Saturday, 1 December 2012

Searching for tractors, ooh arr!

The first of December and it was a cold start to the day with temperatures below freezing, ice on the roads and the frosty ground sparkling in the early morning sun. I had seen an advert in a shop window for a vintage ploughing competition this Saturday. Yes, that's right, men with old tractors seeing who can plough the straightest furrow. Well, 'I love the smell of paraffin in the morning', so several layers of clothing, a flask of coffee and off I went on the LHT.

Hallhill woods were full of little birds flitting around the trees and nosing through the leaf litter. The cycling was easy along the blaze trails. Once I got out on to the old road it was a bit different and a lot colder! I took it easy, keeping the bike upright when turning and watching out for ice in the shadows.

Although it might not be far in miles to Wester Broomhouse farm, it's all uphill. It was good climb with some low gear spinning interspersed with the occasional quick mash on the pedals to keep me warm. I needed to put my jacket on as soon as I stopped though. The sun might have been shining but it was brass monkey weather at the top.

I had a look around and soon realised that the ploughing might have been advertised as Wester Broomhouse, but it wasn't happening at the farm. There were low loaders and Range Rovers with trailers parked in the distance (back down the hill). In a seen reminiscent of the Somme, I could see little figures plodding through the mud towards the occasional puff of smoke as they tried to get their tractors to start in the freezing weather.  Hmm, time for a coffee to think about my next move

Blue sky out over Dunbar and the Isle of May on the horizon. A fine place to get the flask out and the rack made a handy wee table.

I didn't have the best shoes on for crossing muddy fields so I gave up on the vintage tractors and settled for trying to spot unusual sheep. Hee hee, look at the ears on that one! 

In the distance there is a road snaking up the hillside. Locally known as 'Starvation Brae', its a killer cycle. (the lower part follows the tree line). I've never done it, but the trucker gearing is feeling good so maybe sometime soon!


  1. Can't say that the Tractor ploughing would get me out of bed on such a chilly morning in december but to each his own, must say the LHT is looking nice mate, and starvation brae is a hard little climb, your legs just start to recover then your faced with the brunt which isn't as long but is as steep, i don't think i would like to climb ether of them on my disc trucker but good luck if you take it on.

  2. Missing the tractors wasn't the end of the world; I was going out anyway. What you talking about the Brunt!? fek, if I can get up starvation brae without an ambulance I'll be well happy.

  3. Peter:
    It is a great idea to carry a beverage in the flask. Hope it gave you the strength to ride another "100 miles".
    Peace :)

    1. '100 miles', if only. I'm not really doing many miles in the short daylight hours. I find any hot food or drink makes a ride on a cold winter day a lot more pleasurable.