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Winter cross ride, blue skies and snow

Cyclocross bikes in the snow

It never got above zero all day, but boy, what a day – blue skies, crisp snow and frost covered trails.

Simon’s plan (Simon Kirkness from the Edinburgh Tri Centre) was to set off from Ronde in Edinburgh with the plan to follow a circular route around the city on cross bikes using as much off-road as possible – linking trails through the Pentland hills to the South of Edinburgh.

After downing a coffee in Ronde (to be recommended at any time), we hit the tails by following the Water of Leith and straight away encountered the challenge for the day – ice. Off-road trails through cities are great, but as they follow the more hidden parts of the city they’re usually in the shade and untreated. The water of Leith was no exception and kept us locked in cold until we climbed its banks to head up Poets Glen and onto Red Moss using some great link trails though natural woodland.

From here we followed the reservoirs with low sun making the iceier patches in the snow difficult to see, and once onto the hill proper it was a slog along the drove road with deeper snow making progress difficult. At the col between West Kip and Cap Law, we headed down the farm track in deep snow with brakes so frozen as to be useless (discs were definitely the way to go today), but nerves were soothed with a wee nip at the farm before slithering down the remainder of the road. Reaching the A702 it was bitterly cold (and snow free) so we pressed on hard through wooded trails in John Cark’s estate and then to the disused railway line leading from Penicuik to Dalkeith. On reaching Bonnyrigg, we decided to cut the route short due to fading light and head back by road to Edinburgh (rather than continue to Musselburgh and back along the innocent railway through Arthur’s Seat).

All, in all, a brilliant day out and a fantastic way to end the Scottish Cyclocross series – and only a few of us ended up on the deck! Thanks to Colin ‘single speed’ May for the pic and if you’re interested in some video of the day and the Scottish CX scene in general, check out Dave and John’s Dig in! channel on YouTube.

posted by steven - December 20th, 2011

SCX Mull 2011 – end of the series

SCX Mull 2011

Well, despite its good intentions, #Hurricanebawbag didn’t ruin a weekend of racing on Mull, although it did for an unfortunate few who had accident heading to Oban in Friday night’s blizzard – luckily with no injuries.

On arriving in Mull, there was a power cut at Craignure, and when we got to the north of the island Craigmore Castle was in the dark too – although, after a quick trip to Tobermory for a bite to eat and a pint, the power was on when we got back, along with snow piling up nicely outside.

Come morning the snow had all but disappeared, resulting in two days of fantastic racing with a technical mud on Saturday and a fast blast with a bit of climbing on Sunday. Both days made for an exciting finish to the series with a spectacular backdrop over the sea to Moidart and the Islands beyond. A good effort put into the Santa costumes too with nearly everyone dressed in red adding to the atmosphere of the weekend. Surreal!

Final results for the series and the weekend are on the SCX website, but a big thank you should go to Davie Graham and everyone who helped and took part during the series – it was a hoot and I for one cannae wait till next year!

posted by steven - December 12th, 2011

SCX Championships – sunshine and sleet

It was cold and sometimes wet, but we had fun at Auchentoshan making this short film. Originally we had two cameras, but the battery on the first was dead before we started… and the other ran out part way through. However, a mobile phone came to the rescue and with some subtle editing and black and white treatment we just about get away with it! Enjoy.

posted by steven - December 6th, 2011

Frame graphics

Shand Cycles frame graphic 1

Shand Cycles frame graphic 2

Shand Cycles frame graphic 3

Shand Cycles frame graphic 4

A picture’s worth a hundred words, so there’s not much to say about this post other than here are some frame graphics ideas we’ve been working on.

The intention is that these will be painted under a clear-coat lacquer rather than using decals. From an objective point of view, number 1 is probably the front-runner, but I personally like 4 as it’s gotta stripe – and as everyone knows, stripes make you go faster!

As ever, feel free to let us know what you think.

posted by steven - December 3rd, 2011