Sunday, 4 November 2012


Today (sunday) i awoke at 07:30 to beautiful sunshine and had planned a trip from the east beach in Dunbar to Belhaven bay on my inflatable red air sup, the board is constructed from the same material that fast inflatable speed boats are constructed from and are used throughout the world for running river rapids they are virtually indestructible, however to inflate the board takes about five minutes with the hand pump, i started paddling at the east beach as mentioned above and continued to the tyne estuary, there was a small surf rolling in at the bay so i caught a few waves, i made a little film of the trip the beginning shows the board being inflated which i decided to speed up a little, unfortunately the camera angle isn't the best as i have no way of fixing the tachyon camera to anything so had to lay it on the board deck which constrict's the view due to the concave shape of the board a problem i don't think you would encounter with a gopro due to all the different mounting accessories such as helmet and chest straps,
Time fly's when your having fun and today i spent five hours paddling around the coast hopefully the weather will hold tomorrow for my last day off.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


Saturday for me started with a hangover as friday night was the annual 999 Emergency services dance which was held in the Dunbar British Legion and as usual when i am feeling a little unwell the weather outside was stunning for the time of year with bright sunshine and very little wind, so it was off with the PJ's and on with the cycling gear and an hour's ride around john muir to try an erase what remained of my hangover.

I cycled through the woods and headed towards the skittery burn taking it nice and easy and stopping for the odd photo.

The sunlight was warm and pleasant, but once in the shade the temp dropped so i didn't hang around for long as i wanted to get on to the sand of Belhaven beach.

So i took a little short cut through the woods and cycled along spiky Island, once again out in the beautiful sunshine.

And while cycling along the beach i noticed these tracks in the sand, to thick to be from a pugsley so they must have been made by a friends moonlander another fat bike made by surly with even wider wheels which is owned by bruce aka coast kid.

With the rising tide i was fast running out of sand so continued on towards home, i headed along the old dump road towards belhaven and stopped to take a couple of pictures of the wildlife.

This grey heron was feeding in the shallow water, these birds feed on small fish, frogs and insects with it's long bill, herons will also take small mammals such as birds, it will often wait motionless for prey or slowly stalk it's victims, with another ride on the coast complete it was time to get myself home and give the bike a wash, hopefully tomorrow the weather will be as pleasant as it was today and i should be hangover free as i would like to get out on the water with my stand up paddle board, i'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Time unfortunately was not on my side this evening, i had planned to head out to john muir country park and ride through the woods, however that plan fell by the wayside and a quick ride of about thirty five minutes around the boundary of Dunbar on the pugsley was my first night ride of the autumn, i did take some still pictures but sadly my camera skills leave a lot to be desired and most of the pictures didn't come out the way i had hoped, however i made a little film of the ride and with it being halloween used john carpenters theme from the fog.

Monday, 15 October 2012


Monday the 15 of october, and we are well into Autumn and it won't be long now until the clocks go back an hour, tonight it was sunset just after six pm, so i grabbed my camera and pugsley and headed along the john muir way towards barns ness lighthouse to try and get some pictures.

 There where a few surfers riding the autumn swells that travel across the north sea and break on our reefs and beaches, this guy got more than his fair share on his longboard.

The light was fading fast so i pressed on towards the lighthouse, Barns ness lighthouse is located 5km from Dunbar and was constructed by Engineer David A Stevenson between 1899 and 1901 taking approximately 2.5 years to construct, it was illuminated in october 1901 and was constructed from stone quarried from craigree near cramond.

The stone proved resilient as during ww2 the lighthouse was machine gunned yet sustained no damage, the lighthouse was manned by two keepers, however in 1966 it was electrified with a backup generator and emergency battery which would have been used if the generator failed,
Barns ness lighthouse remained semi-automated requiring a single keeper until 1986 when it was fully automated, in early 2005 the uk and ireland lighthouse authorities decided that the barns ness lighthouse  was no longer needed and was sadly deactivated in october 2005.

With the light fading fast i stopped to take one last picture before cycling west along the john muir trail towards my home in Dunbar, tonight brought some beautiful views out over the firth of fourth and i am truly lucky to have scenery like this only minutes from my front door.

Now safely home it was time to put my feet up and relax with some refreshments :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Sunday was forecast for showers and light sea winds, so i looked out my cycling waterproof trousers and jacket and headed west to the john muir country park on the surly pugsley, just above the new toilet and shower block (thats almost completed) is this sign that shows some of the wildlife thats on offer and gives the reader some information on the history of the park.

The salt marsh which is a haven for various birds was some what different back in the early 1900s back then there was a nine hole golf course, horse racing, and a shooting range.

As you can see from the picture above its clearly changed, John muir was born in Dunbar in 1838 and lived here until the age of 11 then the muir family immigrated to America where they settled in wisconsin, as an adult his pioneering conservation work led him to being dubbed the founder of national parks.

Today the john muir country park covers some of the most spectacular east lothian coastline and is a haven for wildlife, The park stretches from the castle ruins in Dunbar to the Peffer burn, the park also includes the cliff top trail with some spectacular views  out over the Firth of Forth including the historic Bass rock and views west along the sandy  sweep of Belhaven beach up to the river Tyne estuary,  there are also extensive areas of grassland, salt marshes  and wooded areas which are great areas for mtb biking or walking. (above a picture of my pugsley)

With the heavy showers and equally heavy ground the legs where starting to get a little tired so i rounded the point and rode along belhaven beach taking a picture or two of the surf and started my trip home to Dunbar to wash down the bike and myself.

