Monday, 23 March 2009

spring equinox

was on 20th march which if you don't know is the same hours daylight as dark.
and so now the evening light draws out ,to celebrate i made a wee film down the beach,film quality isn't that good as i used the video setting on my compact camera but I'm happy with some of the pics...

having sold my downhill bike i ordered another surly frameset!,a karate monkey-yep I'm a convert to the big wheel theory(for local trails anyway)so building a geared ridged semi slick 29er to use as a all day/big mile hybrid/easy trails`bike.
i ordered a lot of goodies for the pug too,alfine gear hub,stainless phil wood BB,surly stainless chainring,3/8 stainless chain.middleburn cranks,all the best of kit as I'm not selling this bike ever!!,and want it mega bomber reliable for hard riding conditions,also ordered is a epic designs frame bag and gas tank which i will need for camping trips this summer,including a 2 week trip to the outer hebridean islands of harris and lewis with lots of beach and remote trackless coast riding is pencilled in for june to use the 20+ hours daylight up there around the solstice

Thursday, 19 March 2009

garden greening

things are starting to grow in the garden now days are drawing out and temperatures a bit warmer esp with the good weather for the last week,despite only in its third year the garden has come on well,though the climbers have died back with the early frosts last october,esp the clematis,by june you wont see any of the wood in the picture as it will be a sea of colour.
at the end of last summer i went on a bit of a mad lean-to construction around the garage,firstly a log shed,now empty after winter,and another above the side door then lately a large framework went up at the front,still to be roofed,this will allow doors to be open in wet weather and at the front a work bench with vice (free out of an old garage in wood behind my house) will allow me to do grinding and polishing keeping the garage and contents clean.
i also hope to make a cider press over summer which will sit under the front lean-to allowing it to be washed down after use,the front area of the garage is sloped into grid drains for washing bikes,some lighting will be added once roofed and prob an external mains socket for the power washer,theres always always something to do....

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

three hours till dusk,afterwork trailride

what an amazing day today,a slight frost then totally clear sky's till mid afternoon,finish work at 3pm means now despite only mid march on a good day i get 3 hours till dark,today was a day to make the most of it,i biked home,changed,grabbed pugsley and headed along to ride part of the john muir way to north berwick which passes nearby my house,the paths around NB law were a bit soggy after Sundays wet snow but were no prob on the pug,i took a pic at the big anchor above the beach then followed the J.M.W west along a section i only recently found out about which took me into yellowcraig,i love it here,the twisted scots pines which we climbed as kids,the old stone walls and groomed fescue grass kept manicured by rabbits,then the beach itself with views of fidra and its white lighthouse and far off east the bass rock and may isle,fantastic,and there was no-one here! i never passed a soul,it was silent apart from gulls out on fidra,riding through archiefield woods i missed a big sunset but a big moon came up which explains the very high tide earlier,i took a pic but i need to get a camera which takes good nightime pics,there was still around half an hour till dark so i rode through the grassy dunes behind freshwater haven,the area is an sssi, i reckon if john muir could have had one back in the day he too would of had a pugsley to get around!,i like walking but id rather cycle and travel further and see more changing landscape,into the pinewoods that sadly there felling as there are good sandy trails in there and it is always so quiet under the pine trees,along the path to gullane and the sea buckthorn orange berries really highlighted in my hope HID light now on,there a common sight in east lothian,kids call them baked bean plants!,i could have just kept following the coast for the same distance/time but i headed home from gullane,a quick half hour road ride,after Sundays horrific weather(wind,sleet,wet snow,bitter cold damp)today reminds you why you bike through hard weather to appreciate evenings like this,bring it on spring!

end of winter/turning the corner

what an amazing winter!,we actually had proper snow here with the local hills the lammermuirs white for two weeks,knee deep several days too.glad i got my pugsley last Autumn.when glentress was frozen solid with icy ruts and my mates weren't getting out I've been biking every weekend and a couple of nightnides a week combined with cycling to work has brought me into this year being the fittest I've been for years,which will help alot for the trips i plan to do on pugsley this year,
despite some fresh (some would say cold) winds were definitely heading into spring now,light at 6.30am and a morning chorus telling me to get up,leave early for work and take an `alternative` route ie along some trails but it is awfully easy to re-boil the kettle for a second cuppa before leaving,early morning is deft the best time of day for getting out and about,each season has its special quality's,this winter has been one to remember

Monday, 9 March 2009

welcome to a new blog!

hi and welcome to the first post of my new blog...
basically then i can now waffle on about my hobbies and interests and folk can choose to read on or not...
ok so i really enjoy biking along my countys coastline,hills or woods ,i live in a spectacular corner of scotland (east lothian) and have adapted my cycling to suit the terrain all year round whatever the weather with my latest steed my Surly Pugsley,a what? you say? well feast your eyes on a my knowledge only a few in the UK to date and i think this is the first one in scotland...

developed by small shop manufacturers to explore and race in the artic conditions of alaska and its imfamous iditabike human powered race,run along the iditarod sledgedog race route,well two years ago american bike company surly decided to make a production fat bike affordable and available to everyone and the pugsley was born,surly frameset,65mm `fat marge`rims and 4" `endomorph`tyres are the special bits then regular parts are used,the rims are offset 17mm to allow chainline clearance along with the use of a wider 100mm bottom bracket from the huge tyres, a rear singlespeed hub on the front allows wheels to be interchangeable allowing gearing changing if run singlespeed or in case of a rear mech or internal gearhub mechanical failure,
so...a very simple idea...steel ridged frameset,big cushioning low pressure tyres that can be run as low as 5psi giving a big floating effect footprint allow this bike to go where normal mtb`s would struggle or be extremely hard work to keep moving.
so hopefully i will post rides and pics out on the pugsley around here where no bike has probably cycled successfully before!
i still have a few improvements to do and kit to add to the bike which i will post up on here as well as reports on parts and films out riding over the next few months...