Sunday, 30 March 2008

dat is dat

rides 30 (March 2007 10, March 2006 13)
miles 493 (March 2007 333, March 2006 359)
hours 1d22h10m (March 2007 1d0h07m, March 2006 0d21h22m)

road 4
mtb 16
rollaz 10
commutes 0

rides with friends 3
rides where i've seen deer 3

what i've learned
* i heart cycling
* nowhere near as tough as i'd thought it'd be
* i've become too hung up on commuting as my source of cycling miles
* i have some great trails right from my front door
* exploring rocks
* i rider faster on rollers with the lights off and a dvd on - and faster during scottish films compared to french ones
* bribing myself with my own beer works
* rest days? pfft!
* taking a different photo every day for 30 was harder than the cycling
* don't get too excited about a wee dry spell early in the year
* when checking a tyre for glass/thorns always wear gloves
* riding every day generates a lot of laundry

thanks to susan for being putting up with me and the rest of the 30from30ers for doing/documenting it.

day 30


30from30 rounded off with a fine ride in the borders with adrian, dave and jon. started with rocky (sloppy) horror and the old dh trails before heading round the traquair xc. nothing in legs at all - as soon as the trail went upwards, i went backwards. absolutely broken by plora craig which made the last few sections a bit sketchy.

Saturday, 29 March 2008


a road ride today. burntisland-crossgates-kelty-kinross-round loch leven-the coalfield shitholes of fife-cowdenbeath-home.

realised at the far end that i hadn't got there superquick due to increased fitness, but with the aid of a healthy tailwind. like a golfer chucking wee pinches of grass up, cyclists should keep an eye on where their snot rockets get blown...


congratulations to chris hoy on winning the world sprint championships. two teary nights in a row. come on the keirin.

i'll be gunning for him at the bike week challenge this year. raar!

Friday, 28 March 2008


rollers tonight. la haine on the dvd.

hot and sweaty in the banlieue.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

i cried at aye

su and i headed west tonight to meet trina and jon at "aye - an affirmation of martyn bennett" a concert celebrating the life and work of martyn bennett. martyn was a richly talented scottish musician who was taken from us in his prime, following a long struggle with cancer.

some lovely music and very glad to hear it played live by mr mcfalls chamber with the help of fraser fifield, tom bancroft and james mackintosh. fiddles and pipes rock! as do violas, cellos, pianos, basses and twin percussionists. i shed a few tears in martyn's memory.

check out some of the media and downloads on the martyn bennett website. those new to his music might to try move first - a flash video for a track from his stunning final album, grit.


off to a gig in glasgow tonight straight from work, so up early and onto the rollers. one hour and fifteen seconds on tired legs, yawns and rapidly awakening bowel. just made it.

weather for tomorrow and saturday looks grim, so i'd better look out some dvds. hopefully round off 30from30 in the great non-indoors on sunday.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


buff be gone. the unwelcome return of rain to the south fife coast tonight after a couple of pretty dry weeks. paths returning to mush as i type. pish.

off along the coastal path to have a wee scout round downans plantation by aberdour. bit disappointing, no sign of anything particularly interesting and a bit mangled by recent tree thinning work.

heading out towards braefoot and i catch a bit of movement just on the edge of my headlight. a commotion off to my right and a blur as a red deer hind passes about six feet in front of me. more crashing about to my right - there's more in the bushes. close my eyes and hope for the best. fortunately the others decide not to follow through me.

wobble on to the point to watch a tanker pull up to the terminal and a gentle pootle round. then home into a cold, rainy headwind.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


a classic west edinburgh ride with jac and chris this evening. stoorie brae-edge of the hood-river almond-cammo-edge of the hood-davie mains park-hairy bumskins.

trails are in amazing condition for march - positively buff / barely any mud - just like summer, but with a lack of stingy and buzzy things. the river was in top-top shape - super smooth and fastfastfast all the way to the bridge at the end of the runway.

buttered ginger loaf as a post ride treat. magic.

Monday, 24 March 2008


cracking ride today showing city slickers round some local trails. up the binn and along via the haughs to braefoot for a play. sun, wind and bit of snow.

realised that i've spent nearly a day and half in the saddle so far during 30from30. neat-o.

Sunday, 23 March 2008


trail pruning trip along the heughs today. maybe more gardening than riding, but brambles and most of the obstructions cleared all the way along to the lookoutlog. need to head back with a bowsaw and clear some fallen trees - a project for spring.

the brambles get their own back and i find that my slow puncture has speeded up a little. just about get to the front door before rim hits tarmac. receive a warm welcome from purdey, who is clearly pleased to see me home.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


rollers of convenience today. just me, the hum of the rollers, the
fighting talk podcast and the gentle drip of sweat on topcap.

off to edinburgh too see the ansel adams exhibition and mebbe a film.

