Saturday, 23 November 2013

Cycling, woods, swans, coffee.

There's been a frost most mornings this week, but thankfully a cloud cover came in on Friday night, and Saturday morning was a little warmer. This made for a much more pleasant cycle, not that it was particularly warm, rather, I didn't have to worry about ice.

I headed west over Pencraig hill, past Haddington, then down through the Letham Holdings.

Much as I enjoy the coast, I also take great pleasure from inland woods. The relative silence of the trucker allowed me to see so much wildlife now the vegetation has died back.

I saw deer, a sparrowhawk feeding and two male greater spotted woodpeckers fighting. When I got to Westfield I took a coffee break and watched a family of swans preening.

A pretty fine place to enjoy a flask of coffee.

On my way back through Haddington I turned into town at the Poldrate Mill to buy some new brake blocks from Mike's Bikes, LBS, then headed East again to Dunbar.

I had sort of planned this route as a standard 50km that I could use regularly throughout the winter. I was spoilt today with beautiful crisp, clear views and an abundance of wildlife. I'll be lucky to get a cycle like this again but I suppose I'll keep trying.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sunday Morning, On One Fatty.

There are a couple of simple rules for taking photos for a blog. (1) Have a fully charged battery. (2) Have a formatted memory card. Well yet again I failed on no.2 when I went for a Saturday morning spin on the LHT with no memory in the camera. 
So instead, here are a few photos from a Sunday morning play through John Muir Country Park on the Fatty.

Half tide and many miles of open estuary to explore.

Just the occasional dog walker, but mostly it was me, Fly, and the distant call of wading birds.

Fly was happy to run alongside, but insisted on having a drink from the pond, and naturally got covered in mud. 

A few minutes later I totally misjudged a rut and went over the bars. So that was the two of us going home filthy.

World War 2 buildings, sort of industrial landscape, fatbike thing.

An hour and a half of pedaling on a sunny Sunday morning then home for breakfast. Simple.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Autumn Ramble

I've acquired a new camera. Well it's new to me; it's a very little used Canon that was at a price I couldn't refuse. It may be two year old technology to the enthusiast but it's cutting edge for me. 

Saturday morning was a bit cold with a blustery westerly wind, but it kept the clouds moving and there were welcome periods of sunshine. I set off on the LHT with a flask of coffee and vague plan to go wherever looked sunny.

I also planned to stop for anything interesting, like this Grey Heron.

Or just to appreciate the colours on an autumn day.

Tantallon Castle, The Bass Rock and the Isle of May on the horizon, I don't know how many times I have seen this view but it's always worth another photo.

I carried on towards North Berwick where I cycled down to the harbour to see a boat that Coastkid had posted a picture of last week. It is indeed a Nordic Folkboat. I think it would have been built post 1966 as it has a carvel hull and it's obviously not one of the modern GRP ones.

The places where the paint had been ground back showed nice tight caulking but the rudder gudgeons look like they need immediate attention.

If it was mine, I would also be wondering about the keel bolts as there was a lot of filler around the keel hull joint and that is a worrying dent in the leading edge.

If you want to read more about these classic little boats, search for Lt Col Blondie Hassler and his adventures on his Folkboat 'Jester'.

Then it was back on the bike and past a cold looking east beach.

Then off to the glen where I stopped for a break in the shelter and had a good brew of coffee from my flask (and a fudge doughnut).

On by Becky's Strip and then to the John Muir Way.

Whose tyre prints could these be?

I cut back onto the road and could have headed back by Whitekirk, but as I was enjoying myself I went along by Janesfield and up the climb over to East Linton.

And after every climb comes the descent.

Over the bridge at the Linn and then back to Dunbar.

I had only headed out with the vaguest of notions where I was going but ended up being out for far longer than planned. I may have also passed a couple of fellow bloggers running along the beach and cycling along the road near Leuchie? A great pedal and all the better for not being planned.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Beach riding on the Fatty

I'm still missing my camera but hopefully a new one should be delivered next week. In the meantime I tried using my phone but didn't bother to post as the pictures were so poor. These pictures are taken on the little Vivitar camera which has an awfully small lens and aperture.

The weather forecast was quite poor on Saturday morning, so I took the Fatty out for a blast along the coast. I went east to Whitesands with clouds gathering and spots of rain in the freshening easterly wind.

I had plenty of empty beach, just the birds for company, and Fly of course.

There's not much chance of getting Fly to stay still for a photo.

On one Floater tyre print. If you read Fat Bike forums, you may be surprised to see this as these tyres are apparently no use for sand? eh?

It always amazes me how a bit of cold and damp drives people indoors. If you are prepared to put up with a bit of discomfort from the weather, then there are miles of empty coastline to be explored. Not the longest of rides but a fine way to spend a Saturday morning.