Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Back on the bike....

Gladhouse Reservoir overflow and it's just above freezing point.

The middle of nowhere and trying to look miserable (and succeeding!)

Back on the bike for me today after nearly 2 weeks without any riding and along with Baz and Clive we opted for a semi road ride, the main reason being the rain of the last week would have turned the usual off road tracks into quagmire, plus it was a bit easier for me after my layoff! The temperature was just over freezing for the whole ride but at least when I got home and weighed myself I'd managed to drop a couple of pounds. Now the race is on to try and drop half a stone in weight before the Strathpuffer in 3 weeks or so.....watch this space!! 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Training suspended for 10 days or so......

A wee reminder of what it was like in the summer!!!

Strathpuffer training's going on hold for 10 days at least as a family visit to Cardiff is starting tomorrow. Mind you the weather is so crap at the moment there might not be too much biking up here in Scotland anyway, and into the bargain I think the scars on my arms from a few crashes I've had lately could do with some time to heal properly. I've been keeping the local pharmacy in a very profitable state with the amount of plasters I've been buying there in the last week or two. To anybody who looks in on the blog, have a Merry Christmas I'll be back in the New Year to resume the Strathpuffer training in earnest! 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

6000 miles reached....and passed!

This was, more or less, where the 6000 miles for the year distance was reached, appropriately high in the Pentland Hills and cold enough to leave a brass monkey embarrassed. As if by magic a dog walker appeared and took the photo of the  three of us hardy souls who were there this morning, pedalling furiously into a gale force wind.

A moment of concern which turned rapidly into one of mirth when Mark came off on a smooth bit of tarmac doing a manual over a speed bump. Luckily there was more damage to the road than there was to Mark or his bike and he lives to cause more carnage on the trails up the Pentlands!

I managed to reach the 6000 mile mark for the year this morning on a windy bike ride up the Pentland Hills with Baz and Mark there to witness it. For a change it wasn't me who came off today but Mark, who managed a quite spectacular crash at high speed doing a manual over a speed bump on what turned out to be a very greasy road! No animals (or Mark and his bike) were harmed in this incident......

Friday, 13 December 2013

Closing in on the 6000 miles

The start of the week and a trip up round Gladhouse reservoir

The result of an off on Thursday night when the bike skidded on a wet wooden walkway. 

Today Friday and it's not as cold as it looks.

Clive had a day off work but it didn't stop him having to deal with a work related problem on the phone.

After today I only need 11 more miles to reach 6000 miles for 2013, with over 95%  of them being off road. When I realised I was as near the magic 6k I started to panic as I'm going to be separated from the bike for 10 days while on a family visit and the weather at this time of the year can be utterly unpredictable. At the moment its unseasonably mild but there's storms forecast for most of next week but I'll make the distance if I have to cycle into a hurricane in the granny ring. Clive, by the way, is equally panicking as he's coming up for 5000 miles (but there's not so many off road as mine!!!). He'll kill me for writing that!! 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Cold and windy weather (Strathpuffer) training.......

This was about as bad as it got out on my local trails after the storms that hit Scotland last week, a couple of branches and the odd tree here and there. I reckon we got off pretty lightly.

A novel method employed by Baz to clean his backside after a particularly muddy ride last night.

Mark looks exceptionally clean as he hoses down his bike in my back garden but he had removed a rather mucky pair of over trousers.

52 miles in total between last night and early this morning as Strathpuffer training goes up a notch. With the milder weather comes the inevitable mud and my garden is beginning to accumulate a fair bit of Pentland Hills mud as it's washed off the bikes. 28 miles last night with Clive, Mark and Baz and this morning Baz and me did another very wet and windy 24 miles to bring the total for my week just short of 130 off road miles.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Managed a ride before "the storm" came

Three of us out in the hills last night in windy but dry conditions. The "Big Storm" that's been forecast since last week-end wasn't to hit us till later last night and so it turned out. There's no way we could have biked in the conditions that came later on in the night, hurricane force winds and horizontal hailstones!
The section of the path  that's known as Maidens Cleugh has been "improved" by a mechanical digger to allow the gamekeeper to drive up to the moors in a landrover, whats wrong with the lazy sod walking or at worst going on a quad ? The path has been destroyed and if it's bad enough for bikers it's a hundred times worse for walkers, they'll be over the ankles in muck.
I managed to gouge a lump out of my forearm at Glentress last week when I came off and fell on a rock, needless to say this was accompanied by the usual volley of colourful language which I always find alleviates the pain (not).