Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Car repairs

Dalry Linn

The car was off to the car doctor this morning to get its horrible noises fixed.
Turned out that the two front suspension springs were broken, quite common apparently.
While the car was getting fixed Anne was off shopping so I made my way over Glentane, the Fairlie track and up into Kelburn for another go at the new downhill.
I walked up there yesterday fixing a few little bits, it flows a bit better now but it's a long way from WK to Kelburn just for a 5 minute downhill, must see if it can be linked in with a Largs loop to get a bettter return for effort expended.
PM went for a walk in Eglinton for an hour after picking up the car.

View Eglinton walks and cycles here. and pictures (summer) here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sunny Kaim Hill

Yesterday Graham and I were limited to a local MTB ride as my little car is awaiting a visit to the car doctor on tuesday, it's got a steering noise and pulls to the side, so it's staying in the drive until its garage visit.
It didn't stop us having a great day out though, over Biglees Quarry and up to the top of Kaim hill, picnic at the quarry before flying down the rest of the downhill (literally for Graham at one spot, fortunately the roll in the heather did him no damage), finishing over Goldenberry hill and the somewhat busy beach track.
Back at 2.15 so finished my boys bike repair and fitted a new fork to the full bouncer, the old fork was a bit hard, still got a bit of work to do on it before it's fit for the trails.

View the downhill trail description here.

Local photos Dec05 here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Kelburn and Kaim

Yesterday spent most of the daylight hour in Kelburn, in the morning grooming the downhill and PM having a walk with Anne.

Today managed out on the bike, it was dry still and dull, temperature 4degC.
Went up the Kelburn via the beach and Goldenberry, climbed well up onto Blaeloch hill to get a longer downhill but it wasn't really worth the effort.
Finished Kelburn down the new trail, but there's still a few thing to be sorted to make it flow a bit better.
After Kelburn climbed all the way up Kaim for the complete downhill, it's great.
Took a few photos, got back about 2.30 and started assembling my son's full suspension Giant after the swing arm welding.
Got it done but it needs a few other bits sorted out.

View pictures here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

South of Dailly

My wife had taken her mother for a spin in the car about a week ago and when she showed me on the map I immediately saw the potential for a nice cycle route starting at Dailly over to Pinmore, Lendalfoot, Colmonell and Bar.
Today was the chosen day, even though the car was making some strange noises, I headed off to Dailly.
The sun was splitting the skies and the temperature was up to an almost mild 6degC.
The roads were extremely quiet with lots of climbing, twists, turns and views, summer pictures here. can be viewed here.

May generate a web page, but view a similar route here.

PS have generated a web page for the route view it here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kelburn downhill and row boat photos

Took a walk into Kelburn this morning with Anne up the new downhill across the top of Kelburn to Fairlieward Cottage and back down, pleasantly cool.

Post lunch Anne went off stocking the larder so I took off over Goldenberry, along to Kelburn to have a go at the new downhill.
It's a long slog up to the top, fitness and thrills were the words that came to mind as I climbed and climbed and climbed.
Top part is a bit of a muddy slither, next there's three little obsticles to sort, I fell off a the first a tree stump, the other two just reduce speed to next to zero, and the bottom bit still needs the rhodies opened out a bit.
All in all it's going to be a good little trail.

Along Miller walk on the way back there was a rowing boat on the beach so couldn't resist a few pictures view them here.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lanfine route and Kelburn trail grooming

Graham and I had a nice couple of hours MTBing over by Lanfine, Darvel.
As we arrived at the Galston Co-op car park Galston there were a group of cyclists just setting out, I wondered if it might have been the Ayrshire CTC but their runs list doesn't show one for today, so can only guess who it might have been.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered a downhill trail in Lanfine and fancied a go on it today but it turned out a bit of a disappointment, the only worthwhile bits were jumps and I don't; the rest was just mud really.
Best bit today was the trail down past Cessnock Castle beside the burn to Galston, some nice dips and turns, very entertaining.

Got back about 2pm had a shower and coffee then took a walk up into Kelburn clearing a route through the rhododendron, the downhill is shaping up nicely, just need to sort out the top section and I think it will be a good little trail.

View a similar route here.

Some Galston pictures here.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Turn back or be shot.

Anne and started a walk into Kelburn today but were warned off by the gamekeeper, there was a shoot about to start, it was basically a case of turn back please or risk being shot, needless to say we turned back and made our way in the opposite direction up onto the western edge of Fairlie moor.
It was quite busy up on the moor, lower down were a couple of walkers, midway was a group of model glider enthusiasts, and at the top of Kaim a couple of paragliders trying unsuccessfully to get airborn, didn't seem to be enough breeze for them.
PM gave Graham a ring and went out on the MTBs for an hour through the Glen and along the beach, unsurprisingly a collie dog was quite keen to nip my leg until the owner noticed by which time I was off the bike, keeping it between me and the dog as it barked and circled AARGH, uncontrolled dogs makes me so angry!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Waterfalls and Downhill

I took a walk up Fairlie Glen this morning, the burn was going quite well so took a few pictures as I climbed beside the water, just off the path.
There are some lovely spots next to the burn invisible from the main path.
At the top of the path is the 30 feet falls, a little difficult to get to these days due to errosion and fallen trees.
As I sauntered through Kelburn I discovered a line for a downhill route and cleared it a bit as I went, the lower bit was a little overgrown by rhododendron but there was another line.

