CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Commuting

The "I had a lovely ride today, thankyou" thread

(1772 posts)

  1. fimm
    Member

    @HankChief very nice. Looks like a good hill too.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  2. gembo
    Member

    Stow coach road was possibly best ever this morning, sunny but cool, frost on grass but not on road. No traffic , wind from the east (though it was to turn later). Big hare in field just through the fence. Brazen fox on the road ahead. Many pheasant, dead and Alive. Then on the Gilston Glen road, a couple of quail, then a deer came up from the hanging valley, louped the fence, skipped on the ashphalt for a second or two on then jumped the next fence.

    We bowled down to Humbie Hub. The hub has nailed its colours to the mast. The Hub is against Brexit and prominent Brexiteers and has put up a number of placards to this effect.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  3. HankChief
    Member

    Took the opportunity at teatime to satisfy my itch to see what Gaick pass was like.

    It is bleak. And with a headwind, no heat in the sun and wet feet from the fords, it was bitterly cold.

    But I made it :-)

    Its landrover track for the most part but the section along the side of Loch an Duin is just a narrow path along the side of a steep mountain side. There was a bit of bike pushing where I got feart, but kudos to IWRATs for taking a bike plus trailer along it. (& writing about it so eloquently in his book - has he mentioned that he's written a book?).

    The return trip was a joy as the gentle hand of a tailwind pushed me forward over the technical bits and I made it home before dark.

    I will miss the isolation when I return to Edbra

    Posted 4 months ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

  5. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Nothing like as remote as the Gaik but came back from a round trip to England through the Lammermuirs on Sunday. The sky was black with rain clouds but they kept moving off to the north. Lots of noisy lambs. Cow parsley, Lesser stitchwort. Last trace of spring before the bealach was a drift of mountain pansies, yellow and purple. After that it could still have been mid-winter. Green grass shoots were the only evidence of spring. No adders this time, not even squashed ones. But a curlew and some peewits. Women walked with creels of herring on their backs to here from Dunbar - on their way to Lauder. In a day.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. gembo
    Member

    @cyclingmollie, you been at that Hidden Ways book too?

    Elephant at Clovingfords above Galashiels is my favourite

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    @gembo yes, that's the very book.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. Arellcat
    Moderator

    After a trip to Screwfix and Lidl and a chat with Alf C at lunchtime, I took the old railway path east from Penicuik. I'd only ever walked a couple of bits of it. It was sunny and quiet and warm and green and lovely.

    The Peacock butterflies and horse riders were all out on the path through to Auchendinny and Rosslyn Castle station. I came back through Roslin Glen and the switchback road northwards was just as tough as I remembered!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. sallyhinch
    Member

    Took a select bunch of participants at the KM Rally out for a pootle through the back roads of Dumfries and Galloway with a stop at Loch Arthur for lunch. It was almost obscenely lovely - sunny but not too hot, the may in full flower, cow parsley getting going, the leaves on the trees all fresh and green, practically no traffic and even the tractor drivers gave us room. No swifts, but we climbed Drumcoltran Tower and watched the house martins from above as they sallied around its walls. Perfect.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. Greenroofer
    Member

    @Arellcat - was this on the Elephant Bike, which would make that switchback challenging...

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. Arellcat
    Moderator

    No, I was on my sparkly purple recumbent, which is really the bike I like the most. It has just about enough gears for everything.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. bill
    Member

    Yesterday went to join IWRATS and Iain McR who kindly let me tag along with them for the first day of their Capital Trail trip. We started from Portobello where I enjoyed the view of a sunny beach and some crazy people swimming in the sea. Once we set off we followed a range of quiet roads and paths (glad IWARTS knew where to go, so Iain and I could just follow him!). The weather was great -- plenty of sunshine, light breeze. We arrived at Gifford for our lunch stop at around 11am and enjoyed our breakfast rolls followed by some cake/slice. First time in life I have had lemon and coconut slice -- yum!

    Soon after Gifford we left the tarmac/nice paths and headed for the hills. Each of us was trying to cycle as far as we could but then the legs were giving up and we were pushing the bikes. On the downhills the boys were doing a lot better than me but they always kindly waited for me to catch up! Later on we had to ford some burns. Seeing the boys just cycling though them I thought I would give it a go as well but sadly my technique is not quite there yet and end up stopping half way through and getting wet anyway.

