Friday, November 30, 2007

Yuletide Parade

Today was gloriously wet but there was no wind so I spent a good few hours out and about with brolly and wellies up Fairlie Glen. There was lots of water in the burn and I really enjoyed the stroll and photography. Post lunch I took a trip down Hunterston peninsula to get some bird video.

Tonight was West Kilbride late opening and Yuletide Parade. Anne and I went down to have a little look. The parade started at the railway station going up to the top of Main Street. All the shops were open until 9pm, there were side shows, displays, and free mulled wine (if you were prepared to que). The highlight for me, after all the lights, action and people enjoying themselves was the drum band, they looked to be having lots of fun getting the kids in the crowd participating, great stuff!

Took a bit of video of the parade, view it here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Night out

Fairlie Glen

Had an early MTB outing with Graham this morning, easy going along the beach to start then through Hunterston out to the main road looping up Biglees for a workout and some fun single track, great couple of hours.

PM went up Fairlie glen to take some photos through an 8X neutral filter I just bought, hoping to get that lovely smooth water effect, got some reasonable results but I'll need to have a few more attempts to see how to get the best out of it.

After tea it was so nice I decided to get out on the bike again. I've a pair of LED lights, one for the bars and one for the helmet. Together they work quite well, I can also put my IXUS camera on my head cam thingy with the headtorch in place but the results were a bit boring even by my standard, kind of black with a slightly lighter patch of light in the middle, so I deleted the lot. Very nice out there though a full moon reflecting off the sea, mild and no breeze, could have gone a bit further if I'd had spare batteries maybe next time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

First hard frost

Today was the first hard frost of the autumn, minus 3degc, but there was no wind and the sky was cloudless....a good excuse to get out on the road bike.
My little Ixus55 is suffering battery fatigue but I was hoping it would last the pace as I thought it might see quite a bit of use. Sure enough it was a great day for the camera and a great day for pottering along on the bike, keeping the speed down to reduce wind chill and the cadence up to keep warm.
I followed the cycle route south through Ardrossan and Saltcoats to Eglinton (coffee and cake stop) then to Stewarton and back to Kilwinning Abbey for some more photos. My oh my what a lovely day almost as good as yesterday! Got back just after 3pm after pottering for 4 hours in lovely crisp sunshine.

Some photos here.

Loch Doon to Loch Bradan

Loch Doon

Last week when I was in getting my bike's drive chain renewed at Walkers Cycling Steven the mechanic suggested that the Coalhall cycleway was all prepared and just about ready to open.
Saying that to me made it a raging certainty I'd be off down Dalmellington way to check it out, if true it would be great!
Well sadly unless it goes some route I haven't considered it just doesn't exist.
However my back up plan fell into place and I continued on in the car to Loch Doon to do the fabulous track across to Loch Bradan, it's better done from Bradan to Doon, there's more downhill single track but its still great from Doon side and I had a great time, BUT SORRY TO SAY STEVEN NO NEW TRAIL unless someone else knows better!

SB video here.
See the wonders of crazy unicycling here.
Try working out why this guy failed, I don't jump so havn't a clue.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fularton wood and Dundonald hill

Post MTB tide mark

After last weeks mud fest I was wondering if Katy and Craig would be up for another day of mountain biking with Graham and I, they were, so we met up in Pretwick for a loop to Fularton and Dundonald. The weather people couldn't seem to make up their mind betweeen the web forecast and the TV forecast, fortunately it was better than both, some sunny spells and dry.
There was loads of mud about but with a firm base so we managed to avoid pushing in the grott. In the end I thouroughly enjoyed myself, three hours great mountain biking with coffee and cake in the middle...wonderful.

Video here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Busbie and Kaim

Stuck in Mud

I was expecting a wet day today and was getting settled down to a little bit of DIY but luckily the sun appeared and in a flash I put off the DIY in favour of a bit of mountain biking over to Busbie muir windfarm. There was no wind for the farm and the views on all sides from the moor were great.
I'd intended going over Fairlie moor and on the way I took the uphill detour to Knockendon windfarm. In the last video I took up there it was blowing a gale but today was just a pleasant gentle cooling breeze. I settled down behind a wind turbine for a snack in the sun before tackling the muddy crossing to Knockendon Reservoir.
Running on auto pilot took me up onto the top of Kaim hill to admire the views of the highlands and Kyles of Bute then it was over the summit for the glorious downhill thrill.
What a grand local outing on the bike, I'm just about to upload todays photos to Flickr........done, view them here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Passing time at Culzean

