Saturday, 25 May 2019

At last we're successful in our search for the alternative route to Gypsy Glen

At last we reach the summit of the elusive Dunrig by bike, much easier for me on the ebike than it was for Barrie on the acoustic. It's amazing the amount of boggy terrain on the top of some of these border hills with parts of them almost like moonscape, the weather must be really fierce up here at time in the winter.

This huge bank of solar panels must provide power to a large house lower down, there also appeared to be water powered turbine in the stream that flowed down to the valley as well.

The long climb up to the mast from the valley below. almost 2 miles by the time we reached it


A selfie was called for at the trig point at the summit, it might be some time before we do this ride again but conditions today were well nigh perfect.

So we eventually found a track to link the Southern Upland Way to Gypsy Glen, whether it's the official track or one we've cobbled together using a mixture of forest fire road and sheep tracks we'll never know but at least its got the monkey off our back!!

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Ebikes aren't made for pushing up through deep heather (and they're too heavy to carry)

Off again up the Southern Upland Way to try and find the elusive track to link up to Gypsy Glen, the weather was not so pleasant this week ranging from occasional mist to occasional light drizzly rain with the temperature in the low 40s F.

We reached the steep climb we went up last week and Barrie confidently pointed out the track to the right he said was actually the correct one, so off we went up it.

We must have cycled nearly two miles up the track till it stopped and the walkers path which Barrie said we would have to push up to reach the top of Dun Rig (a hill) was nowhere to be seen! We did attempt to hike the bikes to look for it but deep heather and very steep terrain are not handy with an ordinary mountain bike never mind an ebike weighing twice as much! We abandoned the attempt and cycled back down cursing how much effort we'd wasted and set sail for the mast which we reached last week, but this time by a slightly easier route!

This photo was taken last week, hence the blue sky, showing the climb to the mast. From here we took a track down into the valley below and must have fried our brake pads again as it was bloody steep and rough, but at least we eventually saw signs for Peebles so at least we knew we were heading in the right direction.

About 4 miles from Peebles a woman in a car stopped us and warned that there was a parade of 40 or so horses we'd meet in the next few minutes, as it was we encountered 5 wee ponies! What happened to the rest of them? They're maybe looking for the same elusive track that we were!!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Getting kinda lost in the Scottish Border Hills with an e-bike (and an acoustic as well!)

A 6.30am start from Peebles to try and find the alternative route via The Southern Upland Way over the Border Hills and link up with the Old Drove Road to Gypsy Glen and Peebles again


All went well to begin with and we found the Southern Upland Way just after we'd passed Traquair, all was looking good (so far)

Barrie found the going tough on his non e-bike

The climbing seemed to be never ending, I was ok on the e-bike and had quite a few stops to admire the view and photograph Barrie suffering!

This was where it all went wrong as we went up this climb which is a lot steeper than it looks in the photo when we should have gone round the track at bottom right hand side and up a forest fire road

Anyway the views were tremendous and I managed most of it on the e-bike although it was in a high assist mode and I was eating up battery power quite quickly

We thought when we reached this telecommunication tower we'd see where  we were....unfortunately we found we hadn't a clue and every hill looked more or less the same, it's easy to see how you could become lost if it became foggy


After biking and pushing through semi boggy heathery terrain we at last caught sight of a track in the valley below that was bound to lead back to Peebles and began to make our way down to it by way of sheep tracks, the last 500 feet or so was as steep as I've gone down and the brake discs could have fried an egg by the time we reached the bottom!

The track crossed a small river about six times, and the river bed was covered in loose boulders making things tricky at times

Here's Barrie going....


and gone!
Though he managed somehow to avoid falling into the water, escaping with one wet foot!

We got back to the car at Peebles after 4.5 hours never having managed to find the link to Gypsy Glen but had an epic trip in fabulous weather (for a change) and thinking, weather permitting of having another go maybe next week but only after consulting the map a bit more closely!

Monday, 6 May 2019

When you discover just how much fun it is being on an e-bike, football comes first and a snow adventure in May

Last Monday I went out on the Giant Anthem (unassisted) just to remind my self how things used to be......I no longer wish to be reminded after 16 miles I was glad to chain it up again for maybe a couple of months, I'm definitely an e-bike convert now!

Next night it was back out on the e-bike again and a ride with the assist mode turned up to turbo occasionally just for the hell of it.

Roger came out on Wednesday night but seemed more interested in getting home early to watch a football match on TV, we cut the ride short trying out a new track but it was so rubbish I for one wont be riding it again.

With Dougie on Friday as he road tested his tyres with the fresh sealant in them in readiness for a race he was going to be doing at the weekend, unfortunately he got his days mixed up and the race went ahead on Saturday without him as he thought it was on Sunday.....doooohhh!!

Saturday and Barrie and I set off from Peebles at 6am with the temperature sitting at -4C for a loop ride along to Innerleithen up to the mast at Glentress before eventually finishing back at Peebles again.

We came across snow on the long climb up from the Leithen Water but the views were well worth the effort

Halfway up the 2.5 mile climb and time to admire the view back down the valley

Eventually reached the mast at the top of the Black route at Glentress and had to pose for the compulsory photo

Rather like this photo taken on the descent back down from the mast, the jacket and thick gloves stayed on for all the ride on Saturday!

After 4 hours we were back where we started with an average temperature around freezing point but a great ride with great ground conditions, more of the same wouldn't go wrong!