Pentland Hills Thread

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  • Pentland Hills Thread
  • druidh
    Member

    I wondered if it might make some sense to maintain a thread which all the Pentland Hills regulars could use to share information about access, conditions etc.

    Let me start by highlighting this proposal to introduce car parking charges at 4 of the larger car parks (Bonaly, Threipmuir, Harlaw and Flotterstone).

    My spidey-sense tells me that, if this approved by the full council, we’ll see more ad hoc parking along verges etc which is probably a bad thing for cyclists.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Good idea, especially this time of year when the trails are at their worst…

    pixelmix
    Member

    Good shout Druidh. Often handy to have an update on conditions etc. Goes without saying that it is muddy up there at the moment though. More frost needed – had some excellent crispy Boxing day rides in the past!

    That parking idea seems ill thought through. As you say, people will just park on the verges round the corner from the car parks unless they are going to put signs along all of the verges and enforce parking there too. Certainly seems contrary to council policies on encouraging healthy living.

    druidh
    Member

    No enforcement.
    No yellow lines.
    No barriers.

    Premier Icon FraserCook
    Subscriber

    I was last there Wednesday. it was muddy and unpleasantly windy.
    parking doesn’t really effect me too much personally as i nearly always ride there from home.
    So will there be a special man who comes round and checks for parking tickets? will the revenue from parking pay enough to cover that?
    Seems pointless, although we have the right to roam and ride, not to park 😉

    pixelmix
    Member

    Mind you, if it works like the 7Stanes etc, it might still work if funds were ring fenced for path maintenance etc. Having glanced through the report, it seems that this is the intention, and people may therefore be prepared to pay. You don’t see lots of people parking on the verges and streets just outside the Innerleithen car park for example, so maybe my initial comment was too cynical. As Fraser says, I suspect it will affect few cyclists directly since most won’t drive to the Pentlands.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Aye, I don’t see it having that much impact on us (though, guilty admission, I do drive to Bonaly with the downhill bike sometimes even though it’s only a couple of miles)

    Even with the ringfenced funding though it’ll still probably just offset a budget cut elsewhere rather than adding development money.

    The thin end of an undesirable wedge, though most of those affected won’t be cyclists. At least it’s not as bad as the enthusiasm some were expressing elsewhere that we should be indicating to the Council that we are keen to pay to park our bicycles in Edinburgh.

    Premier Icon FraserCook
    Subscriber

    brr brr and brr. Highly muddy, highly cold and highly windy today. Standing water turning to ice on the tops, mud starting to crust. Garmin was reading 2C today.

    pixelmix
    Member

    mud starting to crust

    More of this please. Long overdue a good frost to firm up the Pentlands and make it rideable with causing erosion. Sadly the forecast is for well above freezing, so I’ll still be avoiding the Pentlands for the foreseeable future.

    cynic-al
    Member

    I bet less than 5% of those using car parks are riding.

    druidh
    Member

    1:20? Might not even be that high. I’m more concerned that we’ll see some of the nearby roads lined with cars, narrowing them and potentially causing accidents if folk aren’t careful when pulling out, opening doors etc.

    pixelmix – Member
    mud starting to crust
    More of this please. Long overdue a good frost to firm up the Pentlands and make it rideable with causing erosion. Sadly the forecast is for well above freezing, so I’ll still be avoiding the Pentlands for the foreseeable future.

    Aye – it was all nice a week or so back when it was solid!

    stanfree
    Member

    I think Al Is probably right with the low numbers of bike racks and roof racks I see at Flotterstone . I think Ive done less riding there this year than most with a fairly poor summer followed by warmer , windier and wetter winter. I’d still pay a couple of quid to park there though .

    cynic-al
    Member

    1:19 actually 😀

    I get your point tho druid.

    JimmyB
    Member

    The cars with bike racks that I tend to see in the car parks tend to be for families. It would be a shame to put off parents & their kids from cycling round the reservoirs.

    Maybe we should be putting forward a voluntary contribution system & set up work teams to help repair paths / gates etc?

    …or just a tax on dog sh*te……

    ..as for a condition report, is there not room for a wee website giving routes & conditions etc?

