Monthly Archives: June 2010

Wanlockhead Wander

Stu from Caledonian Adventures text me the other day to say he had a day off and was up for a bike ride if I could get away from work.

After working Saturday taking the rangers and public down the very low White Cart in canoes I had some time to take back so plans were made.

We trundled down the M74 and left it at Abington taking the  B797 to the other side of Wanlockhead and just before we got to Mennock we parked up at a small road junction and got set to go.

Stu had brought a friend with him called Tor, he would be running aside us on our journey.

The single lane road takes you straight up the hill so it was a hard start but we soon got into a rhythm and made good progress despite the amount of gates.

The track takes you through Brandleys Farm, I always think it’s a bit weird cutting through the middle of someones courtyard.

From there the track opens up a bit and thankfully levels out as well.

We picked up The Southern Upland Way track and again set off uphill, thankfully the ground was dry and hard which made the going much easier.

We finally made up to the saddle just SE of Conrig Hill and a quick break and soaked in the views as well as checking the map.

The downhill to the woods was awesome and as I got to the gate I stopped to get the camera out to get a picture of Stu and Tor coming down the hill.

Stu’s brakes were screeching with the work of slowing the bike down on the slope.

As we passed through the gate Stu mentioned that his breaks did not appear to be as positive as he would like as well as the screeching, at that he touched his disk with his glove and a little cloud of smoke came of his glove as it melted.

Through the gate we checked the front pads and found they were a bit chipped and unevenly worn.

So whilst the midges had a go at us we changed the front pads and pretty soon we were off again spinning away on the track towards Glengaber Hill.

Again we had another awesome downhill section off the NE shoulder of the hill.

There was no break screech this time and by the time we got to Wanlock Water we had big grins on our faces.

As we rolled into Wanlockhead I noticed my back tyre was a bit soft and as pedaled up the wee hill it was like a wheel barrow full of cement with a flat tyre going through mud.

Stu was also being slowed by the new pads binding.

We stopped at the visitor’s centre and headed into the teas room, as usual with Scottish tourism we were greeted by a welcoming smiley face behind the counter as we ordered cake and Irn Bru.

I pumped my tyre up and we also pushed the pads in a bit on Stu’s bike as well as realigning the caliper.

Straight away we both noticed the difference as we yet again headed up hill.

Again we followed the SU Way heading up the side of  Lowther hill.

The track joins the road at one point helping the climb a bit, so heads were down and there was no more gears to be had as our turn off finally came into view.

It’s all so easy especially on the bike to have your head down and miss all the views, as we stood at the track junction it gave you a chance to take it all in and see the distance we had already travelled.

Another downhill with loose stones all over the place saw us at the shoulder of East Mount Lowther, another climb / push got us to a nice rolling track and another nice grassy downhill.

The final loop took  us around Threehope Hill onto the very hard to spot Dempster road !

After some interesting contouring we were back at the road, I left Stu and Tor and sped off to get the truck.

At this point I hit the top speed of the day at 50.8 KM/Hr it didn’t last long as the wind picked up and typical blew in my face all the way to the truck.

A great wee day oot !

Total Distance 28.4km

Top Speed on trail 40km/hr

Maximum Height 639m

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Kit up date

Some new kit has been purchased and used and abused in past couple of months.

Haglofs Lizard shorts

I got these from the guys at Escape Route and have had them on lots off and on the bike as well as at work.

The fit is great for the bike but at the same time not to tight that they can’t be worn casually !

The only thing is that if you forget to zip the pockets up when you sit down all your change falls out and down the back of the sofa !

Haglofs Courier

I needed a new bag for work and stumbled across this whilst salivating at the Haglofs range !

It’s just arrive today so I have not used it in anger but looking at it you can tell its a well thought out bit of kit.

It will be getting used daily for work and also on the commute to work on the bike, more shortly.

As you can see the Haglofs fetish is still there despite an annoying incident with the Ascent 48.

The Aluminium frame tube end rubbed its way through the bottom of the pack causing the tube to poke out onto my back !

I sent it down to Haglofs UK and a nice lady called Vickie e-mailed me back to say that it would be covered under the guarantee.

Haglofs don’t make the Ascent any more so I was offered a choice of replacements.

The Matrix 50 is on its way from Haglofs HQ in Sweden as we speak.

Also awaiting arrival is a pair of X hales, when speaking to the guys at Escape Route about size they mentioned that there has been a change.

My Trail mid 2‘s are size 8’s but I have been told I am going to need a 9 or 9.5 now !

Again great service and knowledge of independents !

Also possibly coming soon is a new road bike !

I have not decided which model I am going for yet but it will be a Cube it could be this one to match my mountain bike (is that wrong ?)

More later as this toy list could go on for ever !

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All I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long !

Yes so its been a while since I up dated the blog !

It’s not through the lack of things happening just more time to write things up !

I had a nice wee jaunt out with PTC and a few guys from The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and some press guys.

I arrived late due to work so the guys had set off by the time I got to the car park.

It didn’t take me long at a reasonable running pace to catch up with the group as PTC pointed out litter and fireplaces that had been used many times over.

It was a lovely afternoon to be out and about and despite it getting late the air was still warm.

We replenished water bottles at the small Lochan before climbing the final hill to the camp spot.

After helping some of the boys pitch their tents a set about pitching the Terra Nova Laser Photon Elite.

It’s a great wee tent and the fact that its lighter than the 3 wire bivvy gives food for thought.

The only turn off for me was that it was a bit fidley to put up !

With a bit of practice and playing about I am sure it would be easier !

Tents pitched we settled down for food and brews, some of us having more success than others on the dried food front.

Again the sky never failed to give an awesome light show as the sun set and darkness fell upon us.

As we headed off to bed we were treated to great colours and cloudy patterns.

My alarm woke me for the sunrise that was not to be, as I poked my head out the tent the cloud was down and it was just getting light.

I got the stove on for a brew as I packed my stuff silently trying not to wake the others up.

Packed I left to others snoring in their bags, and started off down the hill whilst drinking my coffee.

Once through the trees I was on the road for the last wee bit back to the car park.

I jogged along quite happily enjoying the running pace for a change.

Once the car park I realised that I had left the drivers window down on the car ” what a tube ” I was lucky.

The road was empty on the way back to Glasgow and work beckoned !

I also managed to sneak in a wee holiday for a week in Tunisia with Jules.

The weather was good and apart from the hotel being over run by thousands of SAGA Tour coffin dodgers it was nice to chill.

We didn’t really make it out into the real Tunisia for various reasons but as the sun was setting I could make out the beautiful outline of the Atlas mountains in the distance, another one for the list !

After work time has been used up training for the Rat Race and the Nokia Coast to Coast.

The biking is good and have manged to vary routes including a few trips to the Kilpatricks with PTC and Ange.

The running is slowly getting there and not so enjoyable but has to be done !

Work has been the usuall apart from the awesome re branding we have gone through !

No more Culture & Sport Glasgow now Glasgow Life ! Great !

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