Sunday, 28 September 2014

Early morning, still dark, no helmet light, low branch = cut nose!

The result of "not really watching where you're going"!

Clive and Baz can't wait to get into their energy bars!

Back home down the side of Loganlea Reservoir.

It was still dark when we set off at 6am this morning but Baz and me decided against helmet lights as there wouldn't be too long to wait till it became light. Bad mistake! Cycling through the Bush Estate we missed a path down to the right in the dark and I turned back and  cycled down what I thought was the track only to whack straight into a branch at face level! The usual foul language ensued, which helped the pain greatly, but not the embarrassment! The rest of the ride was relatively incident free, but I'll take a while to live down the cut on the bridge of my nose! 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Tour De Ben Nevis 2014, weather outstanding, event outstanding, my time amazing (for me)!

Cycling along Fort William High Street to join the other 300+ nutters who'd entered the event 

The view as we waited in a queue to risk life and limb on the descent to Kinlochleven!

A photo of me nervously going down the descent, this would be the only easy bit all the way down!

The last descent of the event and its on the track used by the Ten Under The Ben racers earlier in the year, after this there wasn't much left to do which was just as well as the legs were completely gone!

The Tour De Ben Nevis has come and gone and once again the weather gods smiled. You just could not have got better weather for an event like this, sunshine the whole day but not hot enough to make it really difficult, in fact I only used one bottle of juice the whole of the ride, but then I'm notorious for not drinking a lot of liquid! Baz set off like a man possessed after declaring he was going to take it easy, Mark controlled himself for about another two minutes and then was off himself, while me , the old  head plodded along at my own speed with  the only stop all the way round an enforced one in a queue at the top of the Kinlochleven descent. I eventually caught up with Mark at the river crossing where he was looking decidedly the worse for wear and never saw him again till the finish when he came in about 25 minutes after me. Baz surprised everyone with an amazing 4 hours 24 minutes and I managed 5 hours 27 minutes which is over an hour better than my previous best. Mark beat the target of 6 hours as well which was what we'd aimed for before the start. I cycled the last stretch back into Fort William beside a guy who'd come up with his mate from London on the train to do the Tour and couldn't help laughing as he told me he'd never seen so many rocks in his life before, he said the hardest surface they bike on down south is mud! A great day and a great event!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Last big ride before the Tour de Ben Nevis

A final bit of sustenance before the hike a bike to the top of West Kip for the start of the Skyline

Mark struggling up the final push to the top!

And Baz very nearly at the top!

The top of Scald Law and a minutes rest, but not for long as its only 7 degrees C

Mark wanted a big ride before next weeks Tour de Ben Nevis so he duly arrived at 6am this morning to accompany Baz and me on a semi-epic in the Pentlands. The aim is to do over 4000 feet of climbing and a fair bit of hike a biking into the bargain and we achieved that with a bit to spare. Just over 27 miles with some great descents thrown in as well, we'll probably take it a bit easier this week to let the legs recover for next Saturday.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Training for the Tour de Ben Nevis, a bit of biking and a bit of hike a biking

That looks like a sheep track to me....

This photo doesn't really do justice to how steep the push is up to the top of West Kip.

Trying to do a Hilary and Tensing pose atop West Kip (and failing)

The Tour de Ben Nevis mountain bike event is next weekend and while we're not entirely sure we're going yet, we've been doing a fair bit of training for it just in case! This involves a fair bit of hike a bike malarkey which to be honest, once you've done the Pentland Skyline is a bit of a doddle on the TdB.
More of the same this Sunday morning when Mark has threatened to come with us as well....should be interesting!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Another great day at Glentress and Innerleithen

This house (mansion) set in the middle of nowhere wouldn't be out of place in a TV period drama

Two tubby girls on two tubby ponies in Innerleithen!

Back along the cycle path that's been constructed between Peebles and Innerleithen, we need more of these paths to separate cars and bikes.

A short video of the near two mile descent down to Leithen Water where a stray lamb put paid to any record attempts!

Another great days riding on Sunday when Baz and me did the Peebles/Caberstone/Innerleihen loop again. The weather suited me better this time with a max of about 60F, hot enough for any self respecting Scotsman! What's more there's an ice cream shop in Innerleithen that can rival any in the world!!