First Mud

Wednesday night I had a delicious first ride on my Trek (note to self: I need a new bike name for my entry Strava).

First thoughts? Nice fat and wide tyres; ‘quickfire’ gear shifters; hydraulic brakes were responsive – but not as I expected, which was to halt instantly.

Was she lighter? Hard to tell, plus I am unfit. I was sweating like a pig, crawling up Barr’s Brae and wondering how I’ll ever cope with Inverslog. Still, on the flat the bike seems somewhat faster.

I made a better effort up Devol Road than I did last week, gripping well, headset very manoeuvrable and responsive.  It was a bit drier too.

Eventually, framed against the darkness, stood the newly-assembled turbine, turning stoically and slowly.

Coming back over the B788 I joined the Auchenfoyle Road and it was quite a nippy little wiggle to the electricity substation.

Down on past the reservoirs, and then a not too terrible toll along the cycle path.

(Another) new arrival

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Thank you, Evans Cycles in Braehead.

Now it just needs me to cover her in mud!

Three Cog Crawl

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Not since 14th of October had I been out – and it did feel like it.

I ventured out with only the lowest front cog and the three highest cogs on the rear cassette operational. I had more luck than I thought: such ratios are acceptable for uphill work, but for the flats and downhill? Useless.

Still, I was out. And that’s what mattered.

Plenty of mud and HGV tyre tracks on the climb and ‘levelling off’ on Devol Road.

‘Atop the Clyde’ appealed to me: the ’75′ path would be slow; I figured much of the foliage had withered. It had.

The ride down was quite exhilarating – not as spiritedly as the two dear which leapt across the sloping grass to my left – and I noted at least two little waterfalls.

The newly-fitted brakes coped exceptionally well with the drop prior to the levelling out running parallel to and above the cycle path.

The usual tangle at the bottom had receded and I slipped and skidded down to the gate leading onto ’75′.

Four layers and a balaclava were very much needed.

I missed these rides. Not long until the new wheels arrive and get a chance to cavort in the mud.

Arrival(s); departure(s)

My daughter, Penny was born at 5.45 pm on the 28th October 2014. And God Bless my Aunt Susan who died at 11 pm the following Friday…

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The Hardrock has been in Halfords for over two weeks now: I received a litany of repairs amounting to 159 GPB – and I only took it in for replacement brake cables!

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So, reader, today I ordered the Specialized Rockhopper 2014 Comp from Evans. Princely sum? 650 GBP.  I did save 200 GBP on RRP and my wonderful wife allowed me to ‘cash in’ 40 GBP of Club card points (which doubled). So 650-80.

‘Please Allow 10 Days’ did have may consider the non-Comp version in order that I continue training; I also considered shelving the purchase of the new bike, opting for quick repairs to a bike I have known and loved for over three years (amazing how you become attached, and have that ‘six sense’ with the bike). But it’s time for some hydraulic disc brakes, and a better spec of gears will be an investment.

I’m still planning on the 100K, but it’s looking awfully tight: 4 – 6 weeks of training. And I still need to reccy ‘Misty Law’ and the ‘Inverkip Loop’.

And so it begins…

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Check out my 23.0 km Ride on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/191284473

A glorious night, duck egg blue sky. Duck egg blue? My fingers, arms and even my legs have specks and smears from the emulsioning effort that began at 10.15 this morning and ended at 4pm today.

I headed out circa 5.15 and was very pleased to have reached Killochries by 5.56! But any time made was to be impeded by the wind that always meets one coming away from South Newton and heading up towards Gateside Farm.

‘The Pleasure Principal’, according to Facebook posting from Gary Numan, was released 35 years ago to the day so I decided to have an uninterrupted play of this fantastic album. ‘Engineers’, the final track, played out as I reached Pomillan – the furthest point out.

I have been neglecting my WordPress duties of late. And one of the main reasons has been my ‘toe-dipping’ of Facebook to organise a football match between my old ‘scheme’ and the other one across the back  (and as I type I cannot praise highly enough this Anker Wireless keyboard!) It may not transpire for a number of reasons…

I was also heavily committed to arranging the recent mini-book festival in Dunooon, ‘Creative Words in Cowal’.  It was successful, featuring  Alan Bisset, Debi Gliori, Scoular Anderson and Jonathan Meres. And for the adults we had Gordon Brown and Alex Gray attend the Burgh Hall ‘Evening of Crime’ event.  I am already pulling together a ‘to do’ list for next year’s event.

My wife is due in seven weeks’ time this coming Tuesday (I type with fingers still caked in paint and emulsion) and I am awaiting confirmation of a job interview, which I hope to secure because of the specialist nature and  professional development it would provide.

So, ‘Inverslog’. 

The remnants of a strained neck muscle continues to make its presence felt – and this was as a result of a flat cycle to an In-service event at work last week, oh the  indignity of it all.

I hadn’t been out since nor have I pampered my bike.  50 quid sits in the ‘JustGiving’ pot – and many thanks to the contributors – and I’ve done the prevarication that is construct a training plan Excel spreadsheet, etc., etc.

Tonight I headee out with a view to: recording distance, ‘suffer score’,max elevation, max/avg heart rate and weight.  I am aiming for the 10.10 – so a slide really required from current 11.5.

A 17-week training plan awaits.  One small step…

New Chapters

I’ve been avoiding the glass-strewn cycle path. And my heart goes out to those kind volunteers who endeavour to maintain the area.

Masters submitted, a number of job applications lodged and gestating, and pregnant wife at 30 weeks, I battled up Barrs Brae on what was quite a pleasant evening, freed to an extent for the first time in months (years). (Saturday was the Comet Festival and a family BBQ – life!)

No records were ever going to be broken, and I decided to have an extended play by avoiding Devol Road – and Wee Furries was quite enjoyable – and slipping past the two Harelaw reservoirs.

20K invested, bed was preceded by a glass of milk – but no cookies!

Tam o’ Shanter

I just could NOT be bothered with the wet feet that would inevitably follow attempting this rather plump burn.

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And I had too many companions, forced to leave the path a couple of times.

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However, a beautiful but poignant night and dutifully lit my single light in remembrance of those who had fallen in order to allow me – and you – such freedoms.

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A special prayer for the chaos in which the Middle East seems to be gripped and with no signs of any cessation.

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