As the firth of Forth has several anchor areas for large vessels this is a common sight around our coastline, no idea what the name of this vessel is.

When i made it back to Dunbar i cycled down to the harbor and hosed my bike down at the local lifeboat station of which i am a member, and another permanent member of our coastline is this common grey seal, this is i think a female as they are smaller than males and a little lighter in color if you look closer at the picture you can make out the scaring on her back caused by breeding, so with bike washed it was time to head home for food and coffee and a not so productive afternoon sitting in front of the television.

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Today was the day i picked up my surly disc trucker from colin at belhaven bikes, and decided to go for a test run to check it out, so with the bright sunshine mild temperature and light south west wind i grabbed the chance for a quick ride on my new steed, once i received the bike from colin and made a couple of little adjustments to the saddle and seat post i was good to go, i headed east along the cycle path towards torness point which is my usual commute to work each day, my mtb bike has front suspension and although the LHT has a comfortable riding position the bumpy cycle path combined with the steel fork up front made it a little uncomfortable on the arms but this being the first time i have rode the bike wasn't a major concern as i'm sure i'll become accustomed to the different riding position.

Looking back and down towards the coast lies barn's ness light house, and the north sea.

And a little further inland lafarge cement works.

A quick picture of the LHT disc complete with panner racks and mudguards.
I continued my cycle east along the old closed off A1 out towards the power station which lies about six miles from Dunbar.

And out along the break water at the point, the picture above shows the dolaces which are laid individually to protect the shoreline around the power station from coastal corrosion......

They also protect the Dunbar lifeboat which is moored in relative safety from strong northeast storms like the one we had here just last week, the lifeboat is a trent class capable of a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles, it's powered by two mman turbo engines.

While out on the point i took a quick pic of st abbs head in the distance....

.....And one west towards barns ness and the bass rock.

With my stomach beginning to rumble through hunger i decided to head back to Dunbar for food and a mug of steaming coffee, total ride distance of 12 miles and time on the bike was one hour 15 minutes, above one last picture of the surly LHT disc,
The components list
Surly disc trucker frame (steel)
Deore chain set 48/36/26
Hollowtech bottom bracket
Slx rear mech
Slx front mech
Slx rear cassette
Die compi brake leavers
Shimano 160mm rotors x2
Shimano front and rear disc brake calipers
Mavic 717 rims built with halo black spokes and Slx hubs
Continental gatorskin tires x2
Sks mudguards x2
9 speed sram chain
Turtec front and rear panner
Pro 110 stem
Ritchy comp drop bars
Chris king head set with carbon spacers
Brooks b17 leather saddle with suspension seat post
Dura ace bar end shifters x2
Deda green bar tape.

Monday, 1 October 2012


 After the heavy seas we had here last week its been interesting cycling along the coast, with lots of debris washed up on my local beach at belhaven, the sand was also heavy and soft due to the heavy rain, but as you can see the pugsleys tires make light work of peddling over this type of terrain.

Can't remember the last time i have seen this much kelp washed up here, it was over two feet high in some places, Autumn now and the summer kelp bloom is dying away and the winter swells have wash it ashore.

There was also lots of wild life that suffered natures wrath, these sea urchins have been up routed and washed ashore over the hard ground which has removed most of the spines, lots of dead young sea birds where also lying on the beach.

A razor clam shell with the inhabitant long gone.

There has also been lots of sand moved about, hardly surprising with the sea state here last week.

Most of the local creel fishermen have reported lots of damage and some are even missing gear, this is a parlor creel so called because of the parlor trap at the end, the lobster is attracted into the trap with fish which is tied in a bait band found in the centre of the creel, the parlor trap is in the top left hand corner of the picture, a soft eye is tied into the netting which the crustacean thinks is away out, once it passes through the soft eye closes behind and the lobster is then trapped, these creels tend to keep 90% of what crawl into them making them the ideal lobster pot.

I cycled around the point and back in along the beach towards john muir country park, now the rivers and burns have receded and returned to there normal levels, the only thing left to remind us that there was ever a storm here is the odd uprooted tree and lots of drift wood scattered along the tyne estuary.

Surly 3.7 larry with large marge rims make beach riding possible and lots of fun.

Still going strong after nearly two years abuse, and lots more sandy fun to come.

I then decided to cycle through the park and make my way home, another enjoyable cycle on the coast.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


The rain was heavy when i left the house this morning to embark on my beach ride along to seacliff, by the time i reached the tyne estuary i was soaked, no worries though as i planned on getting a lot wetter, i stopped along the way to take a few pictures, this one is of wild fire reef

As i made an attempt to cross the river tyne the sand was very soft not unlike quicksand, and on my first attempt i sunk up to my knees, the rushing water of the river was almost up to my waist, but after some perseverance i eventually made it across.

 Another picture of the tyne estuary.

Drift wood is common here after a wet summer like we have just endured, the sand along the edge of the tyne was virtually unrideable even on a fat bike like the pugsley.

However once over the other side and the mussel beds gave fantastic firmness and grip, quite a contrast to the previous side of the river bank.

Once i made it across i stopped to take a picture of the bike, sometimes i still cannot believe it's possible to cycle on terrain like this, the surly pugsley is without doubt the best bike i have ever owned.

The crustaceans.

So i continued my cycle along the rugged coastline.

This is the wreak the ss ponderosa, the only visible part of the vessel left is the boilers.

A very enjoyable days riding on the coast, by the time i turned around and headed for home the rain was pouring and the wind had started to pick up from the north, it would be well after three in the afternoon before i made it home with tired legs, sleep will come easy tonight.

Here is a quick video of the days riding.