Saturday, 30 December 2017

Fun on the ice and snow at Glentress and up in the Pentland Hills

It started with a visit to Glentress on Wednesday with Roger and Clive 

Clive and I had ice spikers on our bikes, Roger didn't but managed nearly all the red route without too many dabs
Quite a bit of snow the higher we went up, there's something very satisfying cycling through deep white snow

Thursday and I did a solo ride up in the Pentlands which boasted a fairish bit of snow and ice as well

Luckily there had been walkers before I came along or the tracks would have been not only invisible but also unrideable
Out again today with Barrie and even though a thaw was underway the ice still needed the spiker tyres to climb and descend safely

Barrie descending Maidens Cleugh, a track that was more or less a mile long sheet of ice

There's no way you could keep upright on this ice with ordinary tyres

This guy coming down gingerly on a CX bike couldn't understand how we were managing to peddle up the way

Another astonished biker

The river crossing, about the only bit without ice today

An old guy we passed as we went up by Glencorse Reservoir who was discovering just how hard it is to run on sheet ice.

A great week of biking on ice and snow with the ice spiker tyres and seeing the look of amazement on fellow bikers and hill walkers faces as you cycle past them uphill and blast past downhill as they expect you to come to grief big time. Unfortunately a thaw has arrived so the icy ground will have turned to mud in a couple of days again, that's the problem with Central Scotland, the snow and ice never lasts long enough!

Monday, 25 December 2017

A wet and cold Christmas Day ride up Allermuir

We'd only reached halfway up Castlelaw Cottage Climb when Clive's chain managed to jump of the cassette and attempt to destroy his spokes, but, undeterred we freed it with the usual combination of foul language and a little brute force.

We reached the gate and the weather was, to say the least, bleak but nothing could stop us now. 

At the bottom of Allermuir we met Kathy and Graeme along with Heidi the Vizsla who's going to be the size of a horse soon if she doesn't stop growing, she would be as good as an e-bike though if she could be trained to pull a bike up a hill!

The final push up to the top of Allermuir and Clive wasn't enjoying this bit!

Quite a crowd at the summit for such a wet miserable day.

Clive and I had no intention of hanging around in the wet for long and decided a quick snifter of alcohol would help us on the descent back home!

The trip home was more or less all downhill with a tail wind so we were back before long which was just as well because the rain was through my jacket and my hands were like ice.

The now annual trip to the summit of Allermuir Hill to meet up with a local hill running club and celebrate Christmas Day a bit differently from everybody else went ahead as usual regardless of the cold wet weather, are we a hardy bunch or just nuts?
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

A bit of fun on Threipmuir Reservoir when it was frozen today

Barrie gets brave on the ice

Quickly followed by Clive

Then the two of them as they recreate (some hope) Torvill and Deans, Bolero, only this time on bikes

After the impromptu celebration it was time to head for home (before somebody fell through the ice!)

And what a finale, a dual water crossing for another first!

Nearly a unanimous vote of confidence but Darcy noticed a fault somewhere!!

Two days of fun in the Pentland Hills that were only possible thanks to the Swalbe Ice Spiker Tyres, the ice on the tracks and the reservoir would have been totally un-rideable without them! 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Glentress on a frosty December Monday

Parked up at the side of the River Tweed in Peebles and all set to go!

The temperature dropped by 4 degrees C as we cycled along to Glentress

Under the flyover

Barrie said his seatpost needed adjusting, or was it a crafty rest?

Definitely a short rest here before the hardest climb of the trip, but the view's worth stopping for anyway (my excuse this time)

They say a photo never lies but it certainly does here, this climb is brutal and there's more to come as soon as its been done!

Just when you're expecting a slightly easier bit what do you hit but ice, so in the interests of safety it was better to push!

Yip this photo was posed it didn't just happen, still it was good to have a short rest before the final climb to the mast.

The final climb to the top of the Black route and the frost looks like snow

Somehow I managed to get seperated from Barrie and Dougie on a descent but still managed to reach the top of Spooky Wood before them!

A  challenge to see who looked the most in control on the first jump, Dougie went first!

Followed by Barrie who's convinced he landed further along the track, hotly denied by Dougie of course!

At last after a great descent via Janets Brae enduro track we ended up back at Peebles.

A great trip down to Glentress today where the tracks apart from the very rare icy patch were in first class condition, no mud at all and bone dry rooty sections, it even waited until we'd finished before it started snowing!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Just when it looked like the ice spikers would be going on too.....

Ice forming nicely up near the top of Bavelaw

Maidens Cleugh looking really good for the spikers next week!

The bottom of Maidens is one gigantic sheet of ice!
Today all that's left are a few pathetic patches...

It was looking good on Friday after a few days heavy frost that the ice spikers would be getting fitted to one of the bikes but as usual the best laid schemes etc. went bye the bye, a thaw overnight and we're back to greasy mud again and the thrill of careering down a sheet of solid ice on the spikers knowing (hopefully) that you were in complete control was gone for a week or two at least. Not only has the ice gone but the brick hard ground has returned to soft goo again making climbing harder once more! No frost forecast for this week but here's hoping...