Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Day Cycle Gran Canaria

I decided that a day tour with guides would be better than trying to sort something out for myself and booked on a  tour with Free Motion.
I had booked on the Peak Tour but due to a week of rain this route had become unuseable.
We headed north and our guide Kai ( awaiting proper spelling ) met with two local guides so we could get the best possible experience.
Now I'm not exactly sure of the start point because although I took my trusty Forerunner GPS I was so excited that I kept forgetting to start the thing. I missed the start of the first route but I did take a pic of it so you in the know will know :)

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 I was the only Brit on the tour which was mainly German I think. There was a Fin, a Dane and two Swiss, we also had the two Spanish guides who's names escape me.
We started in the rain which had been hitting the island hard for a few days and immediately I saw the effects. There was a lot of slippy mud which added difficulty to what was already a fairly technical part of the descent.
When we stopped to 'collect' ourselves we all had that stupid smile on our faces.

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 Just like the emotion that some of the sections were stirring inside me, we were heading for Teror. Yes Teror is the name of the town.

From GranCanMTBTour2009
This was going to be a lunch stop and the end of the first route.

From GranCanMTBTour2009

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 It really was more than 6Km the GPS never recorded the first part ( well I didn't ).
Teror was a very pretty wee town unlike the touristy shore side towns in the south.

From GranCanMTBTour2009

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 We got back on the bus and went back up the mountain, again I didn't start the GPS so I'm not sure where we started. :(
This was a longer route which had everything. Undo-able technical sections although about four of the group did manage most of them. Asphalt transitions including climbing sections. Riding through steep narrow back streets of mountain villages, down steps, through gardens! (I kid you not, at one point I was up someones driveway holding onto an opened garage door with some of the family inside chatting !). Fast steep downhill. Riding along the coast. We only omitted riding naked whilst drunk smoking cigars, maybe next time.

From GranCanMTBTour2009

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 One of the very technical sections. No we didn't actually come down the cliff face but near enough.

From GranCanMTBTour2009

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 Another much needed rest.

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 The final push along the coast. Look carefully between the two riders in the foreground to see the rest of the squad in the dip.

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 At last, we get to the end of what must be the best and most varied days cycling I have ever done.

From GranCanMTBTour2009
 Oh, and I did get a puncture but there were about nine others and the guides mended it for me :)
From GranCanMTBTour2009

No this isn't us but it's the same hire shop, bikes and terrain.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Aroond And Aboot

This week I have been mostly in pain. From my cheek and neck, my cheek is still in limbo as there seems to be nobody to interpret the x-ray yet.

From Aroondanaboot

I went for a walk up near Culloden to find Tom Riach a boulder of conglomerate dumped in the woods by a glacier long ago.

From TomRiach
Tom Riach was full of moss and needles and hard to climb.

From TomRiach
On the way home I stopped under the Kessock bridge.

From TomRiach
Completed in 1982 and now almost always full of cars trying to negotiate the roundabout on the other side.
Then I went home, worked on Friday and Saturday which is when the stilson incident happened.

I hurt my neck

From Aroondanaboot

whilst trying to avoid hitting myself on said cheek with a stilson.

From Aroondanaboot

On Monday having taken Sunday off work with a sore neck and practically hanging myself from the door frame to relieve the pain., I decided to go for a walk with the dog.

From Aroondanaboot
We went to Nigg beach

From Aroondanaboot
Ok not a great beach picture but this is where it gets a bit rocky OKAY ?
We looked across to the South Sutor

From Aroondanaboot
We then found more conglomerate when we thought it was all sandstone.

From Aroondanaboot
We drove up the hill and took a photo of the firth.

From Aroondanaboot
Then we went home.
No accidents.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Fancy Canada

Decided to help out Cameron at The Canadian Tourism Commission. It's the kind of place I would like to visit, and not to sip drinks by the pool.
Here's some videos they have put together to entice us over.
There's also details of a competition at the end.

River Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

Open Canoe

Seal Attack !

Slave River Rapids

Newfoundland And Labrador Sea Kayaking

Pilot Whales Cape Breton Nova Scotia

The Canadian Tourism Commission is also running a contest for residents of the UK to win a free, personalized trip to Canada.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Should Have Gone Straight To Raigmore

I had a wee spill up on the Wildcat on November 16th. Near the end of 'Running The Gauntlet there's a wee drop off a slab onto some 'north shore'. The planks have no chicken wire anti slip and as soon as I landed my front slid away. There was no time to correct and I went down fast and hard hitting my cheek on the ground.

From Golspie crash

I corrected the bent handlebars and seat and managed down the rest of the route.
A GP in Golspie had a look but the swelling had started, I decided to wait a few days to see if the pain subsided. I was still sore a week later so went to my local small injuries clinic where I was told there was no break.
Relieved by this news I was sure the pain would be leaving me soon. Still sore 2.5 weeks later I went back to the doctors to be told I would need an X-Ray !

I'm waiting for an appointment...

10th December. After being told on my last two visits that they could not x-ray the face in Invergordon I got my X-ray appointment  IN INVERGORDON ! Had the X-ray, now waiting for someone to look at it...