Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Life in the Rain... Cycle at Tyninghame..



A wet day here on the coast, so just to prove it sometimes does rain here a rain post!...




I was down at Tyninghame and along the Secret Trail, with the flat light time for some black and white...




Wee film,
Song is `Life in the Rain`  by Quantic

Life In the Rain; Tyninghame Woods cycle; Feb 18 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


More soon...


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Morning Winter Sun at Yellowcraig beach...



Another day of winter sun on the east coast...
And M`s first ride on a Fatbike on the coast, Jake the dog had fun too running along side and finding sticks to carry....



Broadsands is an amazing stretch of sand, over a mile in length at low tide you get that same feeling of space you can experience on the Northumberland coastline, famous for it`s huge lengths of sands...
While our coastline does  not have the same dramatic castles dominating the skyline we do have a very famous lighthouse...


Made famous from a more famous author; Robert Louis Stevenson who frequented the coast here and would write his novel Treasure Island from here, the small hill at Yellowcraig being `Spyglass Hill`...

The island draws you as you follow the tide line..


Today the beach was busy with dog walkers but wide enough to get your own space,
M was enjoying the ride...
Big grins...



And here on the lowest tides of the year the bow and stern are visible of a former WW1 US Battleship that was towed to anchor here to be used by WW2 Coastal Command airmen being trained at RAF East Fortune...
You can ready about it here on a former blog post;  HMS Ludlow Wreck


Fat bikes leave a lot less of a footprint than walkers, reversing the trend...


M was loving the Fatbike!....


And Jake the run!



Some film i shot, captures the light on the wet sand,
Song is `Lend Me Your Love` by Slackstring...


Yellowcraig beachride; Feb 18 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


More soon...

Friday, 16 February 2018

Surly Moonlander; Dune trails, Gullane Point


Stills taken from Go Pro HERO 4 Session camera....

A lovely cold crisp winter morning, and a 2 hour cycle with some filming at Gullane Point dunes aka The Reserve, these dunes have no name on maps as they did not exist 80 years ago.
They now tower 70 feet above a WW2 Type 27 Machine Gun box that when built would have looked over the shore line, and that building`S 8ft sides are buried by sand, as are most of the anti tank blocks that were built in 1940 as part of the `Coastal Crust`,
Only the blocks on higher ground have escaped the encroaching sand...



From the blocks i rode along the dune tops to then descend to the high tide line and around the Reserve Point for some beach combing before returning to the van and home to get on with other stuff, make the most of the daylight!...







Awesome!...



Wee film,
Song is `Pleasure and Business` by Phontaine


Surly Moonlander;  Gullane Point Dunes; Feb 18 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.



More soon...

Monday, 12 February 2018

Midweek Cycle; Surly Moonlander, post work, rock crawling...



Work done for the day and the reunited Surly Moonlander was in the van,
With an hour daylight now after work it was straight down to the coast and a play on the rocks,
It had been a real cold day, never above 3 Celsius with a biting wind, though dry and sunny so nothing to complain about, it`s February!, nothing a windbreaker top and thermal glove liners can sort!...





I filmed just as the last light of the day was about to shine through...


The rocks we call `Scorpion` was where i was heading...




Some stills from the Go Pro film footage...



Great to ride this bike again, really missed it!, The extra float and grip from 5" tyres on 100mm rims is noticeable,
Back through the estate it was nearly dark by 5.30pm  when i returned to the van, great to get out again after work in daylight!,  daylight growing a few minutes every day now...
Awesome!


Some film,
Song is `If life is a drug` by The Brian Jonestown Massacre...

Surly Moonlander; Rock Crawling, Feb 2018 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


More soon...

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Surly Moonlander; `The Eagle has re-landed`...



Rewind 6 years ago... and the available Fatbikes were all quite similar. despite various frame material options and symmetrical  170 rear hub becoming a new standard there was only one width of tyre available, marked 3.8" on the side wall they were 4" wide. 4" tyres were the norm.
Then Surly who brought you the original first complete `Pugsley` Fatbike kit comprising a frame and fork, rims and tyres, all of which could be built into a complete bike using regular size Mountainbike parts again came out with another step forward in Fatbike innovation, the same concept again but with massive 100mm wide rims and 5" tyres - The Surly Moonlander...
The bike needed a 20mm wider crankset but again gave a 2x9 drive chain with decent chainline and gear range combined with tyres that could be lowered down to 4 psi where needed and at an average 6 psi gave immense traction and float allowing places previously  unrideable on a regular mountain bike and rideable but still a bit effort required on a 4" Fatbike even easier.

Sand and snow was the obvious  playground of this new bigger and lower pressure footprint and for myself the coast was just the place for one of these bikes and i straight away placed an order for one,

The Waiting game...
Typically here in the UK we were behind in receiving the latest bling from the USA,  though one rider, cycling friend Rob managed to get a Moonie over from the USA before my bike and another (Ritchies) arrived in the UK.
In the meantime we got a review from Surly;



Then Charlie Bikemonger received our bikes...



The excitement of receiving this bike was nearly as much as receiving my first Surly Pugsley Fatbike 4 years earlier. In those 4 years of riding the Pugsley i had gathered enough riding experience that when the Moonlander was announced i knew how much more easier riding this bike would be on the coast, esp in the soft dunes and real slippy low tide exposed rocks...

