he had to call out dyno-rod to clear the drain in his shower. And who's to say this wasn't the case..........
Unfortunately it was too dark to record this moment for posterity with a photograph!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

It was windy....but at least it wasn't wet!

Does this picture in any way convey the strength of the wind up the Pentlands this late afternoon?

First time I've done this section in daylight for a few weeks and I was a bit more successful today.

Well not totally successful, I did manage to put my foot in one rather deep, muddy hole!

Baz fords the burn with dry feet thanks to his new all singing, dancing, waterproof shoes!
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Baz and I started at the strange time for us of 3.30 pm today and did a successful 27.5 miler. The climb up Castlelaw was helped by a tail wind (always good!) and the ride through the muddy section later on was my best effort for a week or two as it was daylight, I don't seem to have a very good sense of balance in the dark!!
By the time we had finished the lights had been switched on and my riding glasses were greeted with a cry of "like your specs babe!" from a group of girls as we got back to civilisation. Good job it was dark and she didn't get a good view of the "babe"!!!!! 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Temperature hits freezing for the first time this winter (or is it still autumn?)

Went out and did a 15 miler up the Pentlands tonight and discovered from the Garmin on my return that the temperature was at freezing point for nearly all the ride. Luckily all my extremities were well covered up, but hells teeth, it's only the middle of October!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Let there be light.....or lights even!

Two up top

Or three up top?
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Last winter I ran with one light on the helmet but this year so far I've tried two. Now I'm wondering if my neck can take three up aloft and if it will make any difference to my eyesight......
Certainly for crudeness of fixing it takes a bit of beating!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Great Alphonso Challenge!!

Baz had been boasting to one of his workmates, Alphonso (he's of Italian descent in case you ask!) or Alf for short, of our exploits on the mountain bikes up in the Pentland hills and said he'd like to see him try and keep up with us, to which Alf replied "You wont break me!"
This was a challenge that couldn't be passed by so last night along with three others (experienced bikers by the way) we set off on possibly the hardest route we could find that could be done before all our lights ran out of battery power!
Alf was riding Baz's old Trance which we kitted out with flat pedals and armed with one of my "exclusive twin light helmets" but alas no padded shorts he battled up Castlelaw climb down round the other side, sliding off on the grassy descent and having a few offs through the section that is now wet, muddy and totally manic!
Highlight for me was following him down to the Howe where instead of fording the fast running stream he rode down it until he was in about 2 feet of water!
In truth he acquitted himself fantastically well and to be honest I don't think we did break him, though it was a near run thing, however I do believe he's got the sorest backside in Britain today!!
No was too dark.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

It's all about gadgets......

The cockpit of my bike is becoming slightly overcrowded with an accumulation of various gadgets, but I've always been a sucker for anything that makes the ride more interesting. The latest one is a 1600 lumens front light, tested out this morning and found to be very illuminating! 

The bikes having a chat while we refuel this morning.

The view back down to Glencorse this morning through the wind and rain!
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25 miles this morning in a strong wind accompanied by horizontal rain, just the thing to get the blood pumping through  the veins! The good part was that the wind was in our face for  the first half but blew us home on the return!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A pair o' drookit rats!!

Nothing sums up this morning's ride better than "drookit rats", a fine Scottish expression for soaked to the skin! The rain pelted down all the time we were out although the temperature did at least remain in the low 50's Fahrenheit  which in Scotland at this time of the year is positively roasting! I must have emptied half a pint of water out of each cycling shoe when I finished. We did however manage a very soggy 25 miles!
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