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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:40 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 982
Location: Highlands, Scotland
More vagabonding... :)

I'm off to Oz on Tuesday and like Captain Oates, I may be some time, so Jamie & I decided to have an actual road ride. He took his Jack Taylor to let me know he was serious about road.

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So when we stopped at the bottom of the 'Puffer track there was some uncertainty

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And bit more of "Are you sure this is a road ride"

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But that was the only (tiny) bit of singletrack we did and we headed out in the Loch Achilty direction. Stopped to show Jamie this henge sitting ignored right beside the road.

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Nah, not a strange pedalling action, just the start of a dismount.

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The Meig dam. I can remember when cattle grids were something to fear with alloy rims. We don't think twice now.

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The loop was a bit uppy and downy but just enough of each, and as usual the scenery put on a show for us.

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Doing an actual road ride gave me a chance to wind out the old Dawes and get it flat out. I'm glad I didn't take the frame to the tip when I couldn't give it away, it is surprisingly good to ride. I reckon I might name it Lazarus. :)

The best bit was when I went cackling past Jamie on the flat at just over 30mph and wishing I had another gear. (I had the help of a wee run up though). Amazing to think Graeme Obree did that for an hour.

I'll miss these rides. You'll just have to put up with me posting the tropical tracks of North Queensland instead.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:49 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6825
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
Yes it was definitely a good send off ride as the next one together will most likely not be in shorts ;)
Safe travels my friend :)
And thanks once again for another great day out.

Jamie

ImageIMG_1614 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1618 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1638 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1641 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1648 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1650 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1654 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1658 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1664 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:17 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:05 pm
Posts: 8997
Location: Scotland
Rode home from work today and took a leaf out of Brian & Jaimies "If You Can See Light Through It, Then You Can Ride Through It" book :lol:
Looked at a few new roads to try on the ride home courtesy of Google Maps, virtual maps and reality are often different though, so many of the smaller roads were no more than overgrown farm tracks, it was a good job I was on my mtb and not the road bike!
But I've noted the new tracks I found for use on later rides, so it was a productive ride home :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:21 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6825
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
Always good fun exploring Jimo :)
Weather looks decent down your way.

Jamie


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:26 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:05 pm
Posts: 8997
Location: Scotland
Jamiedyer wrote:
Weather looks decent down your way.


Nah, I worked on a bit later until the rain stopped as it was pishing it down.
I got lucky, could see big angry thunder clouds all around, but somehow I dodged the rain :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:32 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6825
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
Sounds much like up here today. Sun one minute and then black clouds, buckets down, then sun again.

Jamie


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:18 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:58 pm
Posts: 982
Location: Highlands, Scotland
Clouds, rain? What do they look like?