Friday, 21 March 2008


a figure of eight route today to mark eight consecutive days of mtbing. up out of town on the road and on to kirkcaldy by the drinkbetween track. back along to kinghorn by the coastal path. up through the golf course and a long drag and a push up the binn.

most of the ride had been fairly sheltered, but it was blowing hoolie up on the binn. riding it e>w means you get a nice steep descent off the top, but it was just unrideable today - even pushing down was tricky with the wind trying to drag the bike off into the forth...

home, shower, lunch.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

the clown and the wolfman


se7en mtb rides in a row, didn't figure on that when we started this...

coastal path and the heughs to aberdour and on to braefoot. wheens of wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beasties* scattering in front of my wheels on the heuch, no known victims.

riding like a fanny. still dog tired after last weekend. jumping at the flapping of (equally) startled birds and trapped plastic bags. scared by the shadows cast by the braefoot buildings.

a lie in and rollaz tomorrow.

* big shout out to all of the heughs massif - this one is for youse.

To a Mouse by Rabbie Burns

Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,
Wi murdering pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion.
An fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve:
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma request;
I'll get a blessin wi the lave,
An never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An naething, now, to big a new ane,
O foggage green!
An bleak December's win's ensuin.
Baith snell an keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an waste,
An weary winter comin fast.
An cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro thy cell.

That wee bit heap o leaves an stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble.
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o mice an men
Gang aft agley,
An lea'e us nought but grief an pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An forward, tho I canna see,
I guess an fear!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


not quite as planned (left work late, phantom's cleugh sodden, puncture), but gotta love a ride which includes a tear down poet's glen.

6 days of mtbing on the trot. braw.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008


a follow-my-nose exploraride tonight. east out of town before picking up the path to drinkbetween (no really!). just a farm track, so doubled back and followed the green sign down to kinghorn - more farm track all the way down through the golf course to town.

had a wee nosey at the harbour and the beach, back up and over the hill again for a wheech down the loch road back into B to the I.

took at run at the localsteps of death, but pulled up at the steep bit as i got bounced about by the deeper ones up top. bah!


off work to recover today, long-ish dozy lie in, then up for a non-fried breakfast for the first time in three days. try to resurrect old laptop without success, so hopes of new mtb frame dashed.

head out for a braefoot scoot and forget the made in bed plan to aim east to explore some RoWs to the east of town. along to aberdour and remember about the trail which runs from the flower pots at the foot of the muur van humbie back into unknown territory. turns out to be a wee gem which climbs back up onto the cliff high over the railway/coastal path. east end of it drops very steeply back down to FCP, so it's an out and back before heading to braefoot to have a wee play amongst the remains of the WWII gun emplacements, then down to the old pier, up and out towards home again.


a lie in. up at 0700. feel like i've done a 24 hour race. one where we've actually tried...

sweep car park for litter (mainly historic - glass lucozade bottle! - rather than demo related).

breakfast and handshakes.

into last of riding kit and off round the trails to collect tape, and litter. then a lap for luck before heading home.


up at a wee bit past 0500 to feed the gennies keeping the specialized tent up. diesel generator immediately starts throwing a hissy fit. fucking great. fire up the spare gennie, swop plugs and off to breakfast for four cooked on a single gas burner as niall's petrol stove/bomb veers straight towards bomb.
first aid and caterers turn up on time (yay!) and i go off to tape off the rest of the demo loop and take down signs from eas dubh (the bike companies want a shorter loop to keep things moving).

do a bit of car park marshalling, then head up to the foot of cannonball run to marshal and take some photos. on with cycling gear for 3 hours of slow roving marshalling - nowt to do but wonder at the lack of skill and fitness of folks trying out £2k bikes. trails riding well, but in need of a wee bit of TLC (need to get our maintenance permission sorted properly).

main demo ends at about 1730 and bike companies want to break down tonight, so i hoon around collecting road signs and head back to the top of cannonball run to direct folks during the lupine demo. briefly open car doors and blast sabbath, but riders look a wee bit scared, so i revert to being a human direction arrow.

down hill for 2100 after collecting course signs and wave last of the trucks away at 2200.

bbq and two beers. knackered and freezing in an unwelcome easterly. in sleeping bag by 2300.

Monday, 17 March 2008


up early (0630) to drop su off at work before heading up to carron valley for the specialized/giant demo day (well weekend for us...). set up roadsigns on approaches in the morning (only to hear that some wee fuckers in denny had been tearing them to wee bits later), then rode out to mark the course. 2 laps of the course lugging course tape and direction arrows, then a lap for good luck - 2.5 hours of riding.

meanwhile the expo area goes up. specialized have brought the BIGGEST inflatable thingy i've seen and a super-pro set up. giant are rolling with fancy vans and SRAM leave a bunch of kit out in their e-z-up overnight (fortunately security are on hand all night).

meanwhile CVDG set up their gazebo and tents next to the remains of Andy's office and soon-to-be site of the new "temporary" deer larder. beer and bbq ensue - two fish courses later and we're onto the main course. logs are chucked into the bbq and we got a proper fire a goin' to fight off the chilly night and the rumoured CV big cat.

