Sunday 26 July 2009


it was the annual airshow here yesterday,the museum of flight is a field away from my house,in a WW2 airfield and hangers,
heres a link
the small square of houses where i stay have a bit of a get together-basically weather permitting sit out front having a few beers,music on watching the aircraft right above,they fly over us instead of the crowd just incase something goes wrong!
there was no euro fighter this year which was a pity as it is awesome but the finally was the vulcan bomber,these were brought out of service after the falklands war in the mid eighty's,there is one at the museum but only one now flying,it was restored using mainly public donations and i watched the series of its restoration on discovery channel,i remember seeing them flying over east lothian when i was young,to see and hear it again after watching the programme was quite moving,i caught it on film
the noise was unreal!!!
big ebay sale starting tonight over 3 hours spent writing up about 38 items!,

basically im getting rid of everything i dont need and use which will give me money to buy stuff i do need(want) which will be usefull,i like reworking my hobbie money doing that-its kind of like recycling! ie a classic raleigh bike which is worth £150 and not likely to go up much more is replaced with a hessony hammock which will be great for lightwieght bikepacking

i also bought my motorbike back on friday night,only 300 miles more on it than when i sold it to a friend last november,i bought it new in 2005 and sold it to fund building the pugsley,its a belgrada yamaha ttr 6oo,basicly a yamaha italy electric start trailbike with lower spec suspension than the kickstart only enduro bike,the engine is a XT600e from the early 90s,old school air cooled and bulletproof,there a bit underpowered in stock trim and heavy but the engines a real smoothy,the XT trailes are legonary for there reliability and often the bike of choice for overlanders,esp sahara bound explorers,media would tell you otherwise after recent TV programmes with 2 film celebrity's riding big BMWs!!
heres my bike in standard form as sold but it ain't staying like that for long...

basically im setting it up for 50/50 on/offroad riding like being able to ride up north 3-400 miles then still being capable of doing easy-ish trails and green lanes while carrying camping gear,it also takes pillions and being single that may be of use soon too! let me know if you want to here about my motorbike on here as i know most folk who read this are cyclists!,maybe i should do another blog for it??

first combine was spotted last thursday though its been rained off with fridays downpour and again today,really early this year

haven't been out on the pugsley for a week so need to get down the beech this week,hopefully tuesday evening,tomorrow night will be spent packing the 38 ebay items,lot of work but prefer to do a big amount sale once in a while,heres a funny pic i took using the tripod which shows the footprint of the surly endomorph tyre!

Tuesday 21 July 2009

sunday trailride

i went what was planned to be a 40-50 mile ride on the road on sunday just to get out after satuardy being spent indoors so headed off on the karate monkey in a roughly south west then westerly direction into a strong wind with the intention of returning home with a tailwind,
due to all the rain over the last 4 days and the uncut undergrowth which often overhangs local trails which soak you in no time and high tide was midday and by then then the remaining coastline would be full of walkers on a sunday ruling out a pugsley ride so i setteld for a cruise on tarmac,

barly fields are starting to turn brown now,harvest time is my favourite time of year (scenicly)in east lothian,will post plenty pics next month,harvest starts early on the east coast of scotland due to being drier than the west coast and more daylight than down south (england) i love evening trail rides along trails between cut and bailed fields with long shadows from the straw bales,also with the nights drawing in you get a bit of nightriding too which i love,easy trails you know well become more intresting when viewed from an H.I.D light,

anyway so i did about 15 miles up and around the old village of humbie close to the border county line when i remmemberd about an old road or as it really should be called a `green lane` that ive never cycled but used to ride often on my motorbike(sold my motorbike last year but buying it back from my friend soon,more info later..)
its a classic once a connecting road between an estate and its farm and the village and marked on road maps until the 1960s,theres rough tarmac under the grass and proberly was downgraded from a maintained road due to the water crossing which would of required a wier to be built with a ford(proberly with pipes underneath)
so i just had to go ride it,about 2 miles long it descends through woods to ford a small river then climbs between walls and beech tree and was very slippy on the semi slick halo twinrails on the karate monkey (at 60 psi)having the camera i filmed some of it,

then back in humbie village i thought lets go do the woodland path along above the gorge and river,filmed a bit there as it is so lovely in there then returning home cut through a forest with paths and a cracking singletrack descent which lasts over a minute and i had another film in the can... so a planned hour or so road ride becomes a 3 hour ride with a bit of trailriding and filming...

Saturday 18 July 2009

rained off-garage catch up

i planned to go local camping this weekend,leaving friday night and do 40 miles on road over into the borders to lauder and freecamp then satuardy ride the last 55miles of the southern upland way long distance coast to coast path which is now of course bike-able with the open access/right to roam law (admitably i used to ride it alot!!)
anyway it poured steady rain thursday/friday and a box of strongbow cider for dog sitting for a niegbour took care of friday night!
so a satuarday at home,well mainly in the garage doing a bit spannering and sorting out gear,
heres some pics of my servere wet weather riding gear i prefected last year during the mother of all summers;
if riding clipped in then its the shimano MT90 boots but for really wet days i ride flats and these `viking dryboots` there lined lace up rubber boots with full hieght sealed tounge not as cold and sweaty when wearing as youd expect them to be (like wellingtons are)the soles are a little bit soft for cycling but ok for a 2-3 hour ride,i had these on snow biking and were perfect,

my scott (motorcycle) enduro neoprene gloves are proberly 10 years old now and get warm once wet but have a supple enough feel through the fingertips for MTBs - istill think pugsley is an ATB!!

