Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016......that's it gone, but not forgotten!

Monday on the final week of the year and Clive resorts to rollers as the weather is absolutely horrendous in a bid to reach his 8000 mile target, personally Barrie and I thought it was a bit underhand and he should have been out braving the elements!!!

Tuesday dawned and a much better day made a trip up the Pentlands possible though some of the descents were verging on the scary they were so greasy.

This was as much snow as we could find on Tuesday, it's been really mild most of the time.

Friday and Clive, Barrie and I are out to wrap up the yearly targets, we didn't actually bike through this quagmire though it gives an indication of the ground conditions in places.

Made it! Managed to reach the 6500 mile off road (mostly) all done on a mountain bike target I aimed for with a day to spare and Clive reached his target several miles later, though he wont thank me for pointing out that most of his miles were done on a poncey road bike!!!

A new Schwalbe Hans Damph 2.35 was fitted to the front of my steed today, I'm assured by those in the know that my front end grip will be phenomenal now...time will tell!

To anybody who reads this nonsensical witterings of a deranged Scotsman......
Happy New Year, have a good 2017

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Two "weather bombs" in a week!

Monday, and it's the calm before Storm Barbara, due to hit Scotland midweek and Barrie and Clive joined Kathy and me for our weekly Monday Pentlands bike jaunt. 

A welcome stop for a bit of Clive's wife's home made fudge, jeez it's tasty! 

Wednesday and Mark and me went out in the afternoon before the storm that was due later on, we just made it back before the rain lashed down. Storm Barbara had arrived and there would be no biking Thursday or Friday, how was I going to contend with this, two days running and no biking, unheard of this year!

Saturday, its Christmas Day and Storm Connor has hit us but undeterred we make it to the top of Allermuir for the annual meet up with the Carnethy Hill Runners. In the photo Clive and Barrie haven't fallen drunkenly to the ground, the wind was so strong it was the only way they could post their photos on Facebook!

Kathy and Graeme who ran rather than biked (probably wisely) to the top of Allermuir so that they could be subjected to the fury of a hurricane force wind.

Barrie, Clive and me toasting each others health in a relatively sheltered spot while the guy who took the photo nearly got blown down the hill and into the streets of Edinburgh below!

Barrie and me did a bit extra mileage, mainly to make Clive jealous, as he had to hurry home to avoid the wrath of his in-laws who'd come for their Christmas dinner!

And finally, Kathy took this photo of me and Barrie, hanging on to each other for dear life in the teeth of a howling gale, a great picture!

A struggle to do much this week with the weather but a brutal 32 miler today has brought the mileage needed for 6500 miles down to only 60 and the weathers due to ease up on Tuesday so it's  still on before the end of the year! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Barrie's comeback year!

Barrie takes his bow (well wave) today as he reached 3000 miles for the year after recovering from a double achilles rupture last year when he spent almost 6 months out of the saddle. Remarkably probably the half of these miles have been single speed which he credits his return to fitness with.
A timely reminder to give the sheep in the Pentland Hills the privacy they deserve as they get all romantic at this time of year!!!

It's hawthorn hedge cutting time again and thank goodness we've gone tubeless as the cutters spray razor sharp thorns everywhere!

I parked the bike beside this sign which warns that you could be in danger as this is or was a Military Firing Range, by the look of the sign someone's been taking potshots (successfully) at it.

And finally the sun shone for a minute or two on Monday when Kathy and I did the infamous winter loop which gets muddier every time you go down it.

The 65000 mile target for the year is beginning to look achievable if the weather holds, only about 140 miles to go, fingers crossed!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

After 11 months and 9 days I've reached 10,000 kilometres off road this year

The moment the target was reached, the pressures off to get there before the end of December and I even summoned up the strength to do a one handed bike lift (show off)

Kathy, who was there to witness the target being achieved without whose help I might not have made it, certainly without as many laughs along the way!
I should also include Baz, Clive, Dougie, Mark and Marc who've witnessed my many crashes, cuts and bruises, we've sweated and shivered our way through a Scottish Spring, Summer and now into Winter, sometimes getting completely confused as to which season it was such is Scottish weather.That's definitely the last target for this year.......well maybe I could try for 6500 miles..... 

And finally......why cant Mankind behave like the so called dumb animals in this world and get along with each other like these two swans and their best buddy a goose, I see them together every time I bike down the side of Glencorse Reservoir, mind you I've never seen a fox and a rabbit chatting away like the best of friends.....

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Plenty of mishaps this week but only one from me

My mishap, a technical dismount (or in other words I fell off) and banged my knee on a kerb and worse than that, tore my lycra tights!!

However the skills I learnt in primary school served me well and I soon had them darned (sort of)

Kathy was with me when I reached my years target of 6000 off road miles before the end of the year, this has now been increased to 10,000 kilometres, silly fool!

Wednesday nights ride and this was about as good as it got

Friday and Kathy's doing the steps at the bottom of the shelter belt like a pro now!

And the bottom of Maidens Cleugh at speed as well now!

Sunday morning, today, and it was -6.2C at this point, it just got colder and colder this morning as we went round the winter loop.

The sun eventually rose above the horizon and the temperature soared to -4C

Clives latest acquisition to his tool chest, a miniature vice and a Black and Decker work bench, he'll be building ocean going liners with that equipment!!!

An eventful week for mishaps for Clive, Baz and me. Clive scored highest with numerous punctures, forks failing to hold pressure and rear mech cables snapping mid ride. Baz discovered his unbreakable dropper post could in fact fail to function, also mid ride, however with the usual mixture of foul language and a bit of bodging we got it fixed when we got back to base. My mishap was the aforementioned knee which is still tender but not causing any problems. All in all an interesting week with the target reached and a new one set.