Thursday, 16 November 2017

Into winter; Bright days and dark commutes...

 High pressure weather pre sunrise commuting view east to North Berwick...


Winter... folk moan about it-dark nights etc, working out doors i love it!, fantastic sunrises and sunsets in high pressure weather like today...



 Once the sun is up the Beech trees come to life in a glow of fiery red...



Bringing a bit more magic to the woods :)...




End of grass cutting season as Autumn gives way to winter, and other jobs now to do...


Winter bikes;
Err built for winter!, and now the salt is out on the roads i`m commuting on the 1920`s style Pashley Speed 5 Path racer which is ideal for the job with it`s drum brakes allowing a complete coating of GT85...



And the big reveal!, built for under £300 and could have been cheaper if i had waited for more used parts to turn up, an alloy frame Charge Cooker Maxi 1 (17mm offset frame, same as the Surly Pugsley) frames only are being sold off at Transition UK for £80 posted - check them out on eBay, available in size Large and XL...


I already had a steel Charge Fatbike fork i bought used, along with a square taper 100mm VP bottom bracket, and complete wheel set, i added used parts and new 1 x 10 Sunrace/ZEE drive train along with new Avid BB7 brakes....

The Charge was built up as i have been looking for a cheap used frame to build a winter beach bike to replace my original 10 year old Pugsley which i want to strip and rebuild to how i got it originally and semi retire it from the harsh riding conditions of the coast.
My Surly Wednesday (below) is also my hardtail MTB with + wheels and suspension fork and dropper post so i want to also reduce the wet sand riding it does, so the Charge will be ideal for coastal cycling in the winter months...

More on the Charge soon...

With 2 years fire wood cut and drying and more to add all the time i`m all sorted for winter inside and out side...



More soon...

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Tweedsmuir Hills cycle...



A great days cycling around the Hills of Peebles, organised by Stuart, I gave Craig a lift down and we met up in the town along with Brian, Jason and Mark for what would be a cool but superb day up on the hills in winter sunshine the Larch and Beech trees golden brown in the low sun...



The ride started with a tough climb out the town onto Venlaw, this ride Stuart had planned a ride of approx 25 miles of proper old school cross country with 3000 feet of big climbs, superb views and fun descents with two options to finish back in Peebles depending on time of day, energy of the group and any breakdowns etc, always good to have a shorter option to end a big ride esp in winter...



First of the big sky views, looking NW across to the old Roman road  that leads to Romano Bridge and on to West Linton, the route followed on the Capital Trail as it returns to The Pentland Hills and home to Edinburgh...


South to the hills around Hundleshope  Heights and The Drove road west of Cardrona Forest...


Up past the old house at Shieldgreen, that would make a great Bothy, and into Glentress Forest...





We joined the black route and climbed up the old original black route climb now a shared path and rejoined the route up to the mast where a large group of riders had stopped for a breather, there was friend Donald out with the group and after a chat they continued on the Black route while we descended on forest tracks to leave the forest where we were met with superb views across to Leithen Hopes...


The grassy track descent down to the Whitehope Farm is superb and fast, my bike was flying with the 29+ wheels down here and the wide bars and forks  made the bike planted on the soft ruts in the grass, `this is what I bought this bike for` I said to myself as I descended off the brakes and grinning like a dafty while also trying to soak up the views...




Regrouped we took to the main road then rode down to Innerliethen and south of the town rode through Glen House estate and more climbing/ hike a bike up by Ochard Rig...


With 20 miles now ridden with a lot of climbing Stuart/we decided to take the shorter option and skip crossing to meet the Gypsy Glen Drove road and instead descended down through Cardrona Forest...

Winter has certainly arrived!, the temperature had plummeted with a real damp cold as we returned along the old railway path to Peebles and grabbing some hot food returned to the cars and enjoyed having the back of the van to sit it and east and reflect of a great days cycling, proper mountinbiking,


Here is some film from the route,
Song is `Cello Song` by Nick Drake...


Tweedsmuir Hills  XC cycle Nov 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

More soon...

Friday, 10 November 2017

Return to the Lighthouse...


Weeks holiday;
Friday and a weeks holiday nearly up,
I always enjoy my early winter weeks holiday and enjoy spending it at home with days out and about along with doing stuff at home, and evenings in front of the stove listening to music and enjoying a couple of Ciders...

Winter;
Winter you get people moaning about the dark nights and cold etc..
Well you see this week with the high pressure and clear blue skies just how lovely it can be in winter, and with days out in such a stunning place here on the east coast, you look forward to the early sunsets and temperatures dropping as you get the stove on and enjoy being snug and warm at home...

That`s the beauty of living in Scotland, the seasons and their changes and how every season i look forward to for it`s own special thing...

Me;
It`s funny when you become single again, i always find myself go to my default setting;
To go doing what i do week in week out season to season...
Like this week on holiday going cycling in the mornings, getting firewood and prepping it for the following months ahead, then around the man cave and garden in the afternoons before getting the stove on in the evenings...

A friend said a funny thing the other evening when i posted some pics on line and i commented; `another day out keeping the dream alive`..
What he commented has made me realise something...
`Your having far too much fun this now, Don`t ruin your life pal, you got it so good,  but if you do... make sure she is worth it...

And i now understand this week what he wrote, try to not make some things happen, don`t be lonely being single-make the most of it!, and keep enjoying your own life doing what makes you happy,  and wait things will come good...


Friday;
Today i drove down to Whitesands - i really enjoying having the van now and the easy option of quickly sticking the bike in the back and going somewhere for a couple of hours,
The sun had been up an hour or so as i rode east to the Light House at Barnes Ness...



The Geology here is world famous, but sadly the old Geology Trail and it`s signs have all but gone and ELDC are missing a trick on not re signing and showing people the history here,
Like this rock formation once a forest, the trees long gone and soil fossilised...


Soon the lighthouse came into view..




Barnes Ness and it`s Lighthouse has fond childhood memories for myself, having spent may days here with my Father when  he was The County Ranger, back then the car parks had wardens, BBQ sites, litter bins and drinking fountains and a geology trail with information signs about the rock formations here...
ELDC may have lost the plot on displaying what there is to offer to visitor`s to our coast but what`s important is still there to be seen is there to see by the visitor...


The Lighthouse was built by the Stevenson family between 1899 and 1901, it still stands as proud today despite the harsh east coast weather, and being straffed by a German Bomber from Norway in WW2. It was electrified in 1966, and fully automated in 1986., and then deactivated in 2005 and now owned by La Farge Cement who operate the nearby works...



Riding east along the coast and a play on the flat rocks exposed here at low tide...




Some filming done on the rocks and up above the shore line and return to the lighthouse on the grassy paths...



The remains of what looks like a ship wreck nearby is believed to be the remains of a firing range target towed at sea for live fire practise by young training crews flying Coastal Command aircraft during WW2...




Always impressed by the lighthouse every time i visit...


Back home and all this to chop and store that i have collected this week... a few months heating through the dark evenings....




A wee film at Barnes Ness,
Song is ` KOMPROMAT`  by The Barr Brothers...


Return to the Lighthouse; Beachride at Barnes Ness Nov 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.



More soon...