Monday, 11 December 2017

Frozen Zone -Minus Zero ride around the local hills...



Sunday and another ace winters day!
Days like this i remember why 10 years ago i turned my back on mainstream mountain biking and what the magazines were pushing what you should be riding-mostly man made trails in conifer forests and why i gave up driving a 2 hour round trip a couple of times a week to what was then `the place` to ride mountain bikes through forest trails that while fun never really changed through the seasons as did the Deciduous scenery...

Then the Pugsley thing happened and opened up what is local to ride and enjoy on my door step, first on the coast with 4" and later 5" wide wheels sets, then later with 3" plus wheel sets on trails away from the coast, and i never looked back...

My bikes are built for cycling here in `The Shire` (Haddingtonshire is the old name of East Lothian) as i refer to it often :)
And today was perfect conditions for this 24 mile loop from home that only has 2 1/4 mile road sections riding out and back home,
It is a micro 3 Peaks loop taking in the hills of `Barney Hill`, `Sled Hill` then ` Byre Hill` on the Garleton Hills,  the 3 linked by the historic old Ridgeroad - once the main road to Edinburgh and travelled by English Redcoats on route to the Battle of Prestonpans amongst other recorded times in history, and other old `green roads` marked on older pre 1960`s maps as thoroughfares, and livestock created grassy single track,

Ace when you can ride locally inland off road in winter when frozen solid and for today the Surly Wednesday with Bluto suspension fork and dropper post was ideal for this loop with it`s great handing on descents and single track...


Leaving home it was through Gilmerton woods then up to Athelstaneford


With the temperature never going above freezing i was wrapped up warm and toasty with Shimano MT91 boots and mid thickness Bridgedale socks,
Keels Scuffer cycling trousers,
long sleeve Merino Alpkit top and Howies Merino T shirt with Alpkit wind breaker,
Ron Hill  running skull cap and thin thermal gloves used as liner gloves under regular 1 size larger XXL regular riding gloves kept me comfortable all day...


Then the climb up the old Ridge road on the Garleton Hills, stopping at `The Vaults`, an old Fortified House that once would have offered shelter to travellers on this old road and food and water for horses...











Onwards and the climb up to Barney Hill, stunning winter light in the high pressure weather with low winter sun and frosted ground...



From here i descended on some livestock created single track through the grass and down a real steep descent,
Here is some film of that descent...


Garleton Hills  Cycle; Film 2  Dec17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


From here is a short hike-a-bike up to cross the road and ride up past the old disused quarry and climb up around the crags and a bit more pushing to the Trig point on Sled Hill to enjoys great views north to the coast and west to the next hill with Hopetoun Monument...










The descent from here soon turns to another hike-a-bike after a fence crossing and soon i was up on 
Byre Hill and at the foot of the Monument...



Superb views again from here, i rode the south descent and filmed it, a nice descent,
Added some music;  `Communication Breakdown` by Led Zeppelin...


Garleton Hills Cycle; Film 3 Dec 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

From the car park and out onto the road and an old green road descends to Byres Farm where a right turn will take you east to Camptoun Holdings...








East again on an old track and down through Kilduff Wood where a track descends to bring you back to the cross roads of trails north of Athelstaneford village...


Time for the classic `bike on sign pic` before a short peddle home, home by 2pm and some daylight time left to do other stuff, with the below ) Celsius temps there was no mud on the bike, ideal when it lives in the living room!






Here is a round up film of the loop
Song is a favourite of mine; `Cello man` by Nick Drake...


Winter sun cycle; Garleton Hills; Dec 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.



More soon...



Saturday, 9 December 2017

Morning cycle at Tyninghame...


Last Sunday morning and after a ride through the woods (previous post) it was down to Peffersands and a ride along the coast to Tyninghame and the Tyne Estuary...



Here is a short helmet cam film dropping onto Peffersands...

Peffersands beach ride Dec 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

Beach was near empty of folk...


North from Willowbrae Point...


Out around Sandy Hurst point...


Cold on the face!...





Rounding the point i came across this seal pup, prob stranded ashore after the last high tide...


Looks cute and cuddly but this wee fella would have you hand of defending itself if you were to go to close...


Leaving the pup in peace i carried on and seen the first of 3 Little Egrots on the Salt marsh...




Mosques Point and superb views today in the low bright winter sun...


This high pressure weather will near freezing temperatures would continue for most of last week and shows winter on the  east coast at it`s best...


More soon..