Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Dumb and Dumber come out victorious!

Mark and Baz shake hands/face up, before the challenge begins!

Dumb and Dumber wish each other luck just before the start of the first lap.

Mark comes down to the timing mat like a bat outa hell!!

And climbs to hand over the timing chip to Baz like a bat that's been to hell and back!

The end of the Glentress 7 and our heroes are victorious in the challenge!

The Glentress 7 was held on Saturday on a course that was fast and furious, bone dry with dust beginning to rise before too long. The contest we were interested in was the challenge between Mark and Baz against Dougie and Dylan and a close run thing it turned out to be. Right up to the last lap a simple mechanical could have changed the outcome and Mark true to form as ever managed three offs, luckily none serious, in fact disappointingly he didn't even draw blood!! In the end Mark and Baz won but to be honest (not really) everyone was a winner! A great day helping, or was it hindering , both teams at the chip changeovers and just enjoying the general banter. 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Here and there up the Pentland Hills

It's "spot the biker" As I blend in with the background in Bluebell Wood

Some interested spectators on the track up to Allermuir

These two come to see me nearly every time I cycle past their field

Wednesday night at Threapmuir Reservoir

A week of varied weather, one day wet  then the next dry but the trails are holding up well. Tomorrow,Saturday, Baz and Mark are doing the Glentress 7 as a pair and I'm there to cajole and threaten them if there's any sign of weariness seen to be creeping in. The training all done and all we can hope for is the weather to stay dry, as much for me who's going to be hanging around for seven hours, as for the riders! Here's hoping!!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Mark and Clive do the full Pentlands Skyline

Clive, Baz and Mark getting ready for the climb to the Skyline

Having a bite to eat at the bottom of West Kip with some hill walkers in the background doing likewise.

The hard hike a bike up to the top of West Kip.

Almost there, Clive! Don't think he enjoyed this bit!

Mark sets off on the final fast descent to Flotterstone.

Mark and Clive had never done the full Pentlands Skyline, which to be honest, is quite daunting on a bike as there's a fair bit of hike a biking involved and some of the descents are pretty hairy. Saturday morning at 9am we set off taking in some hard climbs on the way (ideal training for the Glentress 7s) and after more than 5 hours we'd completed the trip, with surprisingly no hill walkers, of which there were quite a few,  having been run over by Mark who takes no prisoners on the downhills. A great mornings biking even though the wind along the top of the hills must have been just short of gale force. 30 miles distance and 5000 feet of climbing. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

A visit to the "Kelpies"

The mythical Kelpies rise from the water

Close up and they're even more impressive.

 The brain child of a Scottish sculptor, the Kelpies, mythical Scottish horses that rise from the waters of rivers and lochs, stand over 30 metres high at the Helix, near Falkirk.Made of steel they're particularly impressive when lit up at night but on a day like today they were pretty damn good! 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

My team get ready for the Glentress 7 pairs!

Baz followed by Mark (and me) make the rapid descent from Black Hill down to the valley.

I've done a Ryan Giggs and moved upstairs into management! Baz and Mark riding as "Dumb and Dumber" (how apt is that?) are doing the Glentress 7 as a pair this year and I'm the manager.....well actually Baz needs someone to watch his dog so I volunteered giving Mark the doubtful privilege of knocking his pan in biking flat out round Glentress for 7 hours, actually it's only the half of that but it feels like the full 7. We were out last night and did a hard run and they both performed well so I'm expecting big things from them, there's nothing like putting a bit of pressure on!!  

Monday, 12 May 2014

Winter's officially over, at least in Scotland that is.....

Just to prove it's Spring at last the bluebells appeared in the aptly named "Bluebell Wood"!

A bit muddy on the track but the weather was good on Sunday morning.

                                                A selfie of kinds with the remote control!

The descent down to the burn from the track along the side of West Kip.

Sunday morning saw Baz and me off at 5.20am, ridiculous I know, but there's nobody gets in your way at that ungodly hour and we get back for a fry-up at 10am if everything goes according to plan. It started off pretty miserable with light rain and mist higher up into the hills but then suddenly brightened up and even though things were a bit greasy we still had a great 30 miles biking. The forecast looks as though things are set to improve in the next few days after whats been a pretty wet last two weeks, so here's hoping!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Pentland Hills Skyline done again.

En route to the Skyline we did the descent from Black Hill, always a thriller!

The final last few yards of the push to the top of West Kip

Baz standing on the summit of West Kip. 

Beside the trig point on top of Scald Law, the highest of the Skyline hills

The view is spectacular from Carnethy over to Turnhouse Hill and the final descent.

Monday morning saw Baz and me off just after 5.30am for an epic mornings biking up the Pentlands. The highlight was doing the Skyline from West Kip along to Turnhouse Hill with at least 2 miles of hike a bike involved but the descents make it all worthwhile, some slow, rocky and technical and the final one back down to Flotterstone flat out down singletrack and grassy bankings. By the time we'd reached this part of the route there were a few hill walkers about and even though we gave them a wide berth you could see the disapproving looks on some of their faces! Sod them!! They seem to think the hills belong to them. No animals (or hill walkers for that part) were hurt in the adventure and we cant wait to get a suitable morning to do it all again! 

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Mileage low again this week!

Tuesday night this week instead of Wednesday and the weather was well nigh perfect, this was taken at the top of the shelter belt looking down to Glencorse Reservoir.

The 4 of us halfway up the long trek to the bottom of West Kip. 

The start of the final mad descent coming along from West Kip down to the Howe.

Tuesday night instead of Wednesday last week and a good job too as the weather on Tuesday was perfect and the complete opposite on Wednesday night! Not the best ride I've ever done, not only was I pathetically slow, everybody else seemed to be fantastically fast! A bit more riding is going to have to be done in the next week or two, for different reasons my weekly mileage has been on the low side lately.......and it's showing!!