Sunday, 23 November 2014

A 30 miler on a dry cold November morning

The start of the "Kirk Road" track over the Pentland Hills towards Balerno

Baz attempts a manual over a shallow ditch....unfortunately I pressed the shutter on the camera too quickly!

Its downhill towards the Howe from here after a bit of "hike a bike" on the way up.

The start of the final fast descent down to the Howe, which Baz discovered was quite greasy today!

A 5.30 am start today so we could fit in a big ride to boost my mileage for the week as well as my yearly attempt to reach first of all 5k and then maybe 5.2k. The first 2 hours we needed the lights and although it was greasy and the temperature hovered just above freezing conditions on the whole were pretty good, only a light wind and no rain. Mishaps today were Clives chain jumping into his rear wheel, probably as a result of a crash midweek, and Baz having an off on corner on the fast descent down to the Howe. The usual combination of bad language eventually fixed Clives' problem, at least for today but it looks like a bit of work is going to get done to the drivechain to get it working safely, that could have been a long walk home today! Only 100 miles needed next week to reach the yearly 5k miles then weather permitting maybe another 200 miles to take the weekly average for the year up to 100 miles per week. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A sticky ride with sticky gear cables

A peaceful Glencorse Reservoir just as the sun rises

A self timer, and Clive isn't even on his bike!

3 girl hill runners we passed earlier going the opposite way that we met up with again. 

A panoramic view of Glencorse Reservoir this morning

A sticky start this morning as my gears played up on my older bike which was getting an outing today. At one point it seemed like we'd have to return to base for the other bike but the usual abusive language directed at the gear cables had the desired effect and they wilted under the barrage of obscenities and freed off. 24 miles this morning to keep the weekly average ticking along. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

A mountain bike birthday bash....

Belgian chocolate truffles and brandy high up in the Pentlands!

Back down at the Flotterstone car park a surprise birthday cake appears courtesy of Dougie and Linda and I do a passable imitation of addressing the haggis on Burns Night!

More brandy with a wedge of birthday cake this time!

It was my birthday yesterday and what better way to celebrate than a birthday bike ride up the Pentlands. When we reached the highest point I surprised my fellow riders by producing a box of Belgian chocolate truffles only to be outdone as Clive then produced a hip flask of brandy and 4 small steel cups to drink from. This was then outdone once more when we arrived back at Marks car at Flotterstone where who should be waiting complete with birthday cake and knife to carve it, but Dougies partner Linda, who he'd secretly texted earlier with the time we'd be back down. Needless to say the hip flask was brought back out again and more hilarity ensued.......the last 5 mile cycle home was slightly wobblier than usual....

Sunday, 9 November 2014

At last Clive goes tubeless.....with the usual teething problems

Clive's newly created tubeless wheels, chained up in his shed to prevent them escaping!

The river crossing this morning, I'm afraid my two riding companions wimped out of riding the deepest bit!

We eventually caught up with these members of a local triathlon club, fit lads these!

They then took a picture of us!

And finally, near home, some wee ponies who turned their backs on us!

After the rest of us had been tubeless for over a year, Clive eventually took the plunge after dithering about for months, so whats new there? The usual problems were encountered I'm glad to say, it would have been very annoying if he'd had none, but on the maiden ride this morning everything went ticketyboo and even the slight air leak at the valve on the front wheel appears to have sealed! 
The ride today was notable in that both Baz and me were suffering from sore throats and I'm positive half my lungs remain at the side of the tracks we rode up in the Pentlands this morning. In the end we managed a creditable 29.5 miles to get my weekly mileage over the 100 again. Still going to be tight to reach the 5000 miles off road before the years end though!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

What were the chances of picking up a drawing pin in your tyre 1200 feet up in the Pentlands? It could only happen to Clive!!

The chances of getting a single drawing pin puncturing your tyre up in the hills (who takes them up there anyway) are about as remote as winning the lottery.

Baz appears pre-occupied with something on the horizon while Clive struggles to fit a 26r tube into a 29r tyre and wheel!

At last a downhill from here and an added bonus of the wind in our backs

The best descent and the best view in the Pentland Hills (IMO)

A 6 am start this morning and Clives says he's felt better than after a pretty sleepless night with a sick daughter. As usual the sympathy is minimal from Baz and me, though to be honest I had felt better myself! However after the tough climb up Castlelaw everybody felt better. Mishaps today were Clive picking up in his front tyre what must have been the only drawing pin at large in the Pentland Hills, and then discovering he'd brought the wrong backpack, how many does he have, don't ask!!! Any way a 26" tube does fit round a 29" wheel with a bit of mild persuasion and we were soon back on the bikes. Baz a rare, for him, over the bars episode on the climb up to West Kip, which was good to see though he didn't lie long enough for me to photograph him! 28 miles today and over 2500 feet of climbing and the weather's definitely turning colder.