Monthly Archives: March 2009

On the bike again

I decided to brush of the cobwebs for a bit of alternative training on the bike.

I headed for Cathkin Braes as its local and I wanted to see what the progress was after the Public Consultation meeting the other week.

The plan is to put a graded bike route around and in the park, these will have various loops of various skill levels that can be linked together to give a reasonable distance.

The next phase after that is to then showcase a few events and then build the track for the Commonwealth Games.

Exciting times for Glasgow.

It was sunny but cold so I stuck on the Kazoos that PTC had so kindly picked up for me when he was on his mighty gear marathon.

I headed out following a bit of partly built new path this ending into the faint hint of a track that has been cut in the grass to aid planning the routes.

It was a cold wind and I was amazed at how bike unfit I was despite other training and foray’s into the hills.

The Kazoos functioned great as I splashed through the mud.

The tracks that were there have benefited from a bit of branch clearing making it a bit more enjoyable.

The views across Glasgow are great and I could see all the way over to the Kilpatricks.

I contemplated if PTC was up there on the training loop in the mud.

All in all a great wee location for an after work bike and I look forward to the new tracks and obstacles going in that should make it a wee bit more interesting and faster to ride.

Matallica play at the SECC tonight, I was too slow getting tickets ! HARRUMPH !

A manic weekend of work on the water is on the cards despite the snow and cold winds.

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Frantic Friday

We had a Duathlon for some kids from the Special Educational needs schools in Cathkin Park on Friday so it was an early start to get the course set up for the schools arrival at 10am.

As the school arrived I had to leave to go to another meeting, this one was interesting as it was with George from Brooks Tacticom.

He has a new toy that links a radio with a GPS unit allowing you to see where everybody is on your frequency.

This being released soon and i will have pictures to show.

After that I had to fight my way through the Friday M8 traffic to get back and pack up the course load bikes and drop them off at the appropriate schools.

Then drop the van off pick my car out and get the hell out of dodge for PTC HQ.

We thought that we would be heading out arround 2pm so had chosen Bridge of Orchy as our destination.

I arrived nearer 3pm and by the time we had posted parcels and sat in traffic we were blasting up the A82 at 4pm.

A quick re think and we arrived at the back end of Beinn Ime for an ascent of the NFA route (No Fecking About).

The weather was a 3 day stable high pressure that was about to move, hence the Friday night-er.

As I changed into my Haglofs Kazoos and Azer top and we were ready to rock.

The sun was already getting low sending out amazing patters in the haze.p3200217

Despite the light packs the steep incline was taking its toll and we were soon soaked in sweat as we paused to take in the views.

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The clear blue skies spurred os on as we ascended the slope.

The usual banter of kit chat resumed between breaths and PTC spilt as much of the beans as he could about the new things to come from Montane,Haglofs and OMM.

Exciting times for new kit.

The sun was getting lower as we looked west taking in the hazy vistas (and getting our breaths back )

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On reaching the summit we looked for a space to pitch the tents.

The wind had picked up making it cold as we carefully pitched our tents to ensure a good view of the sunrise and to make sure we did not have a repeat of the tent destruction trip.

It was cold as I climbed into the Seedhouse and I realised that the PHD bag would of been the right choice not the top bag !

I looked on as PTC donned his down boots and mitts as we waited for the water to boil for a brew ! it was 8pm already.

PTC gets hit by the streak of lightning for being all warm and smug !

PTC gets hit by the streak of lightning for being all warm and smug !

I slept with all my kit on with my shells as a pillow, I wouldn’t say I was warm and my feet were bad.

I am sure I dreamt of my PHD bag at one point as the wind picked up outside.

The tents were better pitched meaning they did not get destroyed, the seedhouse done well probably being helped by PTC Laser comp taking the brunt as it rattled and rustled.

I stuck my head out at 5.30 to see if we were going to get a sunrise.

All I could see was mist and cloud !

I went back into a doze till about 6.30 when PTC came back from his early morning summiting.

Stoves on and the debate of when to leave and the usual chat of ” how did you sleep” and “man that Laser comp make a noise in the wind”

Then we got a brief glimpse of the sun !

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PTC whent back to sleep as I ate my breakfast and hunted for the mango in the Expedition foods Hot cereal start.

After a bout of slash like air guitar whilst standing on a rock in front of the tents a started to pack up.

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The tents looked good despite the wind and the exposed site.