Came home for a spot of lunch then cycled up to Kelburn to give the downhill a go, the bottom bit was good but the top was a bit tame.
I may have another go at clearing the rhodies to improve things, it could open up a worthwhile Largs/Kelburn figure of eight loop.

View the falls pictures here with a little gory ending.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A wellies and brolly day

Today was a day for wellies and brolly, damp, dull, drizzly with a light breeze
AM went up a MTB trail clearing debris and puting down a few rocks at a couple of muddy sections.
It was very mild and I was getting a bit sweaty just walking, so stopped and let the light breeze cool me before moving the rocks onto the trail.
PM Anne and I went over to Dalgarven Mill for some light lunch then into Blair estate for a walk in the drizzle, which gradually turned to rain, it was superbly muddy next to the burn, ideal for wellies.
The snow drops are appearing, in another week there should be a nice display just below Blair house in the little garden by the burn.

I was thinking I may add a feature to my web site to show sheltered areas suitable for short walks with wellies and brolly on a wet day like today.

Pictures of Blair in the spring here.

PS have altered my web page to show brolly walks, view it here.

Fairlie walk

Took a walk yesterday over the side of the moor to Fairlie it was pleasantly cool and quite clear but not that crystal clear way that comes with the really cold days.
Arran and the hills up behind Dunoon had a sprinkling of snow which was nice.
Just meandered as much as possible along the ridges, admiring the views, then caught the bus back from Fairlie getting back about 2pm.
After a spot to eat went up the moor in the car till 4pm laying some stones along a muddy section of MTB trail where I sometimes get bogged down.

Some pictures of Fairlie Largs here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Douglas Downhill

Haven't been out on the bike for a few days due to weather and family things, so it was nice to get out this morning.
The weather forecast was for rain PM but morning was just dull with a little breeze.
Last week I'd hoped to get up to the Douglas park downhill trail but the rain caught me, so today I headed up that way off road, Crosbie, Glentane, down to the cycle way to Fairlie.
The moor waterfall was going nearly full bore and Glenburn was good and noisy took some pictures as I went, they're a bit flat due to the lack of sun, but I like them.
From Failie I went up through Kelburn, a little push onto the Kilbirnie road, round to Haylie picnic spot then over to Douglas view point above largs .

The view from above Largs was nice but a bit limited, the breeze was getting up and I could see the rain closing in on Arran so I didn't hang about, just jumped on the bike onto the Douglas downhill trail, it has a couple of jumps lower down but I'm not into getting air so took the chicken run.
It was nice but a bit limited, two jumps, two drop offs and a berm.
On the way back I kept low along the sea wall into Fairlie, the cycle way through Hunterston and got home just before the serious rain began.

Nice three hour on the bike, view pictures here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Big waves at Portencross

I wasn't quite sure what the weather was going to do this morning but after 45minutes of gathering leaves in the garden I decided to get out on the bike and see how it shaped up. Down the beach the tide was high and the strong southerly wind was pushing in some big waves.
The sea was great to watch so pottered round by Portencross castle, harbour and pier.
Beyond Portencross the waves were crashing on the rocks, spray rising like white fireworks, it was great to be blown along watching the free show.
Around the point in Hunterston bay the sea was amazingly calm, there were loads of Shell Duck and Wigeon taking advantage of the shelter.
I was planning a couple of small loops so if the weather broke I'd be able to dash back home quickly, so went up Glodenberry for starters, looped about toward Biglees but it started to drizzle so got my head down into the wind and headed home, back about 1.15pm quite happy to have made the best of the morning.

See some beach pictures here but not today as I foolishly didn't take my camera

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bike Maintenance and Showers

Yesterday it rained so renewed the rear disc pads, chain, cassette, and repaired a puncture.

This morning looked bright so got out hoping to get up toward Largs and Douglas Park.
It was nice down the beach, took a few photos and headed over Goldenberry, only to find I was getting chainsuck (9 speed narrow chains can't stand chain ring wear).
The sky was getting very dark out to the north west so headed back home to sort out the front small ring and await some brighter skies.
Sure enough after lunch it brightened up, so headed up to Crosbie, Biglees downhill and a loop on Goldenberry again, got home just as a shower was setting in about 3.30pm.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A day of rest

Yesterdays five hours of mountain biking and the dull windy weather put me off a cycle today, so went a sheltered walk up some local MTB trails and cleared a couple of short variations, it should stop the original lines getting too rutted and obvious with use.
Had a spot of lunch then fixed a slow puncture from yesterday, had a look at the disc pads and the rear is worn out, so sometime tomorrow will try to get some replacements.
Hopefully new pads will improve the feel of the rear brakes, they're a bit sticky at times.

