Sunday, 24 July 2016

When a roadie struggles on a bit of singletrack downhill off road , if that makes sense....

Baz's mate, Les was  over from Northern Ireland for a retiral do and was staying with Baz over the weekend, so as Les is a very fit lad having done a few marathons and triathlons he was naturally more or less told he was to accompany us on a trip up the Pentlands! Now Les has never really done any mountain biking before being content to amuse himself with road biking, which in our opinion is a bit boring, so he was fitted out on one of my bikes and off to the hills we set. He stalled a bit at the very first slightly steep little bits of track before we were even anywhere near anything major, so already doubts were forming in my mind about the conditions he would be facing later on and how he would handle them. Much to his credit his uphill biking was strong save for one particularly steep grassy stretch where he performed a 180 degree turn and started going downhill again! We reached the summit in reasonable time and set off along for the descent, the video shows the difference between cycling on a wide stretch of tarmac and biking along a thin sheep track through heather! No people, animals or bikes were injured in the fun and games that followed, but our sides did ache from the laughter. By the way there were more fall offs than the one above.....

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Black Hill seems to dominate my life just now!

After a hard climb up a grassy field you're faced with the long track to the summit of Black Hill, this was Wednesday night's trip up with Craig on his second mtb ride after heart surgery taking his life in his hands with Dougie, Baz and me!

A panoramic view with the new i phone about half way up the track.

Today, Sunday, and I took a different descent from Clive and Baz, which included a fairish bit of near vertical hike a bike descending through heather, I reached the path before them and took a few photos.

At last they appeared, still not having found the track down we originally set out to look for!

A biscuit break before the climb up to West Kip.

Black Hill has taken over my life recently ever since we found the true start to the track up to the top of the ruddy thing! Annoyingly for Baz I set a time on the climb on Thursday night which he wasn't able to beat today, albeit the fact I didn't set too fast a pace up to start with and left him with too much to do near the end when he broke away!! I sometimes think that I really am a crafty old so and so!
A good week of biking even though that's two tracks down from the summit that show on the maps that we've been unable to find, I can see this going on for a week or two yet!  

Sunday, 10 July 2016

After about 18 months we went back to Glentress to ride the trails

Half way up the black trail at Glentress and Baz and I stop for a selfie

We met these guys from Hartlepool, one of whom had a top of the range e-bike which he kindly allowed us to have a go on

I only went about 50 yards but some day this will be my next bike!!

Wednesday night and Dougie and I came across "Yorick" as we christened him had obviously be there for some time, but his bike was still in good nick!

A view on Tuesday night as Mark and I went up the track at Black Hill

Baz and I paid a visit to Glentress on Saturday, the first time for about a year and a half and still found the climb to the mast on the black route no easier than it was before! We threw in a bit of the red route as well before calling into the cafe where we met some guys up from Hartlepool, one of whom gave us a quick go on his high tech e-bike, which even had sat nav included! I'm starting to think seriously that this is definitely the bike for old age!
The killer climb up Black Hill was done 4 times by me this week and I can honestly say it never gets any easier. Over 120 miles off road and nearly 13000 feet of climbing this week, I'll sleep well tonight!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Local sheep rescued by gallant mountain bikers!!!!

Stranded on its back and by the look of the sheep purls at its backside it had been like that for some considerable time, but never fear, rescue is near! This Blackface ewe was lucky, there's not much traffic up this track and when we reached it I don't think it would have lasted too much longer! It had to be held for a good few minutes till it regained its sense of balance and when I did let it go it gave a good impression of a drunkard on his way home after a heavy nights drinking!

Feeling a bit better but probably got a stinking hangover!

Back with its mates and with a story to tell how it was rescued from certain death(?) by two mountain bikers!!

Baz puts the story on Facebook, nothing like a bit of bragging to make you feel better!!
Wednesday night and five of us went to the top of Black Hill, a 1.5 mile steep climb but tremendous views once you're up there, and a good descent back down again to Dens Cleugh.

Unfortunately Mark bit the dust, or was it mud, for the second week running, it's going to be interesting to see what next Wednesday night brings!!

Just made it over the 100 miles this week, the weather has been pretty horrible, or is that just average Scottish summer weather? Anyway an improvement would be welcome!!