    Heaven forbid a Facebook page……..

    pixelmix
    Member

    Any updates on Pentlands conditions, and/or the Water of Leith?

    The last few days have been relatively dry and breezy, so I’m hoping that things might be just a little bit better than they have been.

    That section of the Water of Leith by the tunnel was a right muddy mess last time I rode it. Any improvement this morning?

    rthomas17
    Member

    I was up there last night – ok on the main routes, still boggy elsewhere, but I’ve seen worse. I blame the sheep. Nice frost this morning – would be perfect up there now.

    ojom
    Member

    WOL at the tunnel has been scraped back to the solid base for about 20m eastwards from tunnel mouth and looks like it’s being re-surfaced. Ace news. Full speed exits are back ON.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I missed this first time round, car parking charges would be excellent news, anything that brings some more money into the PHRP can only be a good thing. I think a lot of people don’t realise just how big a struggle funding is for organisations like the PHRP.

    pixelmix
    Member

    WOL at the tunnel has been scraped back to the solid base for about 20m eastwards from tunnel mouth and looks like it’s being re-surfaced. Ace news. Full speed exits are back ON.

    Excellent news – was a bit interesting coming out of the tunnel at 20mph in slicks and sliding around in the mud. I don’t mind getting mucky but it is a useful commuting route if it could be a wee bit drier.

    I tweeted the council about this the other day and they promised to look into it, but I’d be surprised if they started work that quickly. Any idea when this work was started?

    stuartm555
    Member

    That is good news – I’ve been avoiding that section of the WoL for a while now

    druidh
    Member

    It’s just fine with the right tyre choice.

    hels
    Member

    Saw on the BBC website some lassie was attacked on the WoL path up near Colinton. Not good.

    Saw on the BBC website some lassie was attacked on the WoL path up near Colinton. Not good

    I saw it too. Not good at all.

    pixelmix, no idea about the work/tunnel, but i’ve been surprised by the council and how quickly they’ve acted on a complaint (i emailed first thing in the morning, was fixed by the time i got home that night!)

    pixelmix
    Member

    It’s just fine with the right tyre choice.

    I don’t mind a bit of slidey riding, but it’s a right pain getting to wherever you are going and being covered in mud solely because of that section! The rest of the WoL is reasonably dry at the moment.

    Saw on the BBC website some lassie was attacked on the WoL path up near Colinton. Not good.

    A bit worrying that one – in broad daylight too. I’m sure a lot of ladies and gents on here don’t think twice about the WoL at any time of day as it is generally pleasant and trouble free.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Fantastic up there today, trails frozen nicely apart from the bigger puddle/bog bits that still weren’t frozen enough to hold 13 stone of hangover. Was tempted to give the revamped Phantoms a whirl but decided not to based on that. Cox’s/Jonny Zebra is riding nicely now its solid. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as many walkers up there as I did today, but didn’t see any other bikers. Get up there tomorrow if you can!

    druidh
    Member

    FWIW, I was up the Gypsy Glen route today (walking) and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in better condition. All the boggy bits were solid, only a few frozen puddles to avoid and the normally loose gravelly surface was bonded together by the frost. I’m seriously considering going back tomorrow with the bike!

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I’m seriously considering going back tomorrow with the bike!

    Do it! I left it too late to make the most of it today and because it was riding so nicely spent ages trying to decide which trails to ride and dithering around. Its almost better than summer when its like this. Some sheet ice bits to watch out for though.

    druidh
    Member

    Well, I ended up going out this afternoon for a quick blast round the Pentlands, still sussing out the new bike. Less ice on the Maidens descent than last time I was out and only a few patches on the Glen Road to watch out for. I stopped for a quick photo at Johnstons Bridge.

    I took advantage of the completely frozen conditions to do a recce of Nai Trail. OMG!!! I haven’t been along there for ages and it’s been completely trashed by bikes. There are a few trees down now too – as a result of recent gales. Normally, I’d clear some of these off the track but I decided that it’s probably better to leave Mother Nature to her own devices.

    Such a shame the nail trail. It was put in some magazines “must do” route of the pentlands I believe and thus took more traffic than it could bear.