    We arrived at Lauder at about 3.30pm and went for a snack. We enjoyed paninis/toasties and another lemon and coconut slice. From there I decided to head back home while the boys were heading over hills to Galashiels from their night.

    I decided to go over to Stow and stay close the train line in case I got tired. As soon as I started the climb over to Stow could feel my legs were already very tired. From Stow I planned to follow the cycling route parallel to A7 but I remembered the route from 4 years ago when in January I went to pick up a second-hand bike from from Galashiels. It was my first bike in Scotland and the train line was under construction so I had to cycle back home. I remember that the route kept going up and down. So yesterday as soon as that route started going up, I gave up and I went back onto A7. The traffic wasn't too bad and I really appreciated its flatness and smooth tarmac.

    I made it home at about 7.30pm totally knackered and walked round the block to get my Strava up to 125.0km. Mr Bill welcomed me with a huge glass of lemon lime & bitters which tasted amazing after such a sunny and warm day.

    It was a great day out! My longest ever ride in a single day. I saw my first ever red kite and I will be making some of that lemon and coconut slice today.

    Huge thanks to IWRATS and Iain McR! And good luck to them with the rest of the Capital trail.

    Iain pointing out our track (right hand side of the image):
    CapitalTrail_ThatWay by Bill Harriman, on Flickr

    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. gembo
    Member

    @bill, nice write up, lot of firsts several citrus related facts, glad a7 quiet, the coach road out of stow is lovely but as you say up and down. I guess everyone went that way before the A7 was built. Of course if that is wrong I imagine a correction will be issued promptly. Mr Bill's drink sounds good, I might put a gin in it? Or if teetotal a Seedlip alcohol free gin (the garden one, the others are gash). Though I am always tempted to put a gin in that too. I noticed in Scotmid that they are selling rhubarb tonic water. Tempted. Obviously I will put a gin in that,

    I was out west this morning on my lonesome. Spotted a young deer giving it's last breath, clipped by a car I guess, pointed it out to Balerno mum and child as they were about to encounter it. Interestingly gone 'Pon my return.

    Just after that, three chaps overtook me slowly so I sucked their wheels. Turned out I knew one of them. Down at the dog trust road they were going straight over to fauldhouse then fala hill et cetera. I was going left so would have been back fighting the wind alone except the clarion came by and I sucked their wheels until auchengray. Almost ended in disaster as I said I am turning right here and they said So Are We. So I turned right but err they didn't. Chap maybe unaware of the fresh Tarmac of the mud road and was turning right just after auchengray and crossing railway on level crossing, whereas mud road has a bridge.

    Anyway three of my amigos who I had been bigging up to The Clarion for cycling from Stranraer to John O' Groats this weekend also suddenly appeared. So I abandoned mud road and chased down my amigos. Turned out they had cycled Stranraer to Balerno yesterday and went out for another 100 miler today but not to JOG. One had a mechanical and they were killing time waiting for Pedal Power in West Calder to open. I tagged along. We then went to fauldhouse after the mechanical was fixed. They then went over fala hill whereas I went to headless cross and then Climpy, forth, Braehead and Carnwath, apple pie as per.

    So a curious morning all round.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. LaidBack
    Member

    @bill - nothing better than getting your own guides on that.

    Amazing how much energy you can use navigating (wrongly). Ask Mrs LB about the Kattegatteleden!

    Looks like a fine day out on part of the Capital Trail. Great effort with the reward of cake stop or two.
    The 'old coach road' running from Clovenfords past Stow to Heriot has high energy requirements in places. Outing there with @nonbrakes resulted in me opting out onto the A7 at Fountainhall!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  15. nobrakes
    Member

    Did the old coach road up to the granites yesterday afternoon after a really hard training ride on Saturday. Legs like jelly. On the 30 KG Quetzal tandem with the wife - averaged 8.9 mph to the granites! We took the A7 back to Stow from Heriot - 2 close passes and a hasty cut-in after overtaking on a corner. I have started riding 2/3 of the way out into the lane now. I much prefer the up and down of the coach road!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    So I went past the Bike Station on Thursday to get a bottle cage. Met a guy used to work there, now works for Sustrans. Sucked his teeth as I announced my intention to ride a version of the Capital Trail on the SUNLIT Uplander. You'll struggle on Gypsy Glen he opined. My soul turned to COR-TEN steel.