Thursday, 13 March 2008


too much to do tonight, so only time for a roller session. scampered up from station, on with bibs and into the roller room.

was planning on watching a sunday in hell (again), but think i've lent it out as part of an outreach programme. only bike related dvd i could see was restless natives, a classic scottish film of the mid-1980. on with the dvd, onto the rollers, on with the big country soundtrack. braw.

next up is three days living in a forest, helping out with the specialized/giant demo at carron valley. taking two bikes to ensure that i can ride everyday, no matter what those fcking dropouts on the voodoo, er, do.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008



was slightly lacking in motivation tonight, so bribed by myself with my own beer, bought with my own money to do a ride. pathetic.

one beer for an indoor ride, two for an outdoor one. so it was a chilly, windy ride round the local loop (31km, +660m) for two beers. was going to head up round loch leven, but a struggle up the col meant cloth was cut accordingly. next time...

beers are by the atlas brewery in kinlochleven. one latitude and one nimbus. mmmmm.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


late(ish) home from work, so an hour on the rollers with a bit of the old fastandslow to get me working a bit harder.

inspired by jon's boasts of tricking up his roller sessions, i tried a few tonight - one footed was a piece of piss (although trying to clip back into look pedals was interesting). nae hands was sorted a few weeks back. nearly got started without holding on, but lost balance and rammed myself off the stem. not trying that one again...

been fairly easy up 'til now, although my left knee is a bit grumpy. when will the crunch come?

Monday, 10 March 2008


took advantage of a brief respite in the shitty weather we've been enjoying to take a quick roadie spinout this evening to do day4's route the other way round.

bit grotty and drizzly on the initial climb out of town on the col de montquey, but drier to the north making for quite a nice ride on quietish roads

good - found a tenner in a jersey pocket that i though i'd dropped last week.
bad - breaking the mount for my light and riding the near 2 mile hill back down into town with light rammed in my gob.

Sunday, 9 March 2008


down at traquair forest today to help with the alistair lees memorial mountain bike time trial. 100ish riders taking on a beast of a climb to the top of the dh course, then a plunge down the tunnel, the luge, some braw old/new skool stuff and the bottom bit of caddon bank.

today's counter was a lap of the course, a wee bit of forest road extension and the first section of the climb again. wish i'd more time to do at least another lap. managed to forget the memory card for my wee camera, so photo is of a racer - digging the white gear.

Saturday, 8 March 2008


born free, as free as the wind blows
as free as the grass grows
born free to follow your heart

out and about on the coastal path today for a wee look at braefoot in daylight. few wee paths to follow and some doonhill/jumpy bits that the locals were out tending too. not really had a local woods to play in since moving out of auld reekie, but this looks like a nice wee spot to while away an evening come summer.

Friday, 7 March 2008


not that i need to defend my indoor cycling lifestyle (grant), but it was cold, windy, wet, cold and windy when i stepped off the train tonight, so yup, more rollers.

going to brave the outside world tomorrow for a spin and sunday will see a ride at TRAQAIR (not "Inners" FFS!) forest after commissairing the xc time trial. however, with Helga on her way Monday and Tuesday look like more wallstaring.

with winter on it's way out with a kick, here's a wee winter poem by Rhoda Butler, a Shetlander (hence the dialect).

Da day is juist a blink, short efturnun
Fadds away ta da lang dark night that shun
But whin da fire lowes up and da blind is draan,
Winter can be fine when night is faan.

Idda moarneen wi da cauld and da sleet,
An A'm buskin trow da gutter an da weet,
I think aboot da lovely simmer days,
Whin da sun shone waarm ower da parks and braes.

Bit dan whin simmer comes, aa green an bright,
An da sun sets ower da voe dat late at night:
An I see da places, whaar for a start love lingered,
Me hert is brakin, and I lang for winter.


change of scenery. turned the rollers around for last nights counter.

more outdoor rides needed.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


just a counter on the rollers. straight off to a committee meeting afterwards so no tea until i got home at 23:15 (toasted cheese with cholula and a beer).

was reminded just how much i hate my nike pro bibs, not only do they feature the unique mankini/wondergut™ cut, but the pad is way too thin and leads to an unsettling degree of numbness [points down below]. think i might burn them once 30-30 is up.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


quick spin on the road on a lovely starry evening - Burntisland>chipambushzone>Crossgates>Kelty>Cowdenbeath>chipambushzone>Burntisland. no sign of the chipchucking Saltnsauce jihadists fortunately.

four days in and it's been easy. tonight will be first tough one logistically - have a Carron Valley meeting, so it's work>train>change>rollers>sweat>change>drive>meet.

Monday, 3 March 2008


after work scoot along the coastal path towards the bridges and back. had a wee explore of the woods at braefoot point on the way - jumps, shonkyshore and a great looking breakfast spot.

there's a whole world out there beyond the front roller...

Sunday, 2 March 2008


another spell on the rollers this evening. it'll be outside tomorrow, fer shure.

Saturday, 1 March 2008


we're off. just a spin on the rollers this morning as we're away up to Aberdeen for the weekend.