Thursday, 13 August 2009

weekend staying local-motorbikes,rotovators,swimming with pugsley

working on a golf course i have to work every 2nd weekend in summer,every third in winter,its part of the job,only 2 hours max though but early starts,least its job and finish,so it ties me down for going away for a weekends camping as often as i would like too,so i have just adapted to doing more on my doorstep,probably how ive now explored every corner of the county of east lothian,and as said in a earlier post i cant be botherd with the drive down to the borders much now to go to the trailcentres of glentress or innerliethen (there 4 miles apart but both listed as one (tweed vally)
anyway home from work 8.30am(6am start!)satuarday and a glorious day

time for a day out on the motorbike!,id got my `as new` alpinestar boots via ebay and they arrived at work once i left friday affy,ive got the bike set up more or less as i want now,larger tank(20 litres instead of 10 litres) to give 250mile+ range,still to lower the gearing a bit and fit a MT21 front tyre (50/50 road/dirt). still to find a smaller square (instead of big round) speedo to allow a large baja lamp i got on ebay to fit as i often ride at night and standard traille headlights are hopeless,
i ended up doing about 75 miles between 9am and 4pm around the county backroads,riding a couple of easy greenlanes too (old unmaintained tarmac roads now grassed over)soaking up the scenery of lots of wheat and barley fields,nearly ripe for harvest,
you see alot cycling,more wildlife esp,but you pass through so much changing scenery on a motorcyle,im not interested in roadbikes really,just big trailbikes,ive always had big single cylinder thumpers,genuine dualsport bikes capable of going places at a reasonable speed and distance but can also tackle a bit off offroad tracks and trails,
motorcycle trailriding has become a real hot potato esp in england and wales due to irresponsible riding/too large groups,noisy bikes and using motocross tyres,if you cant get up somewhere on a road legal tyre you should really just not bother as the consequence in land damage can sometimes be irreversible,i dont like being looked at like satan by walkers and a couple of times too by mountainbikers!!,i walk and cycle too and theres a place for doing them all sensibly,i dont go anywhere popular at `peak times`,
despite much documetation of non maintained vehicular rights of ways,there are non signed(except two ive found) but there are loads,mostly knowen as such locally and its really down to whether the landowner where a route passes through is botherd or not,so as landownership changes sometimes places and routes become accesable/unacessable,
theres a few folk up here in scotland just doin there own thing,keeping it quiet and enjoying themselves, i just love old roads/routes and there history.

i should of stopped and took more pics but i was enjoying the ride,last summer i hardly used the motorbike because of the awful weather,i spent nearly every satuarday at glentress, glad of the all weather tracks,wish though i had got my pugsley 4 months earlier for the swamp like local trails!,
i went looking for the ROC post near torness power station,couldnt see it despite being able to stand up and look over the hedgerows,they were cold war bunkers built around the uk- no more than 10 miles apart,around 1500 were built in the 1960s,the idea being if a town was nuked,blast force,and fallout would be recorded and the info relayed to headquarters where evac measures would be relayed to other towns which may get fallout due to wind direction etc..,i did a film about them,using an accessible bunker 9 miles away(referred to as posts)...

it is 1 of 6 knowen posts in the county,3 have been demolished and filled in,one has welded latch hinges,ive seen pics of this one near torness on the roc website
so i know it is locked but just wanted to find it,after a few laps of every backroad
around roughly the area in its picture southwest of the power station i gave up and went to see my friend louise,she was getting a hand from a nieghbour to rotovate a area of garden where she will raise a garden next summer,her pal liz across the road was going to rotovate an area of dead grass to re-sow,i offerd to do it as it was like concrete,hard going the first half hour until i either-ran out of sweat-or got conditioned to it!,

louise raked and stonepicked it after i passed over it a few times,its good soil,though a bit stoney,she filmed me rotovating

liz had went to the local lifeboat day in dunbar and when returned was overwhelmed with the garden finished,its a good feeling to help out friends,my reward,smoked herring!,fresh from the stalls at the lifeboat day,a few friends arrived and everyone had a beer and food and a good chat,also a bonfire for the kids

by the time i headed home it was nearly midnight,id been up since 5.30am and up again the same again time sunday!,but its good to get out and make the most of good weather ,help out friends and i found out exactly where the roc bunker is from a nieghbour!,cant beat local knowlage!,

sunday the heavens opened about 11am,15 mins after i went out on the pugsley,it was really warm so i decided `what the hell`after slowly getting wet sheltering under a tree 10 minutes it was obviously on for a while and kept riding for what ended up a 3 hour, 18 mile ride down to john muir bay,just before the rain started i rode around a setaside field which had been spread with a recycled mulch material,

it was full of wood,bark,and smelled of the tideline-proberly seaweed,it stuck to the tyres until the debris rubbed on the forks and chainstays,check out the width of the tyres!!

they soon cleaned off in the wet long grass through the woods before i got onto the beach,it was absolutly chucking it down!,i was soaked to the skin but unlike half the year no wind chill and i was lovin it after the muggy weather weve had lately,
i spent most of the time riding out on the mud flats being low tide

it was kind of like cycling halfspeed-two wheelspins for every wheel circumfrance distance forward in the slimey mud,

but it did not bog down-amazing bike,id lowerd tyre pressures to 8psi,normally i ride them at 10psi as often ride over rocks between beaches,only 2psi diffrence i know but a big diffrence in float on soft stuff,i quickly took a few pics when i could when the rain lightend,i rode out along side what looks like an old causeway

but was proberly an estate boundry wall at sometime before the bay silted up as some of the stones are dressed (hand smoothed edges) theres small shelters built on it with them,by wildfowlers,

deft need to look at a waterproof compact camera,i was just reading about the panasonic camera in jill homer`s blog(up in alaska),
if i had a waterproof camera-my old tachyon wont switch on and is sent away (hurry up tachyon prizes!)i could of filmed the carry on of me cycling through the river tyne, i couldnt see how deep it was,it was a bit murky with recent rain,

i was about a half mile from the sea where i had a shot of crossing,

i rode in diagonaly downstream ,the bottom was firm sand i could feel rock in bits, luckily the water didnt cover the tyres and i rode right through,laughing my head off at what this bike can do,feet were wet already so didnt matter,water was warm too

i rode along the sandbank above the tyne now on the john muir park side to a row of wood,dont know if this is a bit of a ship or a lenght of bank erosion wall washed downstream,

i took a pic then put the camera in the framebag to recross again where you see in the photo

i wish i had got on film what happend next..,i rode in about 10 yards and the front wheel went under the water,i felt my pedals hitting soft sand and next thing pugsleys started to float!!,i jumped off and my feet sunk into soft sand and i felt the sand inside my shoes,i was sinking fast and pugsley is now floating on its side!,oh-oh i thought and started to wade through quickly to avoid sinking,it was nearly chest deep before it got shallower,i had a kind of panic,scared,giggle attack!!,like i was in too deep but safe in the knowlage if the sand had started to trap me i would of just jumped on pugsley and paddled!
back out i rode to rock pools and washed the sand off my socks and out my boots,the empty gastank bag was wet as expected but inside the main framebag was dry,saving my camera,nice one eric at epic designs on a well made bit of kit!,i was home half an hour later,(still raining),i saw one of my nieghbours,`where you been today?`he asked,
`you will never believe it ` i just said!,need to to the same again before the temperture drops and set the camera up,make great viewing of pugsley floating!

1 comment:

  1. Great read. I love the bit at the Pugsley floating!

    My 2.1 tyres weigh a ton when they're mud clogged. The pugsley must be nearly un-ridable when the tyres are like that.