Saturday, December 31, 2005

Photo Album

Spent this wet morning adding a few albums to my photos,
Galloway Hills walk,
Carrick hills MTB,
Catrine MTB,
Bergamo Italy short break.

Still drzzling out there but it's time to get the brolly out and get some fresh air.

Went along to Failford beside the River Ayr, it's quiet and sheltered.
In the wood we saw a lovely little Goldcrest which didn't bother with us at all then a Jay which gave a squawk and disappeared very sharply.
Back home for a bite to eat and soon be time to get ready for the bells.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Beach walk and jog

Not much of a day today but got out for a brolly walk down through the Glen onto the beach, there wasn't much wind but it did drizzle a bit.
There was a burnt out car down Catkin lane, very annoying, first I've see there ever, hope it doesn't become a regular feature.

Just after our little stole it looked quite nice so got on the running kit and headed off along the beach from Portencross. The sand along the high water line had a perfect feel under my feet, just a little give to take the shock out of footfalls.
I didn't quite get to that lovely floating feeling, my body kept complaining about what I was doing to it, but I enjoyed it even so.

Beach photos here.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Christmas Spectre

On Christmas morning I was first out of bed, not excitement, just habit.
It was misty and I wondered if it might be clear up the moor, so after a spot of breakfast I drove up there for a look, sure enough it was clear bright and sunny up the hill, took a few pictures and got back for parcel opening fun.

Before christmas lunch got out on the MTB in the hope that it would still be clear up high, it was, and fabulous to get above the cloud.
Over Glentane the sun was behind me, my shadow projected onto the clouds below giving a lovely Brocken Spectre.
I pushed up Caldron hill and had an amazing view of the windfarm poking out of the clouds, then it was time to zoom downhill back for a bit of traditional christmas dinner and relaxation....marvelous!!

See pictures here.

Boxing day Anne and I were over the east coast visiting my sister, next day it snowed, we had a lovely very short strole in the snow before deciding to scamper back home before it got any worse.

Today it was back to the usual, a little MTB outing in the chill -2degC and 15kph breeze along the beach and over Goldenberry, I just had right amount on, two layers on legs and three layers upper body, headwarmer and crash hat, so it was really rather pleasant.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas eve sunshine

Lovely pleasant christmas eve, horizon to horizon blue sky and no frost, so took a road cycle trip across to Lochwinnoch RSPB, via Dlary and Barcraigs reservior.
Some lovely views on route although a little hazy toward Ben Lomond.
The RSPB centre was quite busy so had a quick hot chocolate and a snack and set off back home over the Fairlie moor road.
Lovely day out.

View pictures here.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Irvine Dundonald loop

Yesterday it rained all day so used the time to finish a job that's waited 16 years, venting the cooker hood to the outside.
The space above the kitchen is tiny so it was all a bit of a squeeze getting the duct in place but got there in the end after a bit of grunting and groning.
I was quite pleased with the result it's not 100% but its much better.
In the evening Anne and I went along to see King Kong, great effects, silly story

Today Tom and I went down to Irvine for a short road cycle, following the national trail down to Troon then some minor roads across to Dundonald for a spot of lunch. We just timed it nicely missing a heavy shower by having an extra piece of cake in the cafe and luckily the next shower squeezed round us to the east so stayed dry.
Got back home about 2.30pm and jumped on the MTB for a jaunt up Biglees for a bit of downhill until dark (4pm).
Now it's time to go get the dinner going as the big boy is asking "What's for tea"

See Irvine harbour pictures here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fairlie moor rainbows

Before lunch Anne and I took a walk over Goldenberry, nice and sheltered from the moderate breeze and pleasantly sunny at the top, just an hours walk to get out for some air before lunch.
PM went up Fairlie moor and saw two complete rainbows against a very dark sky, needless to say shortly after seeing them I was showered upon, only for a short time though, I sheltered at the fishery for a few minutes till it past over.
Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so missed out on the picture, shame, it was really nice.
I'd just come across scarey Glentane and was doing the lower downhill when it started.
After the shower finished I completed the downhill then looped up Goldenberry, back home for 3.30pm ready for a nice warm coffee.

