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Cycling in the Pentlands

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  1. Roibeard
    Member

    Cycling in the Pentland Hills official page

    I took my middle child for a run round the Pentlands on Friday (yes, the day with the sleet)...

    We set off clockwise from Flotterstone, Glencorse Reservoir, Loganlea Reservoir, Harlaw Reservoir, then directly back to Glencorse via Maiden's Cleugh. The direction was chosen to reduce the gradient, leaving the steepest section for the downhill stretch.

    This route is marked in green on the official map ("surfaced paths or tracks suitable for careful cycling"), and is indeed a tarmac road to Loganlea Reservoir. The track to Bavelaw was also not bad, bearing in mind that we were both on commuter bikes rather than mountain bikes, and from there to Harlaw is again a mix of tarmac and good paths.

    However, the climb back up from Harlaw involved quite large steps, and the short descent to Glencorse was dreadful! We made it, walking a couple of sections, which had drops of 6" or more, but the rest was scree rather than surfaced track.

    Perhaps most here knew this already, but I thought it worth having here in case anyone else ends up committed to more than they expected...

    I'd do it again, but would return home from Harlaw via Balerno and the Water of Leith - it would make little difference to the day's mileage (~27) for us, but not really an option if you've left your car at Flotterstone!

    Robert

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. Uberuce
    Member

    Muttergrumble. This is why I used to love weightlifting; you just don't get kids better at it than you. I've never done a 27-miler.

    I found out yesterday that what the Ordnance Survey map of 1991 called a single track road can get a touch overgrown by 2011. I had to admit defeat and use the two foot gear a couple of times

    I'm planning an investigatory jaunt to Glencorse tomorrow, with a view to astronomy nights. I'd prefer to take the Anchorweight* rather than Wintersaurus since I've not been on her for a while. Are the roads out there smooth enough for skinny tyres?

    *It's not that heavy really, but it is a steel frame from 1988, as mentioned in the Performance YouTube winwinwinvideo.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. Roibeard
    Member

    Are the roads out there smooth enough for skinny tyres?

    Yes, the run up from Flotterstone to Glencorse is a proper road - it provides access to the farms and reservoirs. However the A702 probably isn't much fun unless you're prepared to cycle quickly.

    Robert

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. gembo
    Member

    You can go to Glencorse on skinny tyres without any issue. I have seen people on skinny tyres on the rest of Roibeard's route. They have been winning a triathlon [or winning a triathlon in their heads] etc. Getting off and pushing is also fine by me [from the end of the Glencorse tarmac via the picnic waterfall you can push a skinny tyred bike for 1.5 miles 'til you reach beech avenue which is tarmac again).. I have been in the Pentlands and walked much more quickly than dudes on bikes. The route Roibeard suggests back down WoL is indeed more pleasant. You can then link to the Innocent and the Esk then the Dalkeith/Roslin paths and a short schlep on tarmac from P'cuik back to Flotterstone. There is a very fine sweety shop in P'cuik which my friend Joe, who is a shandy drinking southerner, thought couldn't possibly be open given the grilles. shutters etc. All good (but muddy even in summer at Roslin, bit muddy just now on WoL).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. Claggy Cog
    Member

    The WoL path is a mud bath just before the Colinton tunnel going up, and after coming back down, and is rather good fun if you like fishtailing and slipping and sliding or even becoming totally bogged down, or at least it was about a month ago and I don't suppose it has improved much unless the cooncil have been out and put some serious amounts of sand/aggregate mix down to absorb the slop...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. druidh
    Member

    I regularly take my "skinny tyred" bike round the Pentlands and I lots of others doing it too. It's a bit sloppy at the moment though. Much better to wait until the ground has frozen over.


    IMAG0269 by druidh_dubh, on Flickr

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. Uberuce
    Member

    I've only been in your emporium twice, and am curious as to who posts as druidh and who as thebikechain. Both times there was a chap with a beard and close-cropped head, and a chap with hair and not beard. At both times I had beard and hair.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. gembo
    Member

    Liz - the WoL mud bath you refer to was caused by a poor choice of material to resurface the path with. It did not say it was clay on the packet but after they put it down and it looked lovely and then it rained it turned to clay.