    A great pleasure to find Bill and Iain McR outside the Dalriada bright and shiny. Bill's on a drop-bar adventure bike and announces an intention to chum us as far as possible. We amble through East Lothian and there is a moment with the road quiet, the sun in my face and the wind behind when I can imagine being a road cyclist.

    Fed, we head through a farm and up a hill on a rocky path. McR and I spin up and Bill, with a double, advances by muscle and determination. We pretend to be nice by waiting at the bottom of descents but we are really just old and tired.

    The Lauder Hills are wrecked with grouse but there are charming cleuchs. A red kite ambles towards its inevitable appointment with a small lead ball. The bothy was locked. The Gala hills went on and on as did the road from Melrose to Gala. In Gala we stayed at a B&B where the Geordie host pronounced the words 'Australian yodeler' and I almost died. Brandy has no place in carbonara. The fry-up permeated.

    My pals joined us for the Three Bretheren. One on an electrical motorbike. Up up up. Lovely ridge. Down into Innerleithen, where the howling rear convinced me I was down to the backing on that brake. Front only, bit sketchy. Long wait for lunch, nipped in to shop for new pads, old ones fine just a stone. Climb to Kirkhope Law rain and sweat. Descent of Gypsy Glen oh my word. Tyres planted but hooked a pedal with everyone watching oh dear. There is a disco in the County Inn at 21h30 dinner or no dinner.

    Rain and wind so I wait and stroke cats the next morning. Decide to get going but not over the Meldons, not this time. In first gear on tarmac into lashing rain with heavy traffic road cycling is horrible.

    Grind up the Red Road to join the Water of Leith. Wind blows me to a halt. I pedal down the other side through mud and then glorious turf and braided paths. Scare a Polish couple smoking recreational cigarettes but we make friends. Last bit of wild riding I slam on the brakes and fishtail the bike for ten metres at the last gate just for fun. Crank on through the Meadows, alive with the clink of marathon medals. Innocent and the wind is behind and I travel for free. A confused dude takes my picture first time he's ever used a camera.

    I eat a packet of jelly babies on the way home into the wind. The muscles behind my kidneys are tired.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. steveo
    Member

    Good write up IWRATS and bill. Sounds like I missed a good day, but I'd have held you all back. It took me all my time to do 35km!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. steveo
    Member

    I spent most of the day procrastinating having suddenly been relieved of my parenting duties. Finally got off the sofa long enough to do the Loch Derculich ride I'd had planned a while back, last time I tried to walk there I was met by obstructions so I wasn't convinced this was a great idea.

    Got a chippy in Pitlochry and parked on the minor road just outside town. As an aside I had planned to do this by train but couldn't face a fight with Scotrail after I'd finally got the motivation to get moving.

    The first section up and out of the Tummel valley had a few steep sections which I'm not ashamed to say I pushed. Out of the wooded section it felt properly remote despite the fact I was on estate landrover track the whole evening. Glorious view north with the setting sun.
    IMG_20190524_210226-PANO by Steven, on Flickr

    My target of the evening.
    IMG_20190524_212751 by Steven, on Flickr

    Figured I must be about at the top, I was wrong, but after another ten minutes of pushing the descent into the Tay valley was fantastic, very rough landrover track but steep enough and technical enough to be fun.