Picture above is on the Daily road from Maybole last spring, view the route here

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Anne's weather warning

Anne was off to Ayr this morning and I was considering going over to Eglinton with the MTB to string a route together through the Beachpark and Dreghorn.
As I was getting ready Anne phoned to say it was heavy drizzle down beyond Stevenston, so decide to stay local and hopefully dry.

Pottered down the beach, up Goldenberry, played about a bit but headed home rather than go up the moor as it was getting very grey, sure enough it started drizzling just as I got back.
Had a spot of lunch, cleaned and dried the MTB and, since the drizzle had stopped, headed off for a stole to clear an alternative trail near home.
Spent and hour clearing the trail and another hour meandering looking for alternatives, found one, but it's got a fence half way so probably won't bother with it just yet.

Goldenberry has a couple of easy downhills (and nice views) if your prepared to pedal up first, view the routes here.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Parkhill wood Lochwinnoch

I had expected a bright sunny day today and had planned a road cycle up by Kilmacolm so was a bit disappointed to wake to cloudy sky and the radio threatening showers.
A quick change of plan was made and Anne and I went up to Lochwinnoch for a walk round Parkhill wood just north of the visitor centre.
Along the lochside on the way out was pleasantly calm and we saw goldeneye, wigeon, tufted, and of course mallard duck, there were also two male Goosander and a female, I havent seen them often.
Afterwards we went along to the RSPB centre for a snack and to view the birds feeding, I prefer the RSPB to the Lochwinnoch centre, it's usually quiet and you get a grand view of the bird just outside at the feeders and on the loch through the scopes.
View some bird photos here.
Later PM managed out for a little spin on the MTB onto the moor and downhill to round off a fine day.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

MTB photo shoot

Graham and I had some fun today playing about on a couple of drops taking a few photos of the action before heading down the beach and over Goldenberry, taking our time and lots of pictures.
The sky was clear and the low sun was casting it's warm winter brightness over the beach and islands, I just love the quality of light at this time of year, and provided the wind isn't too stong and I've got the layers right being outdoors is fabulous, although I could happily live without the dripping nose.
Anne and I had lunch booked with my sister across at Cochrane Inn, Gatehead afterward we all took a walk in Eglinton Park just north of Irvine town, to round off a perfect day.

View today's pictures here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Kelburn day

Lovely clear crirp day today, Anne and I stroled up to Failie Glen to the edge of the moor along Kelburn wall, down through Kelburn, a couple of well turned out horses cantered up the steep mid trail past us as we made our way down toward Lady walk.
The wind was just a little cool, but the views were great, Largs was in bright winter sun, the islands were beautifully lit by the low light.

After a spot of lunch jumped on the MTB, up Biglees quarry and along the Fairlie trail for the first time in a while, it wasn't too muddy and the singletrack was nice.
Got back at three ready for a warm coffee and a mince pie, lovely stuff.

View cycle route here and a similar walk here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Kelburn and Fairlie Glen

Took me a bit of time to work up to getting out this morning but eventually got moving on the MTB.
It was mild and breezy as I headed off down the beach into a bit of headwind, up Goldenberry, played about a bit on Goldenberry then headed up to Fairlie village and Kelburn, along Lady walk opposite the castle and the long climb to the upper Kelburn trail.
The trail gives downhill singletrack to Fairlie Glen, continuing behind the castle, nice run, although the Kelburn bit is wet.
Stopped for lunch at the top of the Kelburn trail and took strole up the muddy track to check it out, but it's not really worth the effort pushing the bike up as it's just grotty.
It was getting very dull on the way back so just came straight home, just as well, it started raining 40minutes after I got back.

After a spot of lunch took my sons broken frame down to Stuart at Ayrshire Cycles to see if it can be welded, he recons it can and will price it tomorrow.
Hope it can be saved as it will save buying a new frame.

