Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bright, cold and a short cycle

Kilmaurs toll house

My outdoor thermometer showed 0degC this morning but it was bright and not too breezy, so gave Tom a ring and arranged to go for a short road cycle from Eglinton to Kilmaurs and dependent on the weather decide from there.
It was actually very nice on the way there but only because the wind was behind us.
After a coffee and cake break we started the second half of the run into the wind, we soon decided to get out of that rut ASAP, so headed back over to Eglinton away from the wind, again it was quite pleasant, so it was a nice, short and cold outing.
PM Anne and I went for a litle walk down Hunterston and onto Goldenberry, keeping out of the wind as best we could.

View the route here although today we cut it even shorter.

View a selection of Ayrshire pictures here.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Parkhill Wood

Millpond near Beith

Anne had a shop return in Dalry today so we went up past there to Parkhill wood by Castle Semple for a walk.
It was surprisingly busy, quite a few school kids having a go at cycling, canoeing and archery adding to the normal dog walkers.
The walk is short, about an hour, view a description here.

Some photos in the area here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Accident halted play

Graham and I went off to do a loop along the Ayr Gorge at Machline, but half way through Graham took a tumble and hurt his aready delicate back, so we cut the cycle short.
We still managed to visit Wallaces Cave, view the gorge, viaduct and Auchnleck House all the best bits of the outing really.
We were going to Dumfries house and Catrine but that will just have to wait for another day.
On returning home about 2.30 I jumped on the bike again off up Biglees, great view up north to the snowy peaks of the highlands, and finished the day over Goldenberry to portencross, getting back at 5pm, just in time for tea.

A good varied day, but would have been better without the mishap.

View todays photos here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hard labour

Spent most of today clearing a new short trail near home, around 1.30 I thought I'd sit down for some lunch only to find I'd left it at home, that was a bit of a blow.
Just continued with the hard labour of trail clearing until about 2.30.
Dashed home had a bite to eat (too much really) then jumped on the MTB to go try out the trail.
As usual it was a bit of a disappointment, too narrow to get a good speed up, and a couple of quick steep climbs too hard to cycle, guess I'll just have to give it some more time.
After sampling the trail went down through Hunterston and met Jim for a chat on his way home.
Turned out he was the trials bike guy Graham and I saw on Sunday on our way back from Kelburn.
He was telling me the chap he was with ended up rolling his quad on a steep climb, no harm done though.

Local trails here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A sunny walk

Anne and I took a strole along the edge of the moor to Fairlie.
It was a little strange one minute it would be nice and warm next the wind would get up and it was freezing, so the jackets were off and on like yo-yos.
The ground is drying a little so the walking ws quite nice underfoot.
Caught the train back from Fairlie, had a spot of lunch then went out to clear up a route after the tree gobbler, a little drain outflow needed diverting off a much used bit of trail.
It took an hour then went for a stroll over Goldenberry, strangely enough there was a repeat showing of the shower cloud and rainbow over Largs.

Some photos here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Clyde views

I thought since the weather was so nice I'd do a loop from Castle Semple over to Bishopton and Kilmacolm to take in the views over the Firth of Clyde to Ben Lomond and the Highland hills.
I started up the cycleway then onto the minor roads, they are tiny, very quiet, and pretty rough in places, twisting, turning, up and down, great stuff.
Stopped off at Kilmacolm for some warm soup and coffee about half twelve.
The loop took about 4 hours but still had time for a little walk over Goldenberry before tea, saw a small shower cloud above Largs complete with a little rainbow.

View pictures here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Fun, sun and fitness

Blair House

Phoned Tom this morning and he put off a shopping trip to Glasgow in favour of a bit of biking in the sun.
We took the bikes in the car down to Eglinton and had a leisurely cycle across to Stewartons, coffee pot cafe.
By the time we had finished our lunch the clouds were coming over so we decided just to head back but luckily it brightened up again as we came west.
Got back about 2pm and decided to do a fitness loop up over the moor road, it was really nice but with a cool north wind.
Finally got back at 3.45 ready for a bit of coffee, cake and relaxation.

View a route here.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Portencross to Douglas hill

Today Graham and I went off on the MTBs on local trails, I have a bit of a cold and Graham was not feeling top notch either.
The beach was beautiful, crystal clear, bright and sunny.
The early frost was soon vapourised while we pottered along just taking in the views, it wasn't to last though a veil of cloud came over from the east and the temperature fell sharply as we climbed up past fairlie castle to the high Kelburn track.
At the Dougals view point above Largs we took in the view before scooting off down the upper downhill trail, out to Haylie brae and back to the long slog through Kelburn toward the Fairlie Glen downhill, a great little trail well worth the effort.
On route Grahams saddle decided to fall apart, but a little bit of twig held it together till we got back to my place and made a repair before he set off home.

Good day out, todays pictures here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A week in Kelburn

Largs bay

I seem to have spent most of my outdoor hours in Kelburn this week and today was the same.
Anne and I went up to Largs in the car and walked over Douglas hill view point down into Kelburn.
It was lovely and still, slightly cloudy although clear enough to the north to see the Arrochar hills.
We walked above our usual path along the cliff edge, giving us a different view on things.
PM had to go off and hire a kilt for a coming wedding but later managed a very pleasant little walk over Goldenberry, the cloud had lifted, there was no breeze and it was very clear, just beautiful.

