Friday, March 28, 2008

Windfarms and Kaim

Hoverfly on spring blossom.

Its been mixed weather this week, snow, frost and sun.
Tuesday in the sun I got out the road bike for spin along the sunny shoreline to Ardrossan then inland past Kilwinning and over to Stewartons Coffee Pot cafe for a bit of lunch before making my way home over Fairlie Moor.
A good fitness workout.

Yesterday was quite nice again, Anne and I took a walk down to Seamill shore intending to go over Goldenberry Hill to give around three hours walking but a shower was heading our way so rather than get caught on the top of the hill we cut it short in favour of lunch at home.
PM the skies cleared and I got out on the MTB along to Busbie Muir Winfarm Up Wardlaw Windfarm and across to Kaim Downhill.
Lovely outing and some more much needed 'training' into my system.
Took a bit of video both days and it can be viewed here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Cuts revisited

Bug on daffodil

Graham and I decided to revisit the Loch Thom Cuts today
the weather looked cool, still and clear.
We started at Cornalees and did the greenock cut, had a coffee at Cornalees centre then went off down the Kelly cut.
In a bid to stay off road as much as possible we cut up into Leapmoor Forest by way of a rather muddy litle track.
The direct way out of the forest is just an easy landrover track but I decided it would be nice to go down to the scout hut via a short stretch of (iffy) singletrack.
It was nice but what I didn't see on the map was that we had to go all the way down to sea level and climb back up the road, argh!
Wasn't quite that bad though, we had a bit of singletrack climb from Inverkip through the gorge with a few photo stops to distract us.

Nice day out view the SB video here.

Our outing was a combibation of Route 1 and the Kelly cut/leapmoor forest route

Anne's been bottling some dry bramble wine and I've been drinking the three quarter bottle left over, mmm very nice but its got a bit of a kick so I'm away for some coffee before the headache sets in!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Out on the road

Barcraigs reservior

The weather looked fine yesterday, Tom had a temporary reprieve from decorating so was keen to get out on the bikes. Nothing too hard just a relaxing potter from Beith arond Barcraigs Reservior, Howwood and Castle Semple (coffee and cake stop) about 20 miles of nice little quiet back roads.
The air temperature was around 6degc so it was a little chilly on the downhills but in the sun on the flat and climbing it was very pleasant.
Got back home about 1pm so had a bite to eat and set off again for another couple of hours down to Kilwinning, Dalry and the long climb over Fairlie moor.
Altogether about 4.5 hours on the road bike, a good start to getting a bit of ride fitness for the summer. Or as I like to think "the daffodils are out so time to get out on the road"!

A few photos here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sightseeing and mountain biking

Surprise on our cycle

Katy, Craig, Graham and I were were down around Mauchline for a bit of mountain biking along the river Ayr to Sorn and Auchinleck making the best of the lovely spring sunshine.
K&C hadn't been cycling there before, so I took them to all the little interesting places I knew about. Through the gorge to the cup and ring rocks, the cliffs, Catrine voes, Sorn, Auchinleck House and Wallaces cave high above the river.
We finished up heading back through the gorge but had a surprise on the way, a display of birds of prey in a chaps front lawn, two buzzards and two owls, the little long eared owl was really cute.
It was a great day out view the video here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Santuari de Finestres

Map of the walk to Santuari de Finestres

I thought I'd have a look at and discovered that the detail of the satalite images around Sant Pau is excellent so I played a bit and put in the walk we did up to Santuari de Finestres last week on our little break to the Garrotxa region of Spain.
If the detail is there the map my ride site is good, except where I wanted to retrace a short way then I got in a guddle, but maybe thats just lack of familiarity with how to use it rather than a problem with the plotting.
Video and photos from entry below.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Garrotxa revisited

Snowdrops near the summit of Puigsacalm 1515m

This was my third visit to the Garrotxa (Olot in Spain) first time was with my cycling chum Tom. We did a 6day tour from Girona through the Garrotxa area and at that time I thought I'd get back to Olot for a another look.
Second time last year Anne and I went across for 5days walking based in Olot's La Perla hotel, it was lovely.
I discovered the area is a walkers paradise, any length of walk, flat or climbing, GR trails, hills up to 1500m, great restaurants and a lovely (small) old town.
Well I was tempted by cheap flights and another weeks walking this year again, I wasn't disappointed, in fact I discovered another area to explore, the Collsacabra plateau. It used to be bandit country and its easy to see why, its a huge area full of gorges, forest and hills easy to get lost in and easy for bandits to hide out.

Some photos here.

SB video here.

PS there are some great Editorial Alpina maps to be had from Stanfords Garrotxa Zona Volcanica Parc Natural. There is mountain bike hire in Olot town at Cicles Tarres, I've yet to give that a go but there are loads of trails, some waymarked.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kelburn Downhills

Arran from Goldenberry Hill

Absolute cracker of a day, decided eventually to get up to Kelburn on the MTB to check out a couple of downhill lines I've been grooming over the past week or so, while suffering a chesty cold not to mention bad weather.
I have a couple of route choices from home but the quickest for off road is down the glen and onto the beach so that's the way I went.
Its also very pretty along the shore path looking over the Firth of Clyde to snow capped Arran.
From the top of Goldenberry Hill the views are even better, 360deg panorama adding the Arrochar Hills to the view of Arran, the downhills run off Goldenberry is quite nice too.

In Kelburn I climbed all the way up to get the new run but as usual it was a bit of a disappointment, too steep for the off camber, I was only just in control.
Don't know if I'll persevere with it.
The other line was better but still not great, it will be better in the summer when the mud dries out.

SB video here.

Snowy Day

Upper Kelburn in snow

Got up yesterday to a surprise...snow!...and there was me thinking it was spring.
With the temperature hovering close to 0degC Anne and I decided to go one of our favourite walks from Fairlie to Largs through upper Kelburn.
Its partly sheltered by the Kel Burn glen and the forestry and the has great views over the Clyde Coast. Because it goes up to 120m the snow cover was likely to be good enough for some nice photos.
We had a lovely walk finishing up in Craigmiles Cafe in Largs for lunch, then a short train ride back to Fairlie.
Late PM, after I'd spent a frustrating hour or two 'restoring' the computer to get the DVD drive back, Anne dropped me off at Ardneil bay so that I could unwind with a wind assisted jog back home. Lovely day, apart from the computer frustration, Windows... what a heap of rubbish!

Speaking of rubbish Flickr seems to be acting a bit strange...can't get slidshows on some sets.
If you get the slideshow problem you can view the photos here.
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