Kelburn trail description here some local photos here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Caldron summit

Yesterday I went over Kaim Hill summit and the downhill, today I thought it would be nice to go over the other hill out my back yard, Caldron, it's 390m high and best got to from the east.
The first part is on tarmac up to Crosbie at 100m, then off road over scary Glentane to the moor road which goes up to 250m, a nice little downhill then push up to the summit, the view in picture is from the summit cairn.
The nice bit about Caldron is it's ridge, running north for 300m from the top, then it's off left across to Glentane.
This time I managed to contour along a rough track round to repeat the Scary Glentane trail and the lower downhill.
It was great fun, apart from the push to the top of Caldron.

PM Anne and I went across to Eglinton for a strole then Kilmaurs to get the new derailuer fitted, next outing will prove if thats been the problem with the gear change.

View Caldron hill route here and Eglinton walk here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Kaim summit run

This morning got out on the MTB over Biglees quarry onto the moor and did a part downhill before deciding to do the downhill starting at Kaim hill summit, so after the long slog up with some pushing to within 200m of the trig point I was off, the first bits on a quad track then a turn off left that's almost invisible over to the crag above the milstone quarry.
The short descent into the quarry down through the crag is a bit scarey, just at the controllable limit with the back wheel trying to overtake the front, along the lip of the quarry to a little rocky entry, then it's a gentle freewheel along the track to the exit where it gets exciting again, down a short rock slide, a bog then into the rutty section with lots of route choice, some not so clever, right fork to the little bridge, more ruts in the heather to a bumpy stream crossing.
All great stuff and that only half way!

PM went for a strole with Anne through Blair estate to keep out of the cooling breeze then had a short trail clearing spell for an hour until dark.

View the downhill here and blair walk here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Stewarton, Dunlop and Glentane

Clear and crisp this morning, Tom and I cycled from Eglinton to Stewarton's Coffee Pot cafe then up and over to Dunlop to the lovely high road above Aiket Castle back to Eglinton.
We kept the pace down and spun the pedals to keep from getting chilled.
Got back at 2.15pm and since it was still gloriously sunny jumped on the MTB for a quick adrenalin fix over Glentane and the downhill finishing as the sun was setting behind Goldenberry.
View the Dunlop route here and photos here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Straiton and Loch Bradan

The past couple of days I haven't been out on the bike but today Graham and I went down to Straiton to do a 38km loop round to Loch Bradan, its mostly forest tracks with a bit of linking minor road, and another link of 300m muddy/overgrown singletrack.

We were off early (9am) as Graham had an appointment at 3pm, but as a result we got the best of the sunny morning.
The first section of singletrack had been frosted and defrosted so we both had that sinking feeling a few times.
The forest track near Stinchar Bridge and Bradan was a bit grotty as well but at least was firm.
Took about 3.5hours with just one short break.
The highlight was the North Bradan singletrack followed by the fast descent down through the forest to Girvan water, both great fun!

View todays photos here and the route description here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Lanfine and bike maintenance

Took the bike over to Walkers Cycling today for its free service, had coffee and cake at The Gleg Whittle then went over to Lanfine for a walk.
In the estate kept my eyes peeled for trails and spoted a downhill track going right down through the trees, unfortunately it's been carved with berms so wouldn't be surprised if next time I look it'll be demolished.
The upper part is less obvious so may survive, the guys at walkers said there's a trail all the way from the mast, but it's not evident at the top of the bit I saw today.
Perhaps I'll have a chance to investigate some more soon.
Have agreed with the shop to change the rear mech hopefully to get rid of the gear change hysteresis and get it operating the other way, like every other mech I've got.

View Lanfine MTB route here and walk here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Kelly Cut, Leapmoor and lots of mud

Thought I'd revisit Leapmoor forest and Cornalees today, up near Inverkip, so put the bike on the car and headed up to Lunderston Bay parking. The beach track to Kip is improved, someone has removed some dense bushes that blocked the path.
Went into Leapmoor via Everton, a scout hut, nice trail for downhill, unfortunately the opposite way to my direction.
The Leapmoor track was disgustingly muddy, but had only about 1km of it before going down past Langhill then up to Cornalees.
The Kelly cut wasn't too bad, the disc brakes helped, they don't get all clogged up like the V brakes. Finished along the muddy track to Finnock Bog farm and back along the beach.

Very nice, apart from loads of mud and loads of thorns, seems the farmers have been out en mass flailing their hedges.

