Sunday, 26 June 2022

Bikepacking Lammermuir Hills; 5 Reservoir Loop...


 

G planned a loop of all the eastern Lammermuir Hills reservoirs with an overnight camp and with a weekend forecast looking good we packed the bikes on Friday and were soon away on Saturday morning to Garvald to start the off road loop....


Donolly reservoir at Garvald via a trail that skirted around the loch and soon took us in the direction of The Hopes via trails to Dancing then minor road...








After a brew up on the stove at the Hopes - we were in no hurry today, we were soon up on the roof of the Lammermuirs and heading over to the pylon track to drop down into the Watch reservoir and with the sun out and out a cool easterly was rather pleasant 








Having cooked dinner we sat with hip flasks and nearing sundown pitched the tent...



Next morning after a chilly evening once the sun set, we were up early and tent dropped and packed away we headed off after breakfast of porridge and across to fill up bottles at a famous well...





I did not take pictures as filming so hence only a few pics G took, but you will see on the film some of the stunning rolling hills scenery up here as we cycled of road across to Whiteadder reservoir...





From Whiteadder we took the monger single track road towards Garvald and turned off down to Thorters reservoir and a brew up lunch break... the sun was out and again rather pleasant...




Across gravel tracks we descended to Stoneypath and back via the monks path across the 3 bridges back to Garvald...

A fun 2 day route with more emphasis on climbing and scenery than miles cycled...


Wee film,  Music by Scottish musicians Mogwai



More soon...

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Back on the beach!

 


Back out on the Surly Puglanders - that's the Surly Pugsley 2.0`s with the huge Surly Moonlander wheels comprising 100mm wide rims and 4.8" tyres at 4 and 5 psi giving the biggest available float on sand for a Fatbike,,,



Buzzed by a low flying swan we were back out along our local beaches at John Muir Country Park (JMCP) and being a Monday was real quiet...











Belhaven pond is again hosting some local celebrities - 8 this year...


Wee film, song is `Wide Open` by Crystal Method

More soon..

Monday, 20 June 2022

Willys Jeep; how to fit those real tight to compress shock bushes...

I fitted new shock absorbers and leaf springs to the Jeep a while back after it developed what's known as `Jeep sag` when the Jeep started to sag on the drivers side, you can read about that on a previous Jeep blog post Here...

At the time I could not compress the new rubber bushes in the eyelets of the shock absorbers enough to insert the split pin onto of the washer, so, I just reused the rubber bushes off the old shocks,

I thought this was fine until recently when I had the old Go Pro camera attached under the Jeep while filming I saw the movement in the bushes - you will see this in the film below...

So I had to get this fixed before the movement damaged either the shock absorber eyelet or the shock mount, and I hatched an idea that did work,


So first off I removed the lower rear shock absorbers, removing the split pin then washer, and then the rubber bush...

 


A half inch socket extension pulled out the rubber bush which on the previous aftermarket shocks was a one piece bushing...




Here is the replacement bushes that came with the new shocks with part number - 4 bags contain bushes in 2 halves for one shock absorber...


With these pushed in best I could I just managed to fit the washer on the end of the spindle...


When I originally tried this as you can see the washer was flush with the end and covering the split pin hole...



I then deployed the scissor jack fitting the end with the slot which would normally locate with your car sill... 





I pressed the split pin straight in the vice to re use, and it dropped in its hole easy




Then with the jack removed opened the end of the split pin using a flat blade screw driver, then pliers, then a gentle tap with a hammer and job done on one lower shock end in under 5 minutes...




With the other side done I checked the tops but they have not worn and are still tight, as are the front shocks...


Just goes to show its worth using an old Go Pro on a magnet to spy potential problems with the Jeep!


Here is a wee film showing how to do this...




More soon...



Friday, 17 June 2022

Surly Pugsley 2.0 beach bike (AKA PugLander) Update...

 



The Older Surly Pugsley 2.0 Beachbike is preforming its duties perfectly, prepped with LANOGUARD both inside the frame and on the usua places where beach bikes corrode - Brake callipers, spokes, disc spiders and bolts etc, it is resisting salt war erosion despite several rides where it was not washed after wards - now that's a taboo thing to do if your cycling near salt water but it can handle it. The bike was still running a 40t rear cassette with a short tucked in out the way Shimano ZEE rear mech, but decided to lower gearing to a 46t rear cassette (Same as G`s Pugs) and removing the as new cassette and chain from the Surly Wednesday recently and having a spare 10 speed Shimano Deore cassette it was a straight forward and free job to do...




Just lowers it enough to make the real soft sand that bit easier, the drive chain in 1st gear gives quite an angle of chain line so hopefully not needing to go into 1st as much lessens chain wear,

Those 10 speed Deore rear mechs will work with the 46t on a mech hanger extender but your asking a bit much of them with their length and not having a clutch on them - why I have just replaced the same mech on G`s bike with a a Shimano 10 speed XT clutch mech, I will get another one of these down at the local bike shop soon and the bikes will then be set up exactly the same drive chain.

If that 50 tooth cassette wears well on the Wednesday then I can see both this bike and G`s pink bike inc her 29+ wheels getting them as ideal for real soft going or climbing with bikepacking kit.

The bike had not been cleaned for a few rides so I should take an evening and an hour to give it a real good clean as having Lanogaurd around the prone rusting areas on the frame dirt tends to stick to it, its just a visual thing which I'm not bothered about as the Lanoguard is proving to be doing an excellent job protecting the bike and parts.  

I also need to post an update on the NATO Army Pugsley which is the ongoing experiment can you build a rust proof bike using Lanoguard products as it has not been washed in 2 months despite salt water exposure and it is holding up fine, which is very surprising!

Back out on the coast yesterday where with the Surly Moonlander 4.8" tyres on 100mm `Clown Shoe` rims the PugLander as I call this concept Surly Pugsley is in it's element...


Back home I added an Alpkit saddle bag along with their seat rails which stop the bags from swaying, this is just to add waterproofs and extra clothes when/if needed, this I re waterproofed with Nikwax, it is over £10 for a small bottle of this, but I bought a 5 litre container with applicator on eBay for £42, I buy everything I can now in bulk as it saves a fortune long term. Just like I bought 5 gallons of engine oil for the Jeep, and 5 gallons of coolant for it, buy bulk buy once - well for a long time anyway!, I have used this Nikwax container on all our bike packing bags, waterproofs and 2 tents and it s not even 1/4 used yet...


Summer is here and admit tingly not beach riding as much with everything else were doing but will get out when I can even if just along to our local beach at JMCP for that sand fix...





More soon...