The windchill was harsh but the Kazoos still worked well.

We packed and headed down the hill quickly to get out the biting wind.

Maybe a wee bit too fast as both of us took some impressive falls on the slippy moss !

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So much for the high pressure !

We played about on some boulders like a couple of kids exploring!

We also took some Trail like shots almost as if to distract us from the fact we were heading home !

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Is that GT ?

Once on the path we warmed up and layers came off as we neared the car and all the poor bastards that were heading to the top !

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We stopped off at “the wummin in the windae” at Arrochar for butties and coffee.

We stared at patches of blue sky opening and closing on the hills wandering if we had left too soon.

A couple of guests found us as we sat taking in the weird feel of Arrochar.

High pressure ! bah ask Frank Haden about high pressure !

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New Post

There is one coming !

Just need to get over the rugby first !

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Kit Conundrum !

As I sit here with kit strewn across the floor I debate a few choices.

One ! Do I go for the Big Agnes Pitchpine top bag and clearview or take the clearview with the PHD and be a sweaty mess by morning.

Metcheck says that it is going to be 4 degrees Celsius on the tops tomorrow night, this is the same Metcheck that said the weather was not as bad as the other forecasts said it would be  when I done attempt number 1 on the West Highland Way !

PTC is on his way back up from the Lakes with a few  Haglofs goodies that will hopefully make the tricky transition from winter to spring a bit easier !

I have toyed with an in between purchase from the PHD sale to bridge the gap between the PHD Minim 500 and the Big Agnes Pitchpine.

A Minim 300 may do the job but is it over kill ??????????

The forecast is hopefully good for an elusive sunset/sunrise combo to start the weekend.

I would be happy with one or the other !

Snowy Sunsets

Its only right to be sitting on the hill saying goodbye to the winter sun and saying hello to the spring summer !

We will see.

Meanwhile footwear is another dilemma !

Gone are the days I had one set of kit that done all which done away with all this nonsense !

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Post Idle

Its not the fact I have not been doing anything that has stopped me posting and updating the blog !

More an enthusiasm and priority list !

Whilst PTC has been out enjoying himself in the last of winter I have been stuck in the office thrashing out structures and ensuring budgets have been spent to their full potential !

That date PTC decided to go out, my gear was in the car and a half day was on the cards, a meeting I was intending to dodge was a “must attend” at 2pm.

That “must attend meeting” lasted a great 10 mins.

I was raging ! not helped by the photo messages by Mr PTC himself of snow, blue skies and sunsets.

Its amazing that this in the days of old would have never have bothered me but now I have this re kindled desire to be in the mountains, especially in winter.

I contemplate if this is gear related or just a seasonal attitude.

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Its funny one week you are out running in fresh snow on Eaglesham Moor next you are floating down snow melt in Perthshire !

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One thing I have started to question is leg wear !

To cold for shorts but not right for trousers like Haglofs ruggeds or the like.

I wore Salomon Raid tights as you can see on Eaglesham Moor when the snow was down, but there is something not right ! apart from the fact the lower leg rotates round and the mesh that is supposed to be at the back of your knees ends up keeping the inside of your knee cool !

Besides that is the whole thing about a fat bloke in Lycra !

So what is the middle ground ?

It needs to be tight enough that its not a mountain trouser but is not Lycra 100m sprinter tight !

I don’t know what the solution is but the closest I have come is the Montane Terra pant, OK it lacks the stretch but the cut is so right, even on the bike.

I am also still playing around with foot wear !

The Montrail Hardrock Mids that I thought was the answer to my dreams ( a waterproof Namche) have gradually fallen apart round my feet.

upon e mailing Montrail they said to speak to Beta Climbing Designs 2 weeks later despite calls and e mails I have not heard anything !

Funny thing is 6 months after the shoe was released it has been re designed to look like this.

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Which in my mind looks like a better shoe learning from all the things that was wrong with the ones I have.

One thing for sure is that old thing of the reliable Montrail fit seems to have changed.

I think there is plenty of room in the fore foot / toe box but from there back the shoe is way narrower than the original Namche Etc.

This I think is what is causing me problems with the new shoes.

PTC is wearing his a bit more so we will see how thing develop.

There is a few missions in the pipeline as well as looking for a lightweight 1 man tent.

The 3 wire is great but in winter there is no way of getting away from the joy of a porch to cook in.

Again it looks like spring outside but a prayer to mother nature for an extended winter wont go a miss !

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