And so it begins…











Check out my 23.0 km Ride on Strava:

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.


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



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.


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





August already!?

Evening Ride

And the Glasgow Games have come and are just going. (No Games Records from yours truly!)

I watched some of the gruelling Men’s Time trial today, one eye on the TV and one on the torrential rain outside – poor road bike user coursing through Glasgow.

I ventured out for a stretch of the legs (promising my 6-months pregnant wife that I’d be back for the closing ceremony) and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of water; Devol Road was a bit soft, but that was expected.

A half moon – our closest significant other of the heavens – was captured in a snap sent to my father-in-law who was hosting my son and his cousin overnight in Rothesay.

The light is beginning to fade. The energy is improving, but I need to shake half a stone of ‘summer living’.

I’m starting to think about Inverslog: scouting routes, playlist for the downhills (The Ramones) and the uphill (The Rosary).

Regrets? Yeah. Deciding against picking up an old ‘Mylo’ CD from Poundland today at The Phoenix retail park: we were baby clothes shopping!

And a big Thank You to Strava and adjusting a GPS drift on ‘The Foot’ segment (I need all the help I can get these days).

In Threes?


‘Cashback’ was selected but the actual cash was not uplifted by yours sincerely from the automated checkout in Morrisons. I remembered this near the end of a tough cycle. I phoned…but the dispensed notes had not been handed in.

I had driven up to the mother-in-law’s to make use of her drive, giving myself some chance on Devol Road and the target segment, ‘The Foot (reverse)’.  Later, readying myself to take the boy swimming, I realised that I had returned home…on the bike! (:-)

The third?  A missing segment – the message from Strava:

Partial Match Segment Details
The Foot (Reverse)
Why it Did Not Match
Your Activity seems to have taken the wrong direction or path near the start of the Segment

Supposedly to do with the graphical representation of this part of the ride; just an alternative struggle across the ferns at the lower end of the ‘C’ pictured below.


The light wind-breaker jacket was on and, boy, was I sweating as I struggled up ‘Wee Furries’.  My face was burning.  (How am I going to fare riding for 8 hours across 100 km of winter landscape?)

Devol Road. The Foot. Wee Furries. Devol Road. Short distances but heavy going.

A great splash about with son made me realise that such trifles are nothing in the grand scheme of things: spending time with the family being the most important pursuit!

Week 27 beckons on Tuesday and my wife is really struggling with the heat and the added incumbency that is asthma.  With no academic distractions I’m on full domestic duties, and granted they are not very long, I managed to paint the front and rear fences.

Let’s pray that the rain departs as quickly as it arrived; we are enjoying as Summer for a change – and don’t the Games look just magnificent bathed in the golden Glasgow glow?

The Foot (Reverse)


Dropped off by family and did consider Muirsheil.  However I felt that it was time to visit an old friend… — The Foot (Reverse)

Despite the recent interruption to what was a glorious week with some heavy showers, and once I had passed Dippany Farm and scaled the gate, the ground of this singletrack was dry and there were none of the continuous rivulets running towards me; only then do you see the extent of the rocks strewn upon this short diversion from the B788. 


And, surprised by how close the white house appeared, I was – as usual – unprepared for the holes hidden amongst the marsh area. In the space of a few seconds my front wheel fell into their clutches and I was deposited amongst the grass…

Still, I crossed the stone bridge that spans the Green Water, meandered up the very steep climb – a maximum of 14.5% gradient. The front tyre managed to cope with the constant manoeuvring require to avoid the boulders and I was thankful that the bottom gate was open.

The descent down to rejoin the B788 was pleasant enough, and soon I was home via the electricity substation and the cycle path.

Home before the family, I set about enjoying the afternoon sunshine and finishing the planning of the Misty Law section of Inverslog.






Check out this route on Strava: — Inverslog.

Here it is.  I still have to test drive ‘Misty Law’ and parts of the cut (in this dry weather) but it’s looking a good 8 hours in keeping with the amount of daylight on the planned day (29/12/2014).