Culzean Castle

Last week I was going down the road out of West Kilbride and hit a pothole buckling the two nearside wheels on the car. I was taking it in to get the wheels straightened yesterday and Anne and I decided to pass the three hours waiting time down the road in Culzean castle country park.
It was a lovely day so we walked in from Maidens on the south side of the park ensuring we got a good stroll to gobble up the time.
Needless to say I took quite a few photos around the park and spent this morning sorting them out, view them here.
On the car front its so nice to have round wheels again, no rumbling or steering shudders, no driving through puddles for me in the future.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Craig's crash

Craig takes a tumble

Katy Craig Graham and I had a short outing on the mountain bikes today investigating the off road from Ayr to Stair including little loops in the woods. Katy and Craig are new to mountain biking and I thought it would nice to show them around some of the trails and loops near their home. Along near Annbank there is a steep slippy bank, its got two slopes a steep one and a very steep one all covered in leaves.
Craig followed me down but learned what happens if you lock up the back wheel on steep ground, it tries to get to the front, not nice at all fortunately the ground was quite soft so no harm done, except to Craigs confidence.
See the video here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ayrshire Clyde Coast video

Sunset from Fairlie moor

I was up Fairlie moor last evening taking photos and video of the lovely sunset.
As always I had a few other video clips to patch together with them and I was struggling a bit to get it the way I wanted. In the end I decided to put in a music sound track to help the mood but then struggled to get the music cut down to a minute. Sometimes things just don't go like you hope! In the end I kept adding video from throughout the last year until the soundtrack was filled, I'm rather pleased with the result.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Kaim quarry challenge

Starting Kaim Quarry challenge

On Friday I wrote about doing work up in Kaim Quarry sorting out a few linked steep rocky descent lines to give a little challenging route on the steep side of the quarry.
Well yesterday I set off from home to give them a try. I felt a bit strange going over Glentane, in two minds about doing them. I had conciously chickened out and was just going to have a muddy cycle to Largs but subconciously I must have wanted to do them because at the decision point I just kept going up to the quarry.
It was all a bit too scary for me really but I did all the lines without mishap, just as well 1000ft up in the middle of nowhere alone is no place to have a bad fall.
I suppose it wasn't very clever on my part but I was pleased I overcame my fear at the top of each section and did all of them, there was a lot of verbal encouragement (cursing) going on especially on the one I'd taken a minor fall on last week (due to a slack head set).
Shot some video but yahoo seems to be acting up so have still to upload it, just about to try again.....nope yahoo doesn't like it so I'll try later...view here
Or see a version put through plymedia.

Think I've got to the bottom of the yahoo video upload failure. It fails if I load a video that is a mix from windows movie Maker and Cyberlink Power director so I'll need to watch out for that in the future.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Auchincruive autumn colours

November blossom

Anne and I took a walk by the river Ayr today, out in the fresh air along the lovely river side path sheltered from the cold wind and with occassional warmth from the low sun it was very nice indeed.
We saw 5 goosander and a heron catching lunch in the shallows. Took some nice autumn colour shots which can be viewed here.

Oh yes! I also managed a shot run along West Kilbride glen (lovely colours down there) and was going quite well. Next week perhaps I'll add a few minutes on to the running loop and see how I handle it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Loch Bradan

Fairlie Burn Falls

Katy, Craig, Graham and I were intending to meet at Straiton this morning for a bit of mountain biking, Stinchar Bridge to Loch Doon, various events conspired against K&C getting there so in the end Graham and I had to go it alone.
Because the cloud was down, we decided not to go over the hill to Loch Doon but to stick around the Bradan tracks with a double loop over to Cornish Loch, a great little trail, rough with steep ascents and descents needing lots of concentration and control, great fun.
Unforunately I forgot my little camera so no photos or video from today but a video of a spring time loop to Loch Doon can be viewed here.

Maybe next time Katy!

During the week it rained quite a bit so I was out and about with wellies and brolly around the sheltered local glens including Fairlie Glen. The burn was in spate, quite a contrast to last week when it was really quiet. I've put stills and video from both weeks together to show the contrast, view it here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sea life mix

Hermit Crab

Graham was on holiday across in Cyprus, he borrowed my camera and waterproof case to take some underwater video so I've combined it with some stills and my own clips to produce a little underwater video.

The past few days I've spent some time up in Kaim Hill Quarry doctoring up a couple of short challenging decents for the mountain bike. They're just about ready to try but not until a dry spell, the rocks can be a bit slippy in the wet and they're hard enough without that. In fact I think one of them may be too much for me, its very steep and loose.
Another down side is the route out isn't too great, there's a couple of short pushing bits and to get the bits linked together calls for a sort of double figure of eight loop.
Something to look foward to early next week with any luck, if it stays dry.
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