Sunday, 29 April 2012

SXC Round 2 - Glennifer Braes

Today saw us in Paisley with Thomson's Cycles for Round 2 of the SXC.

A great day, with warm weather, a fast course and plenty of riders made for fast fun on the trails as racers enjoyed dusty trails and the usual SXC atmosphere.

Great support as always from Thomson's Cycles Paisley, Birzman, Moda Cycles and super catering from the Grange Hotel in Coatbridge made sure racers and families had a great time.

Video of the day - if there re any pics you want from the footage, plse drop Craig a mail with a good description of the pic you mean and I'll get it to you.

Looking forward to Aberfyole already - even better, the rain stayed away until now...rain beating on my windows outside :))

Untitled from C Coid on Vimeo.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Beinn Eich and Doune Hill

22 April 2012

Mark was out with Jane today. They opted for a relaxed day hill walking in the hills down Glen Luss. These hills are great as they are accessible but offer a crowd free day with no paths. We use these hills to teach night navigation so its great to see what they look like in the daylight. More on Mark's blog here...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Caber Tossing

Craig was out with Peter doing some mountain biking around the excellent trails of Argyle today, enjoying hard climbs and sketchy descents.

Peter is in training for 10 Under the Ben, one of many No Fuss events worth trying, so he was quick up the climbs on his rocket and new super slick Maxxis tyres.

A hard final climb out of Lochgoilhead saw us at the top of the aptly named Rest n be Thankful for a roll and coffee off of John's new pitch - great food.   There was an old car hill race up the old road to the carpark and some super vintage cars about.  One was a lovely old MG Roadster, which I used own in my early 20's...a quick photo to remind me of my youth....

A blast back to the carpark and home in quick time after a great day.

Ardgarten Biking from C Coid on Vimeo.
Simply Epic Adventures - Mountain biking in Argyle

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Expedition Training

Craig was out on April 14 & 15 with Allander OA in the Ardgarten hills doing DoE Bronze exped' training and what a great time we had.

The sun was out, the midges were absent and the company was great fun.

The group were super enthusiastic and really up for it, despite their overloaded rucksacks...10 apples is just too much for one person.

Cold at night but the group kept warm and breakfast tasted nice.

Back in double time and after counting them all back, we headed home to relax.

All in, a great weekend and the girls are now set for the Award Expedition in June after some great work on navigation and camp craft.

Good luck team!

Monday, 9 April 2012

CPD for Simply Epic

The team was out for some nav and rope work practice in the Ardlui hills, which has some really complex ground.   We headed up doing timings, pacing and bearings, finding features on the ground and having a good day in the rain.

Always good to find the flowers out early and even some evidence of stags scratching their antlers on the saplings.

Once near the top, we had a bite of lunch and the rope was out for practice in anchors, knots and lowering; all good skills to keep fresh and slick.  After an hours work in the rain, we'd had enough of the wind and rain and headed down.

Back to the car in good time with more nav work.  All in, a great day out for the team; these days are never wasted when it comes to keeping our skills sharp.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Group - Dumgoyne Hill

Wednesday night saw Bill and Craig out with the girls from Milngavie Youth Cafe teaching navigation in preparation for their Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

We walked up the well known landmark around Glasgow of Dumgoyne Hill, nr Strathblane, and found ourselves on the summit after some map and compass work to get the girls thinking.

Cold and blustery on the top but great effort from the girls to get there.

A pleasant wander down out the wind had us enjoying a lovely sunset over Loch Lomond and some more work on bearings to keep things focused.

All in, a good nights work and the girls can give themselves a deserved pat on the back for a super effort.

Monday, 2 April 2012

SXC 2012 Series - Round 1 at Kirroughtree

The other 2/3s of Simply Epic were off fine tuning their events management skills running the first round of the SXC at Kirroughtree on Sunday.   K'tree is always a great Series opener and this year delivered yet again...a great course and the sun shone for most of the day.

0730 hrs saw us on site setting up for the day - most riders still in their scratcher - but Bill, Craig, Fish and Jas were on hand to get the ball rolling and the race village established.   The first race of the season always throws a spanner in the works and this was no different with one or two niggles but all in, it went fine and no-one noticed our 'faux bar linkages'.

The big gun from British Cycling was up running the rule over us, as we are running the NPS champs in June at this location, but he went away content and satisfied.   There was a good turn out on the day and all had a great time, enjoying the challenging but fair course of fast single track, long-ish firetrack climb and one or two short testing single track climbing.

Folks never quite realise the efforts that go into these events but we've been doing it for about 7 years now, if not more, and we eventually packed up and left the site about 520pm.

Big thanks to Bikin' Baz, roadie extraordinaire, for commentating at the event and Thomson's Cycles, Birzman tools, Clif Bar, Pedros and Ay Up Lights for sponsoring us for the year.

Here's a quick video of the day, hopefully capturing just a little of how good the Series and courses are - Kirroughtree is one of the best - super single track and punishing climbs...what more can a body ask for?


SXC mountain bike racing

PS Craig came a respectable 5th in the Grand Vets :)...he just needs to train now!

Next race is at Glennifer Braes on Sunday 29 April 2012

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Mind the Gap ...

31 March 2012  

Two of the Simply Epic team, Craig and Bill headed for Kirroughtree for round 1 of the SXC race calender ( and I headed to Ben Nevis for a lap of Tower Ridge. This gives 1000m of climbing (Mod summer grade and IV,3*** Winter grade) over 500m ascent and is the most famous of all the Nevis ridges. With the new path I was at the top car park in 28mins and the SMC hut in 1hr 22 mins. The rain turned to light snow as I climbed the first 20m groove/chimney out of Douglas Gully to the ridge proper. In the mist I heard two teams above and knew that as I was soloing I would quickly catch them. Rope one was two lads from Fife and rope 2 was two RAF lads from Leuchars. Crampons and an axe was need for the Eastern Traverse as the neve was bomber hard. Being on my own I clipped the 'controversial tat' at Tower Gap as the snow was lying, the rocks slippy and my hands cold. I bridged the gap, un-clipped and made the committing pull across with the drop of Glover's chimney puling at my heals. Crampons and axe again needed for the exit to the plateau in 3hrs 45mins.

Gear off, I head for the zig zags, the red burn and sprinted past the Halfway Lochan, picking up the path and arriving with a jog back at the car in 5hrs 41 mins. Another Simply Epic Day for me and more from the boys here soon...

SMC Hut, Douglas Boulder & Tower Ridge with The North East Buttress on the horizon

Looking back to the Douglas Boulder from the lower part of the ridge

Happy face but cold hands...

The infamous arete leading to Tower Gap
From the Gap looking down Glover's Chimney (Grade III,4**)

RAF boys bringing up the rear...
Exit moves

And the sun comes out on the TAB back to the car, typical.