View todays pictures here and the route here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A walk through Kelburn

Anne and I had a strole through Kelburn today, the wind was in the east so it ment we were fairly sheltered. The picture above is the view from the north end of the Kelburn road but is a summer photo, today was a bit duller.
In Largs had lunch at Graigmiles cafe and caught the bus back, almost forgot to get off at Fairlie where we had left the car, that would've made us both feel rather silly.

Later PM went a up the moor to groom the Biglees quarry trail, put in a rough stile at the fence to stop damage where I cross, cleared the track of some deep heather at a couple of spots and put in a little bridge at a ditch but I'm not sure it will last, next time up it will probably have been given the heave by the local shooters.

View the description of the walk >here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A perfect winter day

Picked up Tom about 10am then headed over to Eglinton with bikes on the car.
The sky was clear as we set off in lovely sunshine meadering along quiet lanes to The Gleg Whittle in Kilmaurs, after coffee and cake we were off again along the minor roads to Dundonald, we climbed a little and got some nice views north to Ben Lomond, west to Arran and the Paps of Jura and the royal castle above the village. The intention was to have another cafe stop at the Industrial park but the coffee and cake from the Gleg Whittle was still fuelling us, so we just kept going.
By the time we got back to Eglinton we had enjoyed just over three hours cycling in lovely winter sunshine.

Got home at 2.30pm had a spot to eat and dashed out on the MTB for an hours spin before dark, lovely view over the beach as the sun was going down.
Managed a loop on Goldenberry then headed back home for tea.

Absolutely cracking day!

View the route here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Photo day

A lovely mild dry day today, took a while to decide what to do but got out eventually on local trails, beach, Goldenberry and Kelburn.

It was so mild I had to remove a layer, trouble was had to bare my bum to do it, so there was a semi nudist on the beach this morning, but only for a few seconds.

Took loads of pictures and you can view them here.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Dry and mild

The WE was dry and mild, yesterday Anne and I went down to Ayr for a walk, it looked a bit cloudy so we visited the retail park for a couple of thing then, since it was clearer headed along the river Ayr on the Auchincruive walk.
It takes about two hours, is sheltered and quite.
View the walk description here, some pictures here.

Today Graham and I went over the windfarm trail then Fairlie Moor, the lower downhill and Goldenberry hill, about 3 hours out and about, after lunch Anne and I went a walk down the beach.
The tide was high and in the water we caught sight of the snouts of seals, closer inshore were Wigeon and Mallard, further out were Cormorant drying on the rocks and behind them the sun was dropping behind Arran, all very nice.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Tables and trails

Had a little job this morning to revarnish a couple of small tables, so while watching the weather sanded them down and gave them their fist coat.
The rain was off so decided to chance a short MTB outing to Biglees quarry.
On route was a sombre little reminder of mortality, beside the road were bouquets of flowers to the young girl killed there just two days ago in a car accident, very, very sad.
Up the quarry onto the moor downhill, over Goldenberry on the way back home but just did a loop back into Hunterston estate as the beach would be a head wind,back at 2.30pm for refreshments then finished varnishing the two tables.

Picture above is across the Clyde at Sandbank on an Ardentinny outing, view the route here and pictures here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

An unlucky day

Hunted the net this morning for cheaper energy then got on the MTB for a local ride, only got 500m before I had to repair a puncture, a long sliver of wire a bit like a big staple.
Two minutes after setting off again a collie was biting at my foot as usual the owner had no control but fortunately the dog wasn't too serious about it or it could have got a hold of my leg rether than my boot.
Had a lovely bit of wind assistance along the beach, and a nice cooling breeze up Goldenberry, played about a bit on Goldenberry then got another puncture at the bottom.
The tyres was really grotty so it wasn't much fun at all repairing it and had used the spare tube on the first puncture so had to do a patch job second time.
Continued up Fairlie moor into a head on breeze making the climb even tougher than normal so just did the lower downhill and then back home.

Some local summer pictures here.

PS Lovely evening so nipped out on the MTB up Law Hill to look at the village lights, then down the Glen and along the beach. I was tempted to go up Goldenberry but decided to quit while I was enjoying it.
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