endura waterproofs keep out the rain but a little bit sweaty-esp around the knees but ok with lycra under shorts,and my pac lite north face goretex jacket,pity the hood dosnt fit over my giro helmet or it would be perfect,i only wear this cycling on the beach,not through woods etc as it cost £160!! but i have never been wet in it yet,you will get wet inside with sweat if climbing hills etc but its fine crusing on the pugsley,and thats my scotland rain beater kit,

i also tried my epic designs frame bag on the karate monkey today and it fits fine
both my surly frames are 18" so thats great as i want to do a weekend locally camping soon with the 29er,

the pugsley has got the front rack back on as well as the rear rack (doubling up as a mudgaurd)and some of you liked my homemade fork mounted bottle holder, heres what it is,just a couple of the brackets which hold on reflecters,there handy for my camera mounts too heres one i made from an old tripod top for when i have my sleeping bag on the front rack and cant use the `endo cam` view

i also gave my commuter a quick service,retro geeks will like this!
its a 95-96 killer v in john deere green (at my work it is also john deere grass cutters!)it has a dd60mm headshock from my first 1996 super v and most of the build is used mtb parts,it has swarbe thornproof semi slick landcruser tyres,SKS mudgaurds,good old v brakes,converted to full lenght cables,and the B17 brooks saddle to nurse you to work on a monday after a weekends biking,my commute is only 3 miles each way but often windy,plans are a nexus dynamo front wheel before winter and the 36 spoke rear hope pro 2 hub currently on the pugsley which will be spare once the alfine hub goes on there will build a nice strong rear wheel,often i detour an extra 6 miles to to the local towns supermarket so it usually has a rack and a RH pannier but i used the rack off the dale for the front of the pug after hacking the front off it but havent replaced it as i really hope to save/ebay sales £400 and get an extracycle kit for it,i cant afford a big dummy but im sold on the cargo bikes with neon lights underneath on youtube films,see here
theres always so much you wana get isnt there?!!!

lastly ive started using this dry lube on all my bikes now and its really good,for years i thought chain lubes were a marketing overpriced rip off hype and just used 3in1 oil on my bikes since BMXs in my teens,once i got my pugsley i had to use a dry lube for the intended beachriding,i tried castrol chainwax which is really good on dirtbikes but a bit overkill on a cycle chain,jake at my local bike shop the hub at glentress swears by this stuff and there hire bikes use it,like all dry lubes it isnt waterproof but providing the chain is properly degreased first this stuff is great and you just keep re applying

i plan on getting up real early tomorrow at 3am to check the skys and if no rain will do another dawn sunrise beachride and film locally this time as lots of folk liked my last film,viva le pugsley!!

Sunday 5 July 2009

holy island sunrise beachride

ok ive not been on since my holiday as the weather has been amazing,were getting a proper summer which after last years washout is more like it!
i was going to post some of the stuff i took on the pugsley on holiday and what worked/didn't work,i still will do that soon,
i went an amazing beachride yesterday,i got up at 3am,put pugsley on the car and drove the 35 miles down the A1 to the town of berwick upon tweed just over the border on englands northumberland coast,destination was holy island at low tide,
from there you ride down the coast 2 miles via a cliff top bridleway which was at one time an old cart track to get to the beach,at the start of the sand i stopped to watch and film an amazing sunrise around 4.30am,

low tide was 6am so timing was perfect,then with the sun on my left,dunes to my right i cycled the 6 miles out to holy island,

also called lindisfarne,the last 3 miles were a bit soft and i was down in the granny ring,tyres were set to 8psi which is lower than i usually go but the difference was notable,made for good pics too of the wide endomorph print!,

the island is a tidal village with a causway only passible around 6 hours between high tides,the village is a heritage site with the ruined priory and restored fortified castle,the island is historicly famed religously for st colombus and the monestry and also being on the sharp end of some pretty brutal viking raids,also the upturned boats made into sheds are a well photo graphed image of holy island,

as it is a heritage site and a nature reserve i stayed to the footpaths and didnt go dune bashing!,
being there so early meant i never saw anyone on the ride out on a footprint free beach and there was only a couple of people having a walk around the small island harbour at 7am,ive been before a few times so didnt do the tourist thing and just got some quick pics,no shops,cafes were open for another 2 hours anyway!
i returned along a signed cycle route which started after i crossed the causway,

the 9 miles back to berwick where intresting,the track was a mix of fine hardpack gravel and hard sandy single track over short fine grass,passing a golf course then along behind the dunes where i started there were already cars parked with beach visitors,it pays to get up early during summer,it was only 9 am when i got back to the car and i was home 10am,bike and gear washed and snoozing on the hammock in the garden by midday!,

the northumberland coast has more to offer for beachriding,theres another good lenght of sandy beaches which starts past holy island and goes several miles past the huge restored bamburgh castle,
proberly have to be another early rise to get the beaches and views to myself but definitly worth it!

the pugsley is going great,only a second chain and both brake pads replaced in 1300 miles now,the new philwood BB is smooth as silk,and the epic designs framebag is brilliant,the top back opens quickly which is ideal for grabbing the camera while filming,its not waterproof but the mainbag is,i had a spare top,2 bottles of water,a map,6 cereal bars in the top compartment and didnt know they were there,the tools,tube(a big 2.5")and pump are in the lower compartment protected by the salt air and water,i had my pump fail before as the rubber o ring had perished,luckily i noticed this at home,once the present chain wears out i will get the alfine hub laced on,then the pugsley will be a true bomber adventure bike!,i love it,
heres some film...