Just finished a web page of yesterdays efforts, view it here.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Culzean and Carrick hills

Picked up Graham this morning and drove with the bikes to Maybole.
Our route plan, if the weather was kind, was a 35km loop over south Carrick Hills, along Croy shore into Culzean, over toward Dailly then down through Craigfin forest back to Maybole.
As we set off it was horizon to horizon sunshine but only 3degC.
Frost helped with the Carrick Hills mud but it was still hard work getting over the moor before enjoying the 1 mile downhill run to the beach.
One thing thats a little unusual about this route is the need to know the tide is out for Croy Shore to Culzean, I'm glad I don't cycle this bit every day, sand ain't easy.
A lovely little climb brought us into Culzean and a break at the Centre Cafe for soup, coffee, and a laze in the sun, lovely stuff.
Took lots of pictures in the park before heading off behind Maidens to Turnberry where some well to do was just arriving in his helicopter, perhaps for a spot of afternoon golf.
From Turnberry it's a long long climb over the moor roads to the last downhill of the day, Glenshelloch and Graigfin woods unfortunately it was more mud than speed, but still very nice.

Absolutely fabulous winter day outing, pictures here and route description here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ayr and a short MTB outing

Went off to Ayr this morning to sort out a non perfect christmas present, another of my pet hates, it spoils the fun of giving and receiving when the gift ain't right.
Then had a walk through the parks in Alloway, lunching at the Secret Garden Tea room on Dunure road, before finishing the walk through Belleisle.
The picture above was taken some time ago in the hothouse in Belleisle, now in slow decline, although still full of plants it's closed to the public, damn shame!

View a description of the walk here.

Late PM went out for a short blast on the MTB along the beach and onto Goldenberry until dark.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Adrenaline and Endorphins

I had my first 2006 desecent from the top of Kaim hill today, all 1000ft of downhill, preceeded by Scarey Glentane.
It was frosty at the top of the hill which made the cycling a pleasure rather than an effort, unfortunately the sun didn't bless the outing but it was a great run all the same.
One of these times I must remember to time how long the descent takes, it seems like ages but I doubt if it's any more than 15 minutes.
One things for sure though, it's certainly an adrenaline buzz, then beer suplimented adrenaline and endorhins on return, you just can't beat it.

View route description here.

Very recent quarry pictures here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Good day for MTB

It was cold, dull and breezy today, just ideal for a short blast on the MTB, wind assit down the beach track then a few loops in woodland trails to keep out of the breeze, great fun just dodging about while Anne was off stocking the larder.

After lunch Anne and I went for a walk up Fairlie glen and into Kelburn.
It was nice and sheltered from the easterly breeze.
I'm going to check my web site to see if todays walk is there, it's really quite nice.

View beach pictures here.

PS have just added a web page describing the Fairlie Glen Kelburn walk.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A wasted morning

Anne and I went off to Ayr this morning only to find the shop we were heading to was shut, so that was the morning vapourised to no purpose.
I just hate that sort of thing especially when the weather was as nice as this morning.

Back home after a spot of lunch ventured out on the MTB onto the moor via scarey Glentane.
Over the the past few days when I've had an odd hour or two to spare, I've been clearing a little trail variation and was keen to give it a go.
It was OK the early part has a couple of short drops where the saddle nearly comes up to my chin but mostly it's easy, can't tell how it might bed in with use, it may get all slithery like the other section.

Later PM Anne and I went along to Miller Walk in Fairlie trying to get the sun and stay out of the easterly wind.
As we set off the sky was lovely and clear and the sun was shining along Fairlie front.
We got back as the sun was setting, deep blue sky and lovely whispy pink clouds above Arran, very pretty.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Kaim Quarry walk

Yesterday could only manage a short MTB outing in the morning before going off to do some New Year visiting, although Anne and I also managed a short walk in Culzean.

Today we went a strole up to Kaim Quarry from Biglees quarry, it was a lovely still mild day, I got a bit overheated on the way up, but cooled down near the quarry.
We passed the nice waterfall at the head of Glenburn, up to the millstone quarry then headed out and down to the complete millstone on the side of the hill off the end of the quarry, going back along the ridge, a very pleasant 2.5hr strole.

View pictures of the walk, quarry, millstones and views here.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New year run

Anne and I brought in the new year at Largs Willowbank Hotel dinner and dance, fortunately I didn't overdo the drink so was keen to get out for a MTB cycle with Graham.
Got out about 10am over the high road to meet Graham then up to the new windfarm at Knockendon.
It was lovely, clear, still and cool, we made our way across to Knockendon reservior then Fairlie moor and the lower downhill, getting back about 1.30pm for a spot of lunch.
After lunch Anne and I went a strole up Law Hill for a look at the view, it was grand, sun beams over Ailsa Craig, although still not quite as nice as the morning.

Great day out and a great start to the new year!......pictures here.
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