Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Inconclusive but Fun.

Took the new bike on a trail that I had done with the Kona in January.

I call it Kinrive To Inchidown although I start from the house.

The actual cycle was great. It was a lot warmer today than it was on the January cycle. The bike bhaved very well going up hill. I used the Poploc on the road and the smooth offroad climbs. This is a bar mounted system for effectively turning the front suspension on and off.

I had one dodgy moment on the descent when the back end slid out a bit, this without me locking up the back under braking.

I analysed my data in SportTracks as usual. Here is a speed comparison.

It looks very promising, the new machine being faster on the descents also !

All may not be as it seems though. The data for the heart rate also shows an increase.

On the previous cycle I stopped a few times to take photos for the blog, the stops are edited out by the software but could easily result in a comparatively lower HR.

I like to think that the bike managed to be 8.5% faster with or without me having to exert myself 9% more !!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Out with the Old

After not justifying it's usefulness or my ability to generate spare time to use it, I sold the river kayak this week. I hope Neil gets more use of it than I did.

On a brighter note, we took delivery of a new bike.

A lovely Cube LTD Race which will be put through it's paces tomorrow.

A Recent Cycle

Saunders picked me up at 10 o clock and we went to the first location.

Wildcat Black:

I think the worst part of this route is the Lactic Ladder.
You can pick it out on the below profile, it's between 27 and 32 minutes.

To the right of the word 'Ben' near the summit you can see a very bendy line, that's it. The best part of the route is Valhalla which is graded red.

After we had finished and had a wee snack it was off to the next route.

Balblair near Bonar Bridge.

This route consists of some lovely rock outcrops with lines spray painted onto them.

The route is graded black and has a lot of surprises, a lot of ups and downs some of them very steep.

Our day was not over. We nipped over to Carbisdale next to do the Red and Blue routes there.
No black route to do. Sorry no route trace for this one yet.

The routes are just north of a 1650 battle between the Royalists and Covenanters.

Oh I forgot to mention the weather. We managed to get rained or hailed on at every route. We also had a wee drop of thunder whilst on an exposed hillside riding metal objects. Fun fun fun.

I got back to the house after 1600. A great day out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Getting Busier

I have been busy lately. Since my last post I have been doing mostly:

Skiing in Bulgaria.

ur family have never skied before and so, in case we didn't like it, we decided to try the cheaper end of the market. Borovets in Bulgaria.

We stayed at the Rila hotel which was a really nice place. very clean and efficient.

It was reassuring to know that no guns were allowed !

On the first day we were issued with our lift passes and gear tickets and headed straight to the top of the mountain. We began our training with the instructor Eva another adult and several more children.

The kids picked it up quite soon but I was getting frustrated, not snow plwing and falling over !

Karen managed to transfer her water skiing expertise to the slopes too.

I was struggling, but the views were breathtaking.

On day two the top green run was fog bound so we had to practise on a low down blue route. This involved trying to dismount the poma, button lift, ski drag ( pck your own name ) on a steep slope. The kids were falling off all the time. We did get some snow plough turn training done but it was a bit of a disaster.

The next day the gondola was shut all day because of high winds. The instructor didn't want to put us back on the lower blue because of the previous days dismount hassle and the fact that the snow was getting slushier.

We grabbed a local taxi friver, George, who took us on a wee tour of the nearby Town of Samokov. I purchased some of the local grog called Rakia and a couple of bottles of wine. The prices in Samokov were less than 50% the prices in the resort of Borovets. I can also recommend eating at 'The Old House' in Samokov.

Thursday was excellent. We were back on top using the green toute and the top button lift. Eva took me away to do a blue route, I fell once but I was really getting the hang of skiing.

Friday was another disaster. Top runs closed with fog again and after an attempt to use the bottom blue ending up in several bad dismounts and people sliding off the hioll in all directions in slush, we gave up.

We had one more full day at the top on Saturday but by this time our instructor had gone to sit exams. I asked her replacement what we were going to do now we had learn't the snow plow turn and she said I would find out next year !!

In summary.
Hotel. great.
Food. OK but some strange stuff served in the hotel. We ate out twice.
Prices. Shop around. The resort can be dear and on top of the hill it's daylight robbery.
Skiing. Potentialy really good but spoiled by bad snow low down, lift closures and fog.
Return. No we have booked Passo Tonale for next year.