Sunday, 26 June 2016

Back along the Pentland Skyline again after a year

Mark, who's looking decidedly portly in this picture, shows us the route to the Skyline!

The push up West Kip which is probably 3 times steeper than this photo depicts!

Made it to the top of Scald Law, highest of the Pentland Hills.

Near the top of Black Hill this morning, Sunday.


A short rest on the cairn at the top of Black Hill.

Wednesday night saw Dougie, Marc, Mark and me have a go at the Pentland Skyline which we hadn't done for at least a year and it turned out to be quite eventful with Mad Max losing control on the loose stony track down from Scald Law and discover that flesh does not fare too well when it comes into sudden contact with loose rocks. After shedding a bit of blood he decided he was fit enough to continue, he'd have been ridiculed otherwise, and we managed to complete the trip without further damage to body or bike, though in my case I think it was down to sheer luck mainly.
This morning Baz and I went in search of the track up Black Hill, or at least the start of it, which we could see clearly on Wednesday night from the top of Scald Law but the mystery continues down at ground level. It's the Pentland equivalent to Brigadoon, maybe what we saw on Wednesday night was a figment of our imagination! Anyway after a hike a bike we came across the track and after a hard climb to the summit we were rewarded with a long steep descent to make up for it. 130+ miles this week and over 10000 feet of climbing to keep the years target in sight.    

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Kathy's Pentland Solstice Triathlon

Final practise of the biking circuit for the triathlon and the weather was on the cool side for the height of summer!

The water crossing would be a good place to get ahead of the opposition (if any!) and Kathy had a couple of goes through it to make sure she got her line right, into the bargain it was deeper than usual due to the recent heavy rain so if you came off it was early bath time!

The bike's in position in the transition area and all that's to do is somehow struggle into that tight neoprene wetsuit! 

All wetsuited up and dipping a toe into Threipmuir Reservoir to test the temperature before the open water swim

The contestants all ready for the start, looking like a herd(?) of bright green capped seals in their wetsuits!

Kathy came out the water after the swim visibly relieved that that part was over and the biking and running were next

She didn't have a smile like this on her face before the swimming, it's easy to see she's going to enjoy the biking!

Coming in at the end of the run and it's smiles all the way!

The print out with Kathys times, now she knows what she's to work on for next year!

Kathy and I have been practising the biking circuit for the Pentland Solstice Triathlon for months now and to be honest we could probably do it blindfold we've been round it so many times, but eventually the moment of truth arrived last night and for somebody who couldn't ride up a kerb a year or so ago she's come on a long way. The swimming was always going to be her weak bit and so it turned out to be, but once on the bike she turned into the blond demon and powered round making up time and position, passing men and women!
The running part was a "walk in the park" (excuse the feeble pun) and she came home with a her usual huge grin from ear to ear!
I like to think I helped in some small part with the biking and thank goodness it's all over so we can explore some of the different tracks up the Pentlands instead of grinding round the same one!! 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Could this be the start of a new sport for me......I wish it could but I doubt it!

Wednesday night and we did the hike a bike to the top of West Kip for the first time in exactly a year

Clive, on top of the world!

A good action picture of Mark on the Torduff descent, these i phone multi shots are brilliant for this !

Me encased in neoprene, almost too tight to move and about to scare the living daylights out of any fish in Threipmuir Reservoir as I thrashed about in it

I think this looks mighty impressive, considering the water isn't as deep as it looks!

The Brownlie your hearts out!!!!!

Back to reality today, Sunday, The weather can only be described as "pretty hellish" but at least the trails aren't overcrowded when its as wet as it was this morning!

Kathy convinced me (I didn't need much persuasion) that I should give open water swimming a go as she had a loan of a wet suit which would fit me. My swimming is on a par with Stephen Hawkings sprinting, so no records were going to be broken but the experience was one not to be forgotten even if I swallowed a fairish bit of Threipmuir Reservoir in the process. If only I could get this breathing sorted out and stopped trying to breathe in when my head was under water!!
A good week all round with nearly 140 miles off road and about 50 meters under water!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Trying to ride on water.......

Somehow Kathy persuaded me it would be a good idea to paddle in the reservoir!

Kathy looking glamorous as usual on the track up to the Pentlands

How come she didn't have to cycle in the water?

While muggins did?

Take my word for's easier on dry land.

Wednesday night and Mark arrives in time to photo bomb a selfie up Black Hill

Full marks(?) for Mark for style!!

Clive looking pleased as punch with his bike all nice and shiny and ready for his sportive on Saturday

Graeme at the start of the track going along Black Hill today.

The gruesome foursome who were out this morning!!

What a week! The summer would appear to here though I wouldn't rush to place a bet on it, but on the strength of my daft paddle with my bike in Threipmuir Reservoir and the fact that I survived  without suffering frostbite I'm prepared to accept there's a chance it's at least on its way!
Here's hoping the rest of the summer's as much fun as this week's been!