Saturday, 28 February 2015

Peffersands beachride; These dunes are growing!


Took Mowgli to Peffersands and Tyninghame this morning for a couple of hours,
Coastal erosion is something you often see on the News, and it can be seen on our coastline here in East Lothian, i see more movement of sand as it is blown over rocks and grassland, and the dunes to the south of the Peffer burn have definitely grown in size over the last 2 winters!



Last night i swapped the Jones loop bars for the FUNN `Full On` 785mm wide riser bars.70mm stem combo on the Pumpkin Pugsley... £20 bars from CRC  bargain!


This area here was all sand blown last year and the Marram grass has grown through, and the whole area is noticeably higher...


And a whole load of new paths have been created through this rising dune system!...



I struggled a bit on the Pugsley to keep moving but on the big Moonlander i will be able to cycle right along the top paths created to the big crater and dunes...




Mowgli was enjoying bombing about!...


WW2 `Coastal Crust` defences dumped now exposed in the dunes...

Barbed wire...


More sand has blown up the dunes here too...


Mowgli found a squeaky ball!...




Apart from the Marram grass wrapping through the rear mech you could nearly ride right along the top of the dunes now all the way from the Peffer burn to Ravensheugh in the distance... need to give it a go with the Alfine hub Pugsley!...


Down on the beach and Mowgli headed for the surf...


Then back up the dunes! as i rode along the beach...




And around the headland...






Along the secret trail and out to Mosshouse Point...


Lol!



Cheese!!!  the smiling Spaniel!...


Back through the woods and secret trail again before back to the car, past the remains of this old MTB,

`Rust In Peace`...


More soon...

Friday, 27 February 2015

Film by Salamandre Cycles

Lovely film of building and riding Fatbikes

Salamandre Cycles : en dehors des sentiers battus from PJN on Vimeo.

New Album by Public Service Broadcasting...



I like listening  to music sometimes when cycling, esp when out on the coast away from everyone,
A band i really like are PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
Good upbeat music combined with audio and film in their videos of important moments recorded in our history...

Click here for previous PSB posts of their music and films,

And PSB have just released another album!;  `The Race For Space`
I got it ordered!

Here is the track Go! from the new album released on youtube this week...
I wish PSB used Vimeo, no stupid pop up adds like here on youtube!




More soon...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Surly Cross-Check Update


Sunday was a wind swept wash out of a day for cycling, though i was still out for a few hours to try out the Surly Cross-Check`s new rear wheel i laced up last week...
Do you spy it? A Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal gear hub (IGH) i bought last summer reduced, along with a trigger shifter for regular handle bars that i have managed to bodge on the drop bars...



Surly Cross-Check;
The cross-Check is one of Surly Bikes longest production and favourite and best selling bikes, probably due to its price to ride quality and its diversity in build options,
You can read about the CC here on the Surly Website

My Cross-Check Commuter;
And you can read about how i built my Cross-Check from a Fixie bike my big bro gave me, the frame was too small so i won on eBay a 56cm black CC frame set for £275-not bad for an under a year old frame set with little use, you can read about the bikes first build here; Checkmate!

Single speed or gears?
If you read that link then you will have seen 3 bikes i own and have ridden single speed;
The Surly KramPug 29+.
The Surly Karate Monkey 29er ridged MTB,
And then the Cross-Check,
And the Cross-Check was with full mudguards added a perfect commuter,  well nearly because once you add panniers and some shopping that perfect single gear ratio becomes too hard, as it does when you venture off road even if you add a freewheel to the flip-flop rear hub but use road gearing off road, as i wrote in the last CC blog post here; Roughstuff on the Cross-Check

And for myself the problem of riding single speed is the bikes have to be geared for road or off road,
All these bikes i would love to keep as a single speed set up, but with gears they are so much more versatile,

Derailleur drive chains for commuting;
For UK winter commuting on the mud coated country roads i ride here in East Lothian derailleur gears are not ideal and take a lot of punishment...



Which is why i usually switch to the old 1985 Muddy Fox Courier MTB...


As you can see after the worst of this winter it has taken a lot of crap, the chain is shot after 4 months...


The answer? Hub gears!;
Longer chain life as a single speed but gear options so you can ride whatever the hills or wind, or bike weight  with shopping etc and arriving without having a melt down with sweat- and that is the important one if like myself you work outside, last thing you want to do after a commute is go out side (in the same base layers) and get cold and a chill...

So, i decided to get the hub gear laced up this week and having a spare Mavic rim i went on line and using Pro Wheel builder i got the spoke lenght needed...


Having a rake through the bundles of spokes i have from previous wheels i stripped i had 32 288mm spokes, think these are from the single speed 29+ wheel, at 288mm lenght they were  perfect!,
I laced the wheel up one afternoon and while the radial truness is not perfect the wheel is good enough and spoke tension feels the same around the wheel- so far so good this week!...



The MTB trigger shifter i mounted using a cheap Accessory bar clamp made for lights, electronic computers etc,,, and it works a treat!...





Only the cable needs some 3M stick on mounts to tidy it up...


One bike with two rear wheels and 3 build options;
So now i have a geared 3 season commuter with the option of the 20 tooth sprocket 8 speed IGH, or with a quick cut of a few cable ties, remove the bar clamp and re fit the flip-flop hub wheel and ride the bike with the fixed 20tooth track sprocket, or as a 20 tooth freewheel single speed!

Happy days...



More soon...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Wider than the sky; East Lothians big sky!, yep another sunny Saturday!


Must be some kind of record this winter the amount of sunshine we have had!,
My weeks winter holiday at home has been a fantastic week weather wise, and Saturday dawned clear again!,
I headed to Yellowcraig with Francis to do a 30km loop of what we have nicknamed the `EL Savanna`!, and today in the golden glow of the winter sun the light and colour was amazing. just look at those blue skies!,  Francis was riding harri today...

harri meet Larry!  lol


Onto the beach at Broadsands first so the horse could have a good canter...



0.4 meter low tide exposed  the remains of the HMS Ludlow wreck, anchored here in WW2 for live fire training for Aussie and Kiwi Coastal Command airmen flying Bristol Beaufighters based here in East Lothian at East Fortune, You will have seen their memorial near the Seabird Centre in North Berwick to them and their bravery,
You can read about this old Destroyer, the airmen and view some pics and videos here on the blog;
HMS Ludlow wreck, Broadsands Yellowcraig



Amazing light, we waited for Francis to return up the beach...




Then headed for Archiefield...



I had to get my skates on to keep ahead of the horse!...


Happy dogs!...



lol... :)


`The Savanna`... one of my favourite places to ride, always quiet and loads of open space around you...




Around the Bake Bean trail to Gullane....





And onto the sand again...





Around to Freshwater Haven, still a cold wind despite the sun, but nice to have the wind on your back now...


And across the dunes again, miles of tracks criss cross here in such a small area...


And back up through Airchiefield again, i noticed a lost my water bottle!, oh well,  i did find a mini Frisbee on the beach at Gullane!...


First Daffodils are coming out...



Back at the car park, here is the wee Frisbee!...


Everyone happy at a great loop!...


Thanks for the ice cream Francis!...



Here is some film shot with the Go Pro,
Song is `Wider than the Sky`  by Quantic




If you liked the rear view camera, mounted on the seatpost, here is a film of all the rear view film,
Mowgli sticks like glue to the rear tyre!
Song is ` The shape is in the trance`  by Thurston Moore




More soon...