Says he, speaking from tropical North Queensland... :)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:32 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6825
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
I had a couple of days off this week as its the last week of the school holidays and thought Caleb and I would go camping, maybe take the canoe down to Loch Marree. The weather forecast was definitely working against us as it was looking like rain every bloody day or evening.
I will say at this point as an aside that I had been in contact earlier with Laurence from Retrobike about going for a ride out to Altnabreac this week while he was up in Orkney. Unfortunately I couldn't with work and then being with Caleb. I did text Laurence before and then again yesterday. Much to my real annoyance was when we returned home tonight and I have checked back on here for my messages I realised I had written down his number wrong. This was a pain as we probably could have met up.
Anyway with the weather looking like a mixed bag I thought we need to get away and decided yesterday that maybe we should head to Orkney. We have to be somewhere on Friday and it's lunch time Weds so not much time, forecast is for heavy rain in the middle of Weds night but otherwise not too bad. Though we will never make Kirkwall with Caleb riding and me on the Dummy considering the Scrabster - Stromness ferry doesn't leave until 7 pm so I thought try the hostel in Stromness to see if there is a cancellation. Very long shot this time of year as all the accommodation on the island is booked out online. Rang anyway and holy flying fatbikes, the lady says they have just had a cancellation for a twin room but only for tonight, that's all they can do. We'll take it we tell her and we will see her about half eight.
So Caleb will take his bike and I will take the Cargo bike and when we are on the main road he can jump on the Big Dummy and we strap his bike on the back, I should survive hauling that much now and again along with all our gear. Bikes out, lets get sorted we don't have much time to get to Scrabster. Almost ready to leave and Caleb starts getting a bit anxious about riding on the busy roads to the point where he doesn't want to take his bike as he is too nervous. This is a dilemma as while I understand and don't want him to be panicking on the road, last thing I want, I am wondering about hauling him all the way. It's a big heavy machine with a fair bit of gear packed and now his 25 + kilo makes me start to get nervous. It's OK going to 'Groats for an ice cream for 20 mile but its been a while since it toured and he was at least half the size he is now. Oh well, like most dads I said fine, lets go.
Heather dropped us at Scrabster and we were slightly delayed and felt bad to leave her as when I got the Dummy out the van we somehow locked the keys in and she had to phone a friend to come and get her, drive back out to Barrock to get the spare and then drive her back in. Apparently we were in Orkney and at the hostel before she got home. oops!
Caleb had a blast, we had dinner and ice cream on the ferry then rode to the hostel, unloaded and then parked the Dummy in the secure shed. All too easy for any of my trips ;)
It did rain heavily during the night but was all dry by the morning though it was really low lying cloud when we got up and went for a walk through town at about 7. We had breakfast at a lovely café in the main street with the lady making Caleb a huge hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows despite it being breakfast time. We then loaded up and headed out of town towards Skara Brae. It was not only looking like we would soon be wet but we had the mother of all headwinds blowing in from the north. I then decided to take a shortcut that I was sure Brian and I had taken previously. It may have been a distance shortcut but after slogging up the highest hill as far as could be seen, which in Orkneys case is very high and very steep too we then shot down the otherside and completely missed the turn off. Only had to go back a small bit but that was at least respite from the headwind. From here we rode into Skara Brae at a very slow pace. We went round everything and then had a drink and some cake before heading to the outside sections. A really amazing place that I highly recommend if you get the chance. We thought we better get going and as we were outside putting our helmets on the rain started in earnest. We headed back inside to wait it out and thankfully after about 10 minutes or so things brightened up. From here we were heading to the Ring of Brodgar and thankfully we had the help of the tail wind and while there were a few climbs as well as a few downhills, this stretch felt a bit easier, this was also helped by the sun coming out and while the wind was still quite cool, the sun definitely had some warmth to it.
The Ring of Brodgar is another of our favourite places and the scale is pretty amazing. Not sure what it is about the place whether it is the size, the unknown origins or use of it or the beautiful location but clearly we weren't the only ones who like it as there were a few cars in the carpark up the road with at least three coachs unloaded.
From here we had to head back to Stromness to get the 16.45 ferry home, the last ferry, otherwise we were stuck. I decided rather than the usual way south past Maes Howe and the right and back north to Stromness that we would head back the way we came for a bit and then head via the tiny farm roads to Voy and then back along the main road and join the Stromness road. A sort of tack into the wind for a bit then it should help us up the three main hill climbs. Sounded good but , my god, pushing full on into it for half an hour at a time while barely achieving walking pace for mile after mile certainly crushes the soul. But come the first big long climb that was about a kilometre long and sure enough the wind helped, as much as it can with such a heavy load, but it certainly didn't hinder and that lifted the spirits, of both me and my 8 year old passenger. It was somewhere along this stretch when I thought, screw this, we are getting a tandem, you can start working for your days rides, most likely the time I turned round and he's eating a muesli bar and drinking his bottle while waving to the cows.
Anyway we made it back to Stromness, got our tickets and then went and had a fitting lunch outside, and while the wind was still strong and cool, the sun was really out and trying to warm up. Was a busy ferry as the car deck was completely booked out. Caleb then proceeded to eat dinner on the ferry and finish with ice cream. We were met at the other side by Heather which save me riding the 20klm home, as the wind wasn't much better on this side.
So a great 24hours away and Caleb had a huge adventure away overnight which I wanted to do this last week of holidays so mission accomplished.
The Dummy ran fine after adjusting the Alfine as it jumped gear on our test just before we left, otherwise it never missed a beat, bags were full of everything and it was hauled every which way and strapped down with rope on the ferry, so it was its usual fine self but Caleb is just getting too big and heavy for me to do that too often so I think it is time for a tandem, for sure.

Jamie

ImageIMG_1675 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1681 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1689 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1694 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1710 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1733 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1736 by Jamie Dyer, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:24 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:33 pm
Posts: 858
Location: Highlands
That was a brave trip on many fronts! The weather really hasn't been much good for cycling recently has it... I had a week off on the west coast myself last week and only got out on the bike once (though that once was very enjoyable.)

I would say you need a tandem for the sake of your knees, though I hope your son is better at doing his share of the pedaling than mine was! My daughter has never been willing to come out in the trailer and now that she's probably old enough (4) for the tag-a-long, I'm not sure I fancy it much myself... we'll maybe stick to walks along the shore and climbing the rocks for now I think, until she can ride her own bike on the road.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:37 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:03 pm
Posts: 6825
Location: held captive by baby haggis in a cave in Scotland
We were lucky with the weather as it could have gone pear shaped very quickly and we would have been caught in it for several hours as some parts there is just nowhere to shelter.
I must also say that I don't have any tiredness in my body at all, even on the normal bike you usually have some sort of tightness etc after a long ride. I think because your not really going like a normal tourer, intensity wise and much more upright position. It's a lot more laid back style as you realise once going that your not going anywhere fast ;) To complete this mindset, while I rode in my Keela bike trousers I rode in a T shirt and wore my boots which would never happen on my other bikes ever.
The Dummy is great for that sort of thing but he is getting just that bit too big, though saying that, I would do it again tomorrow so it couldn't be too bad. He loves it too so that is part of the fun. He really loves Orkney as even though it's just across the water from us he always likes how friendly people are, everyone waves to him and chats. I think its a combination of friendly people, usually sunny which helps peoples demeanour, the fact he's obviously touring and he is on a bike, especially when on the Dummy, it's makes people smile, or maybe they are laughing, don't know, haven't worked that out yet ;)
I am definitely going to put the standard size wheels back on as I have a SP Dyno hub for the front and a set of Sputnik rims ready to go once I get spokes and see if that helps as the fat front end, while super lite, sucks all your energy on tarmac, soul destroying I found on this trip.
The thing that I always know that helps is like when I have heavy stuff on it like the sidecar is that the bottom gear on the Alfine will just turn at walking pace and means that you can always keep winching up a hill, even with a load.
A great solo tourer if your not in any rush as you can carry everything and more.

Jamie


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