Velo Club Moulin

Monday, 9 February 2009


Day off today, but with my winter road bike still in shonky singlespeed mode ( I know, I know..) and some fresh snow overnight I decided to get out on my cross bike, instead of risking (a) a shonky singlespeed related mechanical far from home, (b) a distinct lack of rear brake related crash or (c) a slick tyre lack of traction on snow induced injury.
The Scottish Borders are ideal territory for longer cross bike rides thanks to a fantastic network of very quiet back roads, dirt tracks and well worn hill paths that aren't too technical.

So instead of doing my favourite 3 ish hour road ride from Peebles to Tweedsmuir, Talla and Megget reservoirs, St Marys Loch and back via the Gordon Arms and Traquair, I decided to cut out the first half of road by going straight over the hills from Manor Valley to Megget reservoir. I figured the snow would be quite deep over the top but well, it's all good exercise right?

A beautiful steady pedal to the head of Manor Valley with the sun out and not a sniff of wind was abruptly replaced with a steep uphill plod through the snow. At first maybe 4 or 5 inches but with a little height I was soon floundering through a good foot or so! Oh for a pair of snow shoes!

Still I was having fun and making progress albeit quite slowly. With this much snow around it was a little too easy to walk straight into 3 feet of snow drift. A while later I reached the top of the pass to be met by a herd of sheep looking distinctly unamused at my being there.

With the sun still out I plodded on trying to avoid the main track, complete with suspiciously deep looking snow. Finally the gradient started to point down proper and a little while later I was able to regain the track and start riding. Yippeee! - 10 of the funnest minutes of riding I have done in a while.

At the road I ummmd and aaarrd about taking a wee detour to the Glen cafe but lacking any lights decided instead to press on back to Peebles. Despite having eaten pretty well I started to get a little wobbly the last couple of miles back to town. Stopping at Forsyths i'm glad I only had a fiver on me as I could have eaten everything behind the counter! I settled on a lasagne pie which was bloody brilliant!
A top ride indeed that has left me hungry for more. 4.5hrs all in with around 2hrs of plodding. Anyone fancy a pedal somepoint?


martysavalas said...

Anyone fancy a pedal somepoint?
hell yes!

anyone free on the 22nd for something long, dirty and unpleasant?

chrisD said...

nice work young un, you should do 3Peaks this year!

I'm out of riding circulation until March when hopefully I will be able to get a semblance of order back into my legs.

Phil The Horse said...

Nice one, had a similar experience on saturday following Shaggy on his pugsley. God to hear you still dont have gears on the road bike you wont miss them ;-)

andytrailfettler said...

yay, am free on Sun 22nd and up for a ride - what you plotting??

Markdubya said...

mmmmmm I may just be up for some winter antics. I'm still in xmas mode and need to extract my self from the house. What are you thinking Marty?

martysavalas said...

It's a ride of ChrisM and Jonathan doing - the fearsome Mangrunt.

Start in Drymen, WHW over Chronic Hill. Up the east side of Ben Lomond on the endless forest roads of QEF. Quick pint and a dodgy sandwich at Inversnaid, then WHW back to start.

About 6 hours all in.

Who in?

jac said...

What was that route Andy - looks ace!

I guess I've missed the boat with a tale of a snowy Pentlands was ace!

Yes to a ride, but I think I can't do the 22nd because Feburuary is the Marquis family birthday and the gathering is on the 22nd.

An alternative to the Mangrunt for later in the year...the Herring Route?

martysavalas said...

if it helps, Chops is coming. Mangrunt broke him once. It was very funny.

andytrailfettler said...

count me in. Sounds manly indeed. Will need to work on my manliness over the next week.

crosser - velo of choice??

martysavalas said...

Crosser will be fine, young jedi. Chronic Hill and a bit of the WHW from Inversnaid down will require some finesse-ing. But you got the madskillz.

Shall we say 10:00 at the big car park in balmaha?

andytrailfettler said...

10am sounds ideal squire, see you then.

Was pumping a little iron down the gym last night, feeling considerably more manly already..!

Markdubya said...

Far to manly for me, especially if it broke that skinny boy chops. I don't wish to burden you all with carrying my 17 stone for 6 hours.

Give Chops a big manly Kiss from me.


martysavalas said...

phooey. chops' mistake was a pint of guinness at inversnaid.

you'd be fine. it's a ride suited to us diesel engined riders.