Sunday, 26 October 2014

A tour of West Lothian courtesy of Baz!

Ready for lift off from Baz's humble abode!

Only done about a couple of miles when Baz badly underestimates how greasy the ground is! 

Disaster a stray branch catches in Clives back wheel and snaps the derailleur hanger, he did however have the foresight to have a spare oneso the repair was done reasonably quickly!

A short break before some technical descending, or in my case, not technical descending!

If ever a place name summed up Central Scotland this must be it!!

A stop under neath the new bridge being built over the Firth of Forth, engineering guru Baz tells us the huge girders are slowly pushed out from the shore, quite a bit of pushing to do yet then....

For a change of scenery and the fact it was blowing a gale and the Pentlands would have been horrific, Clive and me drove along to Baz's house at Boness and had a guided tour of some of his local biking haunts. Each of us had our mishaps but live to ride again. From the technical rooty singletrack of Beecraigs to cycling under the new bridge being constructed over the River Forth there was a bit of everything thrown in. And the wind wasn't too bad either! 45 miles and over 3300 feet of climbing, that got my weeks mileage up over the weekly target "nae bother at aw"!! 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Autumn's arrived.....with a vengeance!

Friday afternoon and the weather's still like summer.

Sunday morning and it's blowing a hoolie with the occasional rain shower flung in as's definitely Autumn!

I went out by myself on Friday afternoon up the Pentlands in what was almost summer like conditions. 6am Sunday morning and Baz, Clive and me set off and the weather's changed completely! Rain jackets are the order of the day, but it's still mild and when we get home I'm almost as wet from sweat as I would have been from the rain without the jacket! 22 miles done on a route that kept us reasonably sheltered most of the time, we only turned for home with the wind (and rain) in our backs once things turned decidedly black looking!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Buzzing about in Beecraigs.....

Nearly there at Beecraigs Park after the climb up from Linlithgow

Cycling back and about to pass through the highly impressive gates at the entrance to Hopetoun House.

Biking back along the shore road to South Queensferry we go under the new road bridge being built over the River Forth.

A bit of a change today, with both Baz and Clive being elsewhere, Dougie asked if I'd like to accompany him and Dylan on a bike ride from South Queensferry up to Beecraigs Park, up in the hills from Linlithgow. It was a real peasouper when we left South Queensferry but after a bit of climbing up to the Union Canal we got into bright sunshine. Along the canal to Linlithgow and then the steep climb up to Beecraigs. Lots of singletrack trails with black and red sections, loads of wet (today) roots and a fairish bit of greasy slippy conditions to make life interesting. Dylans bike contrived to pick up a small stone which jammed the chain and bent the rear derailleur into the back wheel but with the aid of some quiet cursing we managed to recover enough gears to enable him to cycle back home, luckily most of it was downhill! Over 28 miles to get the weekly mileage over 100 again, I might just manage the 5000 by the end of the year yet!

Monday, 6 October 2014

The weather's turning wet....what's new there?

This "ditch" has been bone dry all summer but after nearly 24 hours rain form Friday through till nearly mid-day Saturday things took on a different soggy character. Coming along the track at the side of West Kip's been a piece of cake lately but alas the water's running down the gullys and ditches again. Baz and his 29er crossed this one apparently with ease but I attempted the same bit on my more modest 26er and the front wheel just dug right in and in a second I was viewing the ground from a completely different angle! I did a sideways landing in the ditch of freezing cold mountain water and then had the embarrassment of having to stand while Baz took a photograph of my unfortunate appearance, thank God there wasn't any body else about. Still we managed over 27 miles and the rain stayed away for the whole of the ride.