With weather warnings of gale force winds and rain today I did a quick sprint around the Forth before the weather got too hairy.
Well it’s another windy weekend so I decided to stay off the hills and take the road bike out for a spin, since I hadn’t ridden it in a couple of months. I was heading for Carstairs but I stupidly didn’t swap the seat on the bike to my comfy Brooks saddle so after 20 miles my arse was giving me grief. I was looking to do about 50 miles but that didn’t happen, I won’t make that mistake again. It was a sunny day with a few showers but it was still bloody cold with a little frost on the roads and the wind just made things worse so doing such a small ride wasn’t that detrimental
It’s another reasonable day, cloudy but little wind, which means I can have a second shot of getting up Ben Buck. Couldn’t do this 2 weeks ago because of gale force winds up there but today was the day. Ben Buck is the second highest hill in the Ochils (679m), after Ben Cleuch (721m), and is a good candidate because of the the dirt track that leads most of the way up their. Not an easy ride as it’s quite steep in places and the track has a lot of loose gravel and stones which made me wheel spin quite a bit but I did manage to cycle about 95% of the track, snow and some very rocky sections had me walking but I did make it to the end of the track. Unfortunately when the track ends the fun begins as you now have to ride over moor land which was wet, boggy and snowy and I ended up walking most of the way here, but on the OS map the gradient is reasonable so it wasn’t too arduous a task. Its quite flat at the top with some good views over to Ben Cleuch and Burnfoot Hill with is wind farm on. I was tempted to go all the way up to Ben Cleuch as it’s not far but by the time I got to Ben Buck it was after four o’clock and I wanted to get down again before it got dark. I was also high enough to have the clouds whisping around me, especially up at Ben Cleuch but it doesn’t show that well up in the photos I took. Anyway I made it, climbing more that 2000 feet and am satisfied with that and it was a lot more fun to ride down hill than up it
A most excellent day of cycling, the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing. So after last week’s failed attempt to get up the Ochil hills, due to high winds, today was a good day to go mountain biking. I had heard of a route that goes over the Ochils via Castle Campbell to Glendevon, so I thought I would take a crack at that since I’ve never done it before. I’ve ridden up to Castle Campbell before via the road so I decided to take the foot path up and immediately regretted it. Unbeknownst to me the path is very narrow, very steep and full of stairs, with some crazy cully path up a burn that had a very large drop to it. There was also some land side damage to the path with trees blocking the way, so suffice to say I ended up carrying the bike most of the way up By the time I got to the top there was a warning of not using the path as it was damaged due to landslide, why didn’t some fucker put that at the bottom as well! I would have taken the road instead. Anyway I made it to Castle Campbell in one piece and carried on up to the path that leads to Glendevon. It’s a very good marked out path; you could probably take a 4×4 up it, if it weren’t for all the gates. It’s mostly downhill at a slight gradient which means I can ride it without having to push the bike up steep hills. My only concern was all the ice around, the snow was fine but the ice was treacherous, with me coming off my bike at one point. But it’s a good ride, now on single foot path, past Hillfoot hill and Glenquey reservoir onto someone’s house, can’t believe people would want to live up here on a big hill in the middle of nowhere. Anyway the path leads to their road which I was able to ride all the way down to Glendevon. Stopped here for some food and then traced my footstep back up the hill to Castle Campbell and on down heading home. All in all a great days riding with some good photos