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Archive for December, 2011

On Wednesday the big thaw set in but there was still plenty of ice and snow to make things treacherous out on the trails. We reckoned the ice would be the main obstacle to riding, but we hadn’t reckoned on the destruction left by ‘Hurricane Bawbag’

Setting off from the shop with ice spiker tyres rattling away, I began to think I’d made the wrong tyre choice… untill we hit the start of the trails proper where they came into their own!

It's a bit icy...

Fraser makes the most of the conditions

The main climb up through the forest was covered in a sheet of melting ice. I was delighted with the performance of the Ice Spikers – don’t think I’ve ever gone up that hill so quickly, it felt like riding slickrock!

I like ice tyres now...

None of the other Wednesday nighters (Fraser, Ben, Jim and Olly) were as sensibly shod and had to push most of the way.

It'll be worth it for the descent!

Higher up, we encountered deep, heavy snow so everyone was pushing, and we decided to cut things short.

Santa put in appearance with some christmas pudding (hot!), Jim had some mince pies and Ben supplied the malt whisky. Splendid.

Fun, slidy ride back down then over to the top of our planned singletrack descent. We thought it would be fine as natural singletrack doesn’t get packed down like surfaced trails.

Unfortunately, as mentioned before, we hadn’t reckoned on storm damage from the other week, most of the trails around here didn’t seem to be affected too badly, although Laggan Wolftrax needed a lot of tree clearing.

Attack of the giant Xmas pudding

The whole top section of the trail has disappeared under fallen tree after fallen tree, we kept thinking it would get better, but gave up in the end…

The alternative way down some old double track wasn’t much better, but at least everyone got to do some riding.

Encouraged, we headed up for one last singletrack descent, no tree damage here at all, though the final part where you have to hop over a stream turned out to be a major challenge…

What now?

The ford over the Milton Burn was about as deep as I’ve ever seen it, but we all made it across fine.

All good character building stuff, at least we got out there and did it!

Now most of the snow and ice has gone from the  tracks, and I’m sure the trail fairies will be out in force over the next while to return things to their former glory.

Happy Christmas!

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We were delighted when we found out we were top of the queue to get one of (the?) first Surly Moonlander bikes to make it over the pond. Disappointment when nothing arrived for us on Friday’s delivery, was replaced with delight when the courier made a special Xmas run on Saturday, and  look what was there!

Moonlander in a box

Moonlander out of the box

Rob from Backcountry Biking had been waiting for this one since he had an epiphany riding Iona’s Pugsley, so a call was made and he was over here before you could say ‘Fat Bike frenzy!’

Plans have already been hatched for Winter epics through the Lairig Ghru (return on pack rafts down the Feshie) and Summer jaunts round the Uists… Stay tuned here and over at Backcountry Biking for ride reports and comparisons between the Pugsley and Moonlander (fat vs FAT)

Moonlander in the bike shed at Bothy Bikes

Moonlander and Pugsley share a berth

Here’s a link to the Surly site for some more info. A complete Moonlander will costs £1999 and if you’d like one there should be more arriving at the end of January, and we’d be delighted to order one for you!

In the meantime, if you’d like to have a ride on a Pugsley, we have a 20″ bike you can try in the snow!

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Today it’s all about the wind (and what a hoolie it is!) but yesterday we had the Winter’s first snowy Wednesday ride.

Just me and Fraser out riding (where was everyone?) we crunched our way through refrozen snow and ice before we got to the forest where there were some well-packed vehicle tracks to make the climb easier.
I was on my Salsa El Mariachi, trying out some new Schwalbe 29er ice spiker tyres, which I’m sure made a massive difference! Fraser was on his brand new bright green carbon Nomad (he says if Carlsberg did bikes that would be the one…)

It was truly magical at the top of the trails, snow-covered trees, bright moon, starry sky…
We had three fabulous singletrack descents, including one which was completely new to me: a trail built with so much love and care, with superbly crafted berms, swoopy dips, rocky chutes, and a full-on stream crossing to finish with – just fantastic!
After the ride we went to the Old Bridge Inn where Ben (who had been too ill to ride) joined us for beers and some magnificent roasties. Can’t wait for the next snowy night ride!

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We’ve finally moved into our new shop. The last few weeks have been crazy, getting the shop ready and moving everything from the old shop, but here we are at last…

I’d have liked to have had more posts detailing the move (and rides we’ve done, and new stuff we’ve got in etc, etc) but here’s a few pics to be going on with:

Russwood delivering the floor

Luckilly Fraser and Ben popped by to help!

Fraser and Jim fitting slatwall

Aahhh...

Amazing the things you find when you're moving; Rob discovers SSWC 2007 memorabilia

Thank you everyone who gave up their time to help with the move. Here's Mette, Jim, Gordon, Fraser, Rob, Andy and Ben - helping instead of riding (it was Wednesday night)

Some 29ers, clothing and a flying road bike

We have stuff displayed!

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