    Curious Uberuce - the bike chain has a variety of facial hair on offer but I have never seen druidh with a beard. I have a number of false moustaches left over from Christmas if he wants to try out any. I found the curly one normally associated with victorian strong man in red and white stripey costume '[now sold as Triathlon Suit] d in the mountain of cardboard in the garage yesterday when I was cleaning my bikes..

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. thebikechain
    Member

    Bruce - TBC on here is me (Mark, facial hair dependent on what i can get away with vs the wifes mood.

    Druidh is Colin and left during early 2011 and basically sits around all day drinking and scratching his belly button.

    Brad is the mechanic, always clean shaven and short hair.
    Craig is the web guy and he is variable like me.

    You could have had any combination of the above!

    Say hello next time,

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. Uberuce
    Member

    I'll be popping in tomorrow before a aeroporcine magnet transaction, so hello I shall say.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. thebikechain
    Member

    I look forward to it,

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. druidh
    Member

    Ah - yes, I'm the rather young-looking chap. As Mark says, I no longer work in Edinburghs Finest Bicycle Goods emporium though....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. thebikechain
    Member

    I have had an epiphany the past few days. We are going balls out to maintain our title of FBCE with some re-direction and focus.

    You want niche...? WE ARE THE NICHE!!!! rar!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. rust
    Member

    So this is not totally relevant, but I thought it might interest some people: I got a view photos used in issue 7 of Privateer to illustrate an article on their Privateer of the Year piece.

    They were shot while do some trail repairs in the Pentlands with some folk from STW and the rangers.

    http://www.privateer.cc/2012/01/privateer-of-year-2011.html

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/pentlands-trail-repair-dates/page/4?replies=151#post-3337618

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. AKen
    Member

    "Liz - the WoL mud bath you refer to was caused by a poor choice of material to resurface the path with. It did not say it was clay on the packet but after they put it down and it looked lovely and then it rained it turned to clay."

    I hadn't been along the WoL path for a long time but, until I moved offices, it used to be my regular route home. Last week, on one of the really windy days, I decided to go this way as it's very sheltered. Now, I know that it always got a wee bit muddy if wet but i was amazed at how bad the surface leading uphill to the tunnel at Colinton was. This section used to be one of the better bits. Anyone coming the other direction and picking up speed downhill through the tunnel would get a nasty fright as they hit the special anti-cycling mud on the other side.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. AKen
    Member

    We set off clockwise from Flotterstone, Glencorse Reservoir, Loganlea Reservoir, Harlaw Reservoir, then directly back to Glencorse via Maiden's Cleugh. The direction was chosen to reduce the gradient, leaving the steepest section for the downhill stretch.

    I prefer to do this in the opposite direction. Starting from Harlaw, I go along to Threipmuir, up to Bavelaw, down to Loganlea then Glencorse and back via the Maiden's Cleugh. This way, you get a good run down from Loganlea and the fact that the surface going back up to the Maiden's Cleugh is bad isn't a disadvantage as I'll be going slowly anyway because of the steep climb. Coming down the other side to Harlaw is fun as the surface is very good (apart from the few steps.)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Uberuce
    Member

    @Bike Chain chaps

    I'm not sure whether it counts as irony or serendipity, but I ended up using the Trixie on North Charlotte Street, where overly enthusiastic mashing yanked the back wheel round enough to cause chain slippage.

    Serendipitous, since without it I'd have had to push the bike until I found a place to loan me a spanner, and ironic since the only reason I was going up said hill was because I'd been to your fine emporium.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. thebikechain
    Member

    That is indeed odd!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. Uberuce
    Member

    You want niche...? WE ARE THE NICHE!!!! rar!

    You're certainly the only bike shop I've been in where quantum mechanics was so heavily featured in the conversation.

    I approve.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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