Tuesday, 13 December 2011

It's been a while

Yes, it has been a while since I have been on here....because I am a Daddy again!
Our baby daughter, Lucy, decided it was time to make a slightly early arrival, so riding time is limited for the moment! Both mum & baby are doing well.....an early Christmas present ;o) 

Awwwwh!

It has been a good, but busy couple of week getting settled into the routine again. Most of my riding lately has been done at night, but I did manage to get out for a couple of hours in the daylight last week to enjoy the first snow of the winter. 
The snow didn't last for long, but it did give me the opportunity to play around with tyre pressures & try the bike out in winter conditions for the first time.

 Beach riding & snow...perfect fatbike conditions
 Beautifully calm winter's day with empty beach & trails 
 Just enough snow to have a bit of fun! 
 Trails in great condition for riding
 Like fatbike school...these are a set of trails through the forest & sand dunes, very soft

That's what I'm talking about....what better way to relax than on the bike

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Busy with bikes

I have not had much time to post during the last wee while, so here is a catch up from the last week.

After Sundays Meikle Conval loop, I was back to ride the neighbouring summit, known as little conval with a friend. The main purpose was to see how the bike would ride in these conditions, especially climbing the peat moss covered hillside, as my friend is considering a fatbike.
The bike performed brilliantly, with traction never an issue, but we did find that the bars were too high on the front for the steep climbs. Not normally a problem, but riding here requires a slightly different set up to get the full potential of the bike. I do wonder if the On One frame would be better for this type of trail riding? Only time will tell?


Cracking View from the trig point 


9zero7 & Santa Cruz Nomad


A Swampthing &....well, a Swamp thing!!

I have been making my own battery back this week for my twin light set.
2x 6.6Ah batteries Mounted inside an old bottle for quick & easy installation to the bike.



This set up should be good for least 6 hrs riding with twin MJ 872 lights on medium setting


Bubble wrap to keep them tight in the bottle 


Finished & ready to light the night sky


Twin lights, good for 3600 lumens on max setting


Simples!


Having Nate tyres really has improved the turning of the bike, really digs for traction when required!


The other tyre print in the sand is from a MX bike, to give some comparison as to how wide these tyres are!

I also have started a small project on a set of suspension forks for the fatbike.
Marzocchi VF66 single crown, does fit a larry, but there is some rubbing on the bridge


Nearly fits


20mm Bolted axle should be plenty stiff.....


.....Once I finish removing the bridge from the fork. I should manage to get about 95mm clearance around the tyre when it is finished. 


I was using my racks as mud guards on the bike, but I was looking to loose some excess weight, so they have been replaced by a set of Cycraguards.


Extension made from front guard bolted to seat stay bridge. Neat eh?

I have also been finishing off my hardtail play bike. I have had the Ragley blue pig for a while now, but it has just had a make over, with new forks (Rockshox Revelation dual air 130) & wheels (Mavic Crossline)
I also changed out the old Hayes brakes over to a set of Shimano Deore's I picked up cheap & replaced the wonky seat clamp to a nice hope one.


Bike all finished, with a 2x9 drivetrain


Fresh front end, finished off with some semi fat rubber, Maxxis 2.4 Advantage. Cant wait to get out & try this bike out properly!

Oh, I just remembered, I have also been fiddling with the drivetrain on the 907.
Since fitting the Nate to the rear I have been getting chain contact with the tyre. The Nate is a lot wider that the Larry tyre & barely fit into the 907 frame


Tight 


Oh dear..

Can you see a gap? Me neither


Is that a baw hair?


Phat rubberz

Anyway, I have been forced to loose 2 gears from the rear & space out the cassette which has solved the rub issue. I think that a hub gear will getting installed sometime soon!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Dufftown & Meikle Conval

After waking to a beautiful crisp Sunday morning, it was time to study the map & decide where to ride!
After a couple of coffee's I headed inland to Dufftown to start the ride out (known as the Malt Whiskey Capital of Scotland & home to several well know distilleries) 


A fresh & crisp Sunday Morning as I head out of Dufftown


Things soon to warm up in the low winter sun, very mild for this time of year



Near the top of the first climb above home farm. One of the easier climbs of the day


Stop to catch breath & photo at about 1/2 way up Meikle Conval, looking towards Little Conval to the North


Finally reached the summit after a fair bit of hike-a-bike.


Perfect location on a perfect day


And the perfect bike to take me there. Now fitted with Nate tyres front & rear 


This is why you need a fatbike. Heather, Peat & Bog....no problem!


Another route where the trail looks good on the map, but...


Some soft & interesting conditions on the ride back


As you can see, the Nate is an awesome winter tyre for our muddy winter conditions


Back to civilisation...heading back to Dufftown after a great ride


One for the road?


See that bottles of whiskey that says 12 years old? Behind this door is where they store it until ready for bottling 




Superb colour on the last leaves of Autumn 


And no ride in Scotland would be complete without a photo of a heilan coo!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Dallas & Romach Loch

With fine weather forecast all day, I headed for the hills for some XC riding with my friend GS. Neither of us has ridden this route before, but confident with the trail presented before us on the map, we loaded the bikes & headed for Dallas as a base for the day. Let the adventure begin....


Grinding up the first climb of the day


I took a slight detour to see if this bog was ridable....well it wasn't. Splash...feet soaked in freezing water, not the smartest idea I have ever had, especially at the start of the ride. Doh!


Swampthing



GS with his new trail guide


Nice autumn colours, not long till there is snow up here


Once a bridge, but long gone


Not the last time I would be pushing today!



GS trying out the fatbike.....



...Leaving me to get the coiler through this muck using my superior bike skillz...aye right!




Well, the map shows it as a trail


GS quickly finds out that what looks like a trail, may not always be ridable!


Nice! Right up to the knees!




Swamp-tastic! Ok, think we are going to have to leave this trail for a moonlander! Back to the map..


Pit stop for rear puncture on the coiler






Yet more forestry work going on


Romach Loch, look nice eh? Well looks can be deceiving.....





Hmmm that trail looks a bit close to the water..


So does that, someone could fall in there...


Oh, too late! GS smiling after climbing out of loch. Bike & rider went for swim after front end got stuck, thankfully it was not too cold today


Quickly turning into trail from hell. Hike-a-bike went on for miles


Not much traffic comes through here!


Other side wasn't any better, where exactly is the trail supposed to be?


Finally off the hill & enjoying a well deserved downhill section


Looking over the Moray coast, with Findhorn Bay & Culbin in the distance


Bike looking as tired as the rider by this point


Things are starting to get pretty muddy, really happy with the nate tyre in these conditions


Finally made it back! Really long day, nearly 7 hrs riding, walking, pushing & swearing! Excellent day on the hills proving how capable the bike is