View a MTB route in the area.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Yet more Kelburn

I had an appointment at 3 today so rather than cycle to a schedule I decided just to have a gentle meander around Kelburn perhaps clearing a trail.
First, up near Fairlie Castle, I lowered the barrier on to Lady Walk so that the MTB would go through easier.
Next as I climbed through Kelburn I cleared a little downhill trail to give another option on Kelburn Loops, there's now about six trails and endless combinations, unfortunately they all involve at least as much up as down, but you get knowt for knowt, as they say.

Took a few pictures as I went about, view them here.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rain in Kelburn

Anne and I thought we'd get out sharp for a walk before the forecasted showers, but it didn't work out, by the time we'd got to the top of Fairlie glen it was raining quite hard.
We continued into Kelburn, the rain eased and we investigated a new path on our way back but by the time we got back to the car we were quite wet.

For lunch we went over to Dalgarven and PM it was looking a bit brighter so I got off down the beach, Portencross and Goldenberry on the MTB.
At the top it was looking dull again so headed straight home but still got a little wet on the way.

Some Dalgarven pictures here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Exploring more Kelburn trails

While Anne was off shopping this morning I thought I'd do some exploring around Kelburn to try and link the Douglas downhill and the Kelburn/Fairlie sections.
Just headed straight up to Fairlie on the cycleway then up past Fairlie castle onto Lady walk and up to high Kelburn.
After a bit of wandering I located a track linking across to the picnic area and got the loop I was after, down Douglas park upper, out onto Haylie Brae back into Kelburn and down Fairlie Glen.
It was a great three hours trail bashing, oh so wet and muddy!

May generate a new web page describing the route but for now view some beach pictures here.

Later PM Anne and I went a meander over Goldenberry hill.
There was a tree eating machine clearing dead trees for walkers safety, hope it doesn't get too bare and bleak as a result of the work.

PS have just completed adding a web page of the route, view it here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kelburn stroll

Anne and I had a walk through Kelburn today from Fairlie station to Largs and back along the front sea wall.
We went up the new MTB trail and across the top track past Fairlieward cottage down the Kelburn track out to Haylie Brae.
Lunch at Craigmiles cafe then back along the front where it was quite fresh.
Late PM went out on the MTB but it was looking like getting wet so just managed the beach and Goldenberry, the little dog at Ardneil farm didn't like me cycling through there and tried to chase me on my way, probably thought it managed it in the end, stupid mutt!

Some of todays photos here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gone shopping

It was wet this morning so Anne and I decided to get some shopping out of the way, so off to Ayr we went, got a few clothes and a new DVD player then went across to Auchincruive for a walk on Wagonwheel trail across Oswald bridge.
The mud has got the better of the track in some places but it was still nice, especially hearing the birds singing for the first time since going off skiing last week.
Later PM got out for an hour or so on the MTB over Biglees and up Goldenberry before the drizzle set in again around 4.45.

Some Auchincruive pictures here.

Auchincruive paths description here (ayrshirepaths.org.uk)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Alp D'Huez

Didn't get out on the bike all week due to being in France for a skiing holiday.
Sun, snow, good food, pleasant company and some great skiing, so didn't really miss the MTB.
Now I'm back I'm keen to get out and about, just waiting for the drizzle to go off, it doesnt't look promising so may just have to go for a brolly walk.

View some ski pictures here.

PS managed to get out for a short run down the beach after the drizzle stopped about 4.30.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Short but fun

Barcraigs Reservior near Beith

I had some essential shopping to do so chose to get it done AM, after lunch Anne and I had a very pleasant walk around Eglinton, it was mild and sunny.

PM managed out for a short MTB run down a couple of trails with some very nice little drops and tehnical bits, it was fun for an hour, met Jim on his way home from work as I was heading back and had a pleasant chat about our local trails, cycling and bikes bits, we both agree that hydraulic disc brakes are great, no horrible grinding noises and great stopping power.

See pictures here.

Road route description to Barcraigs pictured above.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Trail grooming and downhills

Arran from Bradshaw Ruin (View route here)

Had a go this morning at the trail variation near home, but nearly came a cropper at the steep drop, so rearranged some of the stones on the ramp and gave it a couple of tries, much better now.

It was rather mild 8degC, I was a bit warm so just cycled gently along the cyclway to Fairlie for a picnic lunch on the sea front before the long uphill into Kelburn.
I got to the litle bit of woodland I wanted to check out yesterday and spent an hour clearing a trail through it before sampling the delights of the new downhill, back home for 3.30 in need of a shower and a coffee.

View Fairlie trails here.

Some photos here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A numb and sore finger

Mulhacen, highest mountain mainland Spain

Took a strole up into Kelburn again today doing a spot of trail hunting and grooming.
Trouble was there were two groups of shooters up there so couldn't get into the area I wanted to, but I did find another possible trail high up in the estate, cleared a little bit so that I can get the MTB through and see if its worth any more effort.

PM had a wander on a little local trail looking for a more technical ending, managed to clear a bit and it's looking good for a go sometime tomorrow, in the process I bashed my finger, it's bruised, swollen, numb and sore all at the same time.
It was just a thoughtless thing, puting it too near the point of work and getting it trapped between two rocks, silly me.

Haven't a Kelburn photo album so here's some pictures of walks in the Costa Brava Oct 05
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