Pulling the bike out the box and assembling the wheels then pumping them up even though already a fatbike owner i was blown away by the width and girth of the wheels.
A few rides and i was really impressed by what this bike was capable of,
I made a launch film of the bike, and pleased to have an excuse to show this again as maybe one of the best Fatbike films i have made, from a film making point; some of the real Apollo 13 Film which was shot off of the PC with my Go Pro, along with Google Earth footage in black and white, mixed with stills and the Moonlanding audio. Then the Lego space men!, and watch how the camera drops and draws across the WW2 Anti tank block and the corrugated metal mould pattern mixes into the sand dune, that was pure fluke but nice editing.  And the sound track by Babylon Zoo - perfect...




The dunes and rocks are where this bike really excels. The later generation 5" tyre 100mm rim Fatbikes are as good and some better with more MTB trail geometry, but the narrow rear end of the Moonlander is good for slow speed trials type riding through ruts and rocks where a wider 190mm axle Fatbike will foul the rear mech and ankles hit on the chain stays when out the saddle riding moving the bike side to side....
And the big Moonie can take an Internal Gear Hub (IGH) giving a clag free simple drive chain, and later models feature a 47mm offset fork matching the rear offset giving reversable wheels, lots of options, all with cheap or bling regular standard parts -headsets, hubs, seat posts,

Here are 2 films i made...





Some fun on the rocks...


New Years Day 2013 and an amazing cycle out across the exposed low tide sands to Lindesfarne...



And the bike is good at Wheelies...



So you can see how much fun i have had riding this bike, so you can imagine the state of affairs when my previous job started to go down the toilet after a couple of clowns leased the place and were late paying staff etc.. it was the beginning of the end there. Sadly i had to sell things to make ends meet with overtime (which was compulsory) cut (one of many breaches of contract) and toys had to be sold to keep the wolf from the door, and sadly the Moonlander was sold, luckily to a work mate Yan who said he would promise to look after it and later we could do a deal for it. A Charge alloy Fatbike frame i built up for this winter was traded with some cash today and i brought the Moonie home this afternoon... :-)
Real happy to get this bike back and will be back out again this week after work enjoying the float...


More soon...

Berwickshire; WW2/Cold war artefacts, and a cycle around...



Saturday i picked up Craig and with the bikes loaded in the van drove down to Berwickshire to revisit some WW2/Cold War sites and explore some unvisited stuff that`s been on my to do list for a while,  


 The Cockburnspath   Royal Observer Corps Monitoring post has both the WW2 look out and the Cold War Post below ground.


Great views for spotting and tracking enemy aircraft from Norway attempting to bomb the Naval Fleet at Rosyth in the early months of the WW2.  On the moor in the distance over the county border in Berwickshire was the sight of a much larger observing site we were going to next...


To see pics of inside here click on link; Cockburnspath Post


This Post is now owned by the owner of Scotlands Secret Bunker; Blog post link


Over the County border...
Goodbye East Lothian, Hello Berwickshire!...

Dowlaw...


Drone Hill;
Drone Hill was the site of the first Chain Home Radar station in Scotland, it opened in 1939.
Here is a wartime picture...



Today the site is a caravan park, the defences and buildings still remain and can be explored,  the park was closed being winter so we could not access inside but had a look around in the surrounding fields..


This is one of several Type 27 Pillboxes,
This one was accessible with no livestock in the field so we had a look inside...



In the centre would have been a machine gun mounted on a post for firing into the air if a parachute attack

The Pill box that is buried in the dunes at Aberlady Nature Reserve is a type 27 and it is nearly completely out of site now, it shows just how much sand moves,

We were missing all the forecasted rain today!, east coast magic!...


Entrance and former guard house...


Inside another pill box.  We will need to revisit/camp a night in summer to look around, and they have a bar in a bunker!...


RAF Crosslaw
A short drive from Drone Hill is the former RAF Crosslaw, the site that took over from here after WW2 and the dawn of The Cold War.
The Radar on the hill top today is used to aid navigation, but previously the radar here did a very different job...






The nearby  house is now converted into a private dwelling, originaly built it was once the guard house for a one level CHEL 2 ROTOR Bunker which was an RSG (Regional Seat of Government). Up here on the moor was an ideal site for such a building  to carry out it`s clandestine Cold War operations...

Wiki link; ROTOR

Here is a link where you can read more about this site; RAF Crosslaw 


ROC Post,  Info..



The Camp for Crosslaw was in Coldinghame village nearby and you can read about life here during it`s operation here; Drone Hill/Crosslaw


Coldinghame;
Back to the van and bikes loaded we drove over the moor to Coldinghame village and parked up we rode to the coast past some interesting stuff...



 From the village are several lovely trails that descend to the coast here, like this one onto the beach...



Quiet today mid February this place gets real busy in warmer weather...



Back up the Mill burn path in the village...


Van loaded with bikes we drove along to Eyemouth and cycled up to the fort for a look around,
These 2 old cannon, set up between the great wars by the 1st Berwickshire Corp Volunteers, a 3rd cannon is reputed to have fallen over the cliff into the sea below...







Back into town and a look around the harbour...




Bikes loaded back in the van and time for chips!... a fun day out on and off the bikes...


Some film from the day, inc that sweet bit single track trail at Coldinghame  :-)
Song is `edge Hill` by Groove Armada


Coastrider; Cold War Artifacts, and a cycle around Coldinghame, Feb 2018 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


More soon...