Sunday, 5 February 2012

Something different!

Went for something a bit different yesterday. I got in my car and headed north to Aberfoyle for a spot of mountain biking. The area around Aberfoyle is packed with forest trails - just the ticket for mountain bikes. It was a bit dark and overcast when I left Haddington and as I headed up the M9 proper rain came cascading down... not very inviting for outdoor activities. By the time I arrived the rain had eased a bit and after a coffee and getting ready there was only a drizzle. Things were looking up. Rob, his son Arran and I headed off, fully kitted up against the cold to a place about a mile away where Rob had pranged his car that morning. It seems as though the coupling on his front wheel went and he couldn't control the car, which slid into a Audi coming the other way. We had a look at the sight of the accident and   the strange wiggly tyre marks... no doubt the result of the broken coupling and carried on to our route up a track towards the woods. We had not gone too far when Arran and his  bike went crashing to the ground. Fortunately he wasn't hurt but we realised that we were skating on thin ice... pardon the pun. Getting back down the hill was interesting, I had a few skids, but there were no more spills. We headed into the woods where the tracks were free of ice and had a good cycle through some single track stretches, with hills and bends thrown in. Then we decided against going on more black ice and to stick to the main track and go down to the road to get home. That's when the rain set in again. By the time we reached the road, there were huge puddles some stretching the whole way across road. I discovered my gloves were not waterproof and had the interesting experience of trying to brake and change gears with hands that had gone completely numb. The only thing to do was to cycle hard up the hills and generate a bit of heat. I must be getting used to being frozen this winter because I actually enjoyed battling it out in the elements. Crazy or what!
When we got back we were all totally soaked and frozen. It's amazing what a hot shower and soup and sandwiches can do for you. I felt almost human again after that.
Today we were back to bright sunshine and cold, dry temperatures. I went along to Tyninghame and had a run with Harvey behind the sand dunes and back along the beach and then around the headland and through the woods. There's a track which takes you in an arc back to the car park, so we took that. I didn't want to put too many demands on Harvey's foot, which seems perfectly mended, so I dropped him off at the car and continued the run around the spit and back through the arc again. The weather was just like Friday and the scenery was similar. I had a run that day from North Berwick, around the Law and down onto the east and then west beach along to Yellowcraig. I came back alongside the golf course and cut through Westgate and up Trainers Brae for a run of one hour 24 mins.
Considering the time of year , not a bad week end for being out and about.

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