Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn colours. Wind and rain included.

Klaus and myself had decided on Thursday night to ride up to fairlie, getting some road miles in (and the odd bit of trail along the way) instead of the usual car journey. The extra hour in bed this morning was welcome, and softened the blow of going out in the wind and rain whilst Maz and Maria were enjoying a leisurely Sunday breakfast.

The winds not always bad, and a prevailing southerly blew me all the way to Eglinton park where I met klaus. Lots of chat followed of klaus' next bike, my next bike, the strathpuffer and other less worthy things, such as work and home life, before we started to climb up and out of Dalry toward the moor.

I must admit, once we got up to the start of the big descent, I wasn't feeling the love. Cold, wet and windy, with the trails slithering around below your tyres means all thoughts of quick times and wheels off the ground were quickly replaced by thoughts of getting down off the hill and into the village inn for hot soup and a pint of the shires finest ale, schiehallion. We weren't disappointed, with a hot cream of asparagus to accompany the beer.

55k all in, so some good training for the forthcoming rides.



Friday, October 25, 2013

You wait ages for a post...

And then two come along at once.

I know I've not posted for ages, still been doing lots of biking, but not really anything different, just the usual local trails. I was back up at fairlie again last night with klaus, as Des was nursing a fatal case of manflu, and Robin is away doing his best Thelma and Louise in the states, I've been coughing up green stuff all week, so struggled a bit on the climbs, but otherwise a great, clear night. Good way to get gee'd up for a night shift.

We also hatched a wee plan for a longer ride than usual through the shire on Sunday, I'll need to remember the camera for that. We were supposed to be doing the Perth enduro this weekend, but the weather has been stinking, and the trails will be a mire, so I'll save the forty quid entrance fee for another day.

Lake District autumn weekend


So mild there's still ladybirds!

Robin, Des, klaus and myself joined 4 members of my bike club, GMBC, at Ambleside for a weekend which promised rocky trails, hike a bikes, pub food and the odd beer, and it didn't disappoint. Staying at the YHA down at the lakeside, we met up and had a bite to eat in Dodds, which was great as ever and then retired back to the hostel for a beer and a bit of trail planning. With plans hatched, we retired to bed (or some of us did! The beardy brothers decided to try and recreate their youth and stay out til mental o'clock!).

We had planned to tackle the three passes, garburn, gatesgarth and nan bield, starting at staveley, with Julie and Stuart driving down and riding with us for the day. This plan was doomed to failure after some folk decided to fanny about and take nearly an hour and a half to get ready. You know who you are....

Anyway, we headed up the long slog up garburn from dubbs reservoir into the autumn mist, sadly, as the view over to troutbeck is usually lovely. The unseasonably warm weather meant jackets never stayed on for long, as 13 degC and a waterproof mean a sweaty biker.

Anyway, we got to the top, with Des a bellyful lighter due to his late night hijinx! And got ready for a nice big long, loose rocky descent to kentmere.

Looser than it looks

Once at the bottom, whilst we were debating a change of route plan due to the lack of daylight, Graham, a mate of mine from the club, developed a bit of a headache which soon got worse. He and John bailed out to the car, feeling he couldn't go on. We knew it must be a bad one, as G doesn't give up on a ride easily.

So, we decided to miss out on the mega hike a bike up onto Harter fell, promising to return on another day when the-folk-that-don't-do-early-starts ain't about!. Instead, we headed to staveley fell head, and then up through troutbeck and the short but mega sweet delights of the Jenkins crag descent. Great day.

This great day was tempered by the news that Graham had been whipped off in an ambience to Lancaster hospital, and then again to Preston with a suspected serious head injury, which resulted in a week in hospital. Get well soon mate.

A quiet night followed, with the chuckle brothers not keen to repeat the previous nights heroics. We had again decided to change our route for the following day, as the weather was worsening and helvellyn, at over 3000ft, might not be the best place to be in zero visibility!. So, after a hearty hostel breakfast, we drove up to pooley bridge and headed off up onto askham moor, and a return to a descent we'd tackled a wee while back, down to ullswater and the cracking bridleway around the lake. This is an out and back route, and John decided it was a bit too techy and tough for him, instead opting to ride the A592 back to the cars. Sod that.

Das face stuffer!


Eilidh fixing her own punctures, take note Julie!


Ullswater bridleway

After an immaculately timed stop at the tea room at the south end of the lake, we headed back the way we'd came, and back to a plate of well earned hot food at the sun inn in pooley. Cracking weekend again, the lakes never fails to deliver. Just like Robins snoring....