    All was going well till I realised I'd passed the wooded section I'd planned on and it was behind a deer fence the whole time, getting bike over the stile on said (2.5m) deer fence was an experience. I didn't want to ride back up the hill so continued down to the first reasonably flat bit of ground with a view and dumped the bike. I'd only brought the wood gas stove with the intention of getting wood from the trees, which were now a few km away up hill. So no supper and no coffee in the morning.
    good view from the bivvy bag though.
    Loch Derculich trip by Steven, on Flickr

    Got a few hours sleep but it never really gets dark at this time of year, though could see a surprising number of stars in the clear night despite the twilight. Did I mention the clear sky, it was bloody freezing, 2 degrees in pitlochry a few hundred meters below. 0400 and lovely sunrise starts
    IMG_20190525_042522-PANO by Steven, on Flickr

    Still cold I decided to get moving a bit earlier than planned. Again a fun decent on landrover track all the way down to the road to Strathtay, where the only real bit of hike a bike started. The path from Strathtay to Pitlochry is pretty narrow and quite steep so I just pushed for about 3km before joining the forestry commission tracks back to Pitlochry, there is strong temptation to just fire down the fire road but the walking path provides a decent bit of single track.

    Once on the other side I (should have ( I missed it)) joined the a9 cycle path before turning down the minor road up the tummel valley and back to the car.

    Sorry for the long post, I really need a blog....

    https://www.strava.com/activities/2395181332
    https://www.strava.com/activities/2395181179

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. unhurt
    Member

    Steveo, this is why I tend to collect sticks as I go! (And ok, always have a backup fuel source...)

    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. steveo
    Member

    Once I was out of the woods in the tummel there were no sticks. Though starting to wonder if dry heather would work, next time I'm going to chuck in 50g of wood pellets just in case!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. unhurt
    Member

    Heather "frazzle" (the dead dry sticks) does make pretty good fuel.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    no supper and no coffee in the morning

    I would have had a tantrum. Did you take a drink at least?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  23. steveo
    Member

    I had my water filter... forgot to chuck my beer in before I left the car :(

    Posted 2 months ago #
  24. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    forgot to chuck my beer in

    I'd have called the Mountain Rescue.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. steveo
    Member

    One of these days I'm going to set up a drone delivery company covering the rural areas of the country people like to be and for fair grossly inflated prices have the option of air lifting supplies into the hills.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. unhurt
    Member

    Did we not have a conversation up Glen Feshie re: the potential for deliveroo pizza by mountain bike?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. Sheeptoucher
    Member

    Wow great stuff on the Capital Trail and some actual bikepacking :)

    Last nights ride was rainy and cold and I was expecting loads of wildlife to see, but it was all being sensible and staying in their burrows...

    Pizza delivered by mountain bike? If the pizza place was on the top of the mountain...

    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. paddyirish
    Member

    Two rides at the weekend, both ~75km with 1500m+ of ascent. The weather was minging and we wore our rain jackets for all but 0.5km. Both were spectacular and I can only imagine what they would be like in good weather.

    First was the circuit, Shieldaig-Bealach na Ba-Applecross- Coast to Shieldaig. This was fine until Applecross when we were very cold. A quick coffee and pint at the Applecross Inn wasn't enough, so we moved along to the Junction Cafe for a toastie and some Irn Bru. Then we had a decent run North with a tailwind, before many soul destroying steep drops and steep climbs on the return to Shieldaig. A couple of beers and a fantastic Seafood platter at the Tigh an Eilean Hotel led to a decent recovery.

    Next day started at Achmore and headed down past Eilean Donan on some very busy roads with some pretty close passes. It got better when we turned off onto the Bealach Ratagan which started gently but became very hard work. A glorious descent followed by a longer than expected drag into the wind to the Glenelg Ferry to Skye. Unfortunately we missed the last pre-lunch ferry and had to hang around for 45 mins. Luckily there was a wee lighthouse where we could shelter and we each had 2 coffees and a bag of shortbread at an honesty box cafe. Set us back £15 but it was worth it, staving off the cold. Saw an otter from the ferry which was a first for me. Then straight up Bealach Udal where a 20% gradient and a sudden violent headwind gust near the top brought me to a stop. After that it was a very pleasant descent and then return via the Skye Bridge and the coast to Achmore.

    A great weekend away.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. gembo
    Member

    @paddyirish, great routes.

    You both had two coffees and you both had a bag of shortbread? £15 seems very honest

    Posted 2 months ago #
  30. Snowy
    Member

    Capital Trail sounds great, and some amazing photos from @steveo's ride.

    Beer is an inefficient tipple for bikepacking. Cask whisky packs the best punch, although journey times may* increase.

    *always

    Posted 2 months ago #

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