Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Magic Monday doing the Pentlands....if only this weather would stay

Kathy with her usual sunny smile, having ridden up the drove road without an off

We're only a mile or two from Edinburgh but it looks and feels like the Scottish Highlands at times

Going over step five with the notorious step six still to come on the ride up to the top of Maidens Cleugh

There's that view again, what isn't there to like about mountain biking on a day like Monday, great weather and great company!

To cap it off we stopped for a biscuit beside two lady hill walkers who'd biked to Harlaw and then were walking the loop back round from there to their bikes again. (I even got a couple of grapes off them to keep me going!)
Monday morning and the sun was shining for the third day running, which must be just about a first this year so far, so it was off up the Pentlands with Kathy for more mountain bike experience for her as she's entered a triathlon (maybe two) with off road biking involved. Each week we try to do something slightly more technical to build up her confidence and when I think back to when she first went out she wouldn't come off a roadside kerb without dismounting she's fairly improved. Now her big worry is that the new helmet she's bought makes her head look too big!! Women are definitely from another planet!!!!!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Clive gets another year older and we see a lot of hot air

There must surely have been a politician (probably SNP) supplying the hot air for this balloon we saw this morning given the speed it inflated at!  

It was just above freezing point when this was taken this morning circa. 7.15am

Saturday and the weathers perked up considerably as Baz makes his first visit to West Kip in nine months.

Clive demonstrating the size of the lies he told when out in New Orleans in order to secure some work for his company!!
The infamous stepping stones which currently substitute for a bridge as the money's run dry (pun intended) to provide a decent crossing. When the river's in spate they'll be under two feet of water! 

This was Friday and I nearly got lost in the mist half an hour previous to this higher up in the hills.

A week which started off with a glorious day, descended into near freezing fog till Saturday and then brightened up again. Still managed over 140 off road miles and the tracks are really drying out. Sadly as usual next weekend, it's Easter and predictably the weather's to go downhill again!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Riding buddies scattered around the world this week!

Baz starts the steps at the bottom of the shelter belt

Thanks to modern technology I can do multiple shots as he comes down them

Hey he;s down in one piece and I had to jump out the way smartish to avoid being flattened!
Me and my Monday riding mate, Kathy, on a day when the sun shone all the time!

Doing my best to look Mr Cool (and failing) but on a day like yesterday smiling was dead easy!

This is a view of Kathy I'm going to have to get used to as she gets faster every time we're out now, going to have to put sand in her tyres I think!

Clive's in New Orleans on a business trip (so he says anyway), Baz is down in London town with his work (so he says as well), so it's left to Kathy and me to keep the flag flying up in the Pentland Hills and we couldn't have picked a better day for it, bright sunlight and virtually no wind, perfect conditions for a longish ride with a good bit of climbing flung in as well. Just as well we went yesterday as today there's been low cloud and a slight drizzle, the Scottish weather never fails to keep you  guessing!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Could this be winters last throw of the dice?

Monday morning and out with Kathy, snow overnight and a bright blue sky, perfect riding conditions!

Near the start of the climb up Maidens Cleugh and there's ice here and there to avoid.

The top of Maidens Cleugh and the view is amazing,.

Jock, the bridge builder on his dumper up to collect a few bits and pieces after they've finished the job, not often you see a Thwaites dumper up here so a photo was required!

This could be winters last snowy blast (I may live to regret that) and Monday was just too good a day to miss up in the hills. Today, Wednesday, and the snow's more or less all gone, it's not been a particularly hard winter though the spikers were needed on a few occasions but now we're all looking forward to warmer weather and longer days!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

The bridge is finished.....now it needs a name

My maiden ride over the bridge demanded a selfie pose!

The view looking north

And the view looking south

And todays piccy amazingly supporting three of us plus bikes!!

The bridge to nowhere is complete and now needs a name to honour Jock and Kevin who made such a good job of building it, I've suggested The JK Bridge in recognition of their initials but I think everyone suspects its after me as that happens to be my initials too (as if I would!!)
Anyways its a mighty fine structure even if it doesn't actually solve too many problems as you still have to cross back over the river again to get back on the track and though it's relatively easy just now to cycle/walk through the fordable bit it's a different kettle of fish when it's in spate!