    I wonder if we can repair it – either with permission or by stealth – or does it require too much work?

    nikk
    Member

    druidh – OMG!!! I haven’t been along there for ages and it’s been completely trashed by bikes.

    It depresses me the impact that bikes are having on the more popular paths up there now. There is just to many people riding, I have seen a massive change since I started riding up there 5 years ago.

    Bigjim, any evidence of the Pentlands ‘Megaavalanche’ event that was held on Cox’s in October?

    When I heard about it I was pretty p*ssed off but wasn’t going to bitch on here as I know the guy who organised it and he’s a pretty decent guy (and embarassingly keen/good on the bike…).

    druidh, as always, gutted to hear about the condition of Nail Trail. Would be really cool to do some guerrilla repair work on it but not sure if that would just antagonise whoever was laying the nail traps in the first place.

    Also not sure what you could usefully do to it other than trying to hardcoat/armour the bits that are getting trashed. I know my favourite combo of left-corner/jump/right-corner is now blown-out-mud-pit/jump/blown-out-mud-pit 🙁

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    Had a great ride today, first time in nearly 5 months in the Pentlands due to the conditions. Ride included Phantoms and Black Hill, the latter was bloody brilliant, as was the descent to Bavelaw. -5C outside at the moment, so tempted to go out again tomorrow, time to fill yer boots, it was like a bloody cold summers day.

    druidh
    Member

    TJ/13fm – I hate to say this, but I reckon that the Nail Trail should be off-limit to bikes until it recovers. Judgng by its current condition, that would be a couple of good (i.e. warm/dry) years).
    The section from Balerno to the pylon is basically OK.
    Round the pylon is as bad as I’ve seen.
    From there to the wee bridge is passable.
    From there onwards, it’s truly awful. In fact, I really can’t work out what was going on just South of the bridge because it’s massively chewed up over a really wide area – much wider than the trail.

    I can’t see how any of those bits could be repaired and, in any case, there are a couple of fairly hefty trees down across the trail too.

    What makes me particularly sad is that I included that trail on the wee Google Earth map I drew up and shared.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    TandemJeremy – Member

    I wonder if we can repair it – either with permission or by stealth – or does it require too much work?

    I’ve done some drainage work with an eye towards summer but tbh it’s just been damage reduction. Hope it’ll have some effect. Very bad lie of the land in there, lots of places the trail goes right through the low points…

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    That’s why I won’t post details of my local trails on tinterweb. Might seem tight but I like them as they are and I have enough work to do keeping them clear of branches and the like. But there are a few folk on here that have ridden them for the price of a pizza.

    druidh
    Member

    Northwind – Member
    The longer route’s relatively intact as it’s just naturally better drained and located. (but then it has a few fencehops)

    * cough *

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    aaaand it’s gone.

    coastkid
    Member

    Don`t think i will ride the Pentlands again, like riding on egg shells, Nice though if you get it frozen like you did Steven 🙂
    Slight hijack;
    There are similar trails down here at Pencaitland the same,
    Kinchie trail is trashed, one long rut, and i know it is all not been just by the local gang (which includes me). i do not blame the walker who has dragged branches across it to try stop cyclists, as it cannot be a pleasant walk now…
    Guess thats what happens when you blog and film stuff 😳
    So im bowing out of xc stuff for a while and staying on the sandy stuff…

    Druidh were you along the coast Saturday? 😉
    twin Larry tracks from Aberlady point to NB, i know Gary B came later and saw our 7 sets of tracks :mrgreen:
    if not you, then there is another… 🙂

    druidh
    Member

    Not me coastkid. I was going to ask about best places to go though.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Druidh, I’ve edited my post, you might want to edit your posting my post 😉

    coastkid
    Member

    Im busy Sat to go out, but Port Seaton to Gosford Bay then JMW to Aberlady is nice, (Gosford Bothy cafe)

    Or Aberlady to NB as mentioned,(Westgate Gallery Cafe is ace. bike parking in wheelie bin compound)

    Or Seacliff to Tyninghame,(Tyninghame Cafe)

    or John Muir Bay from Tyninghame to Dunbar then around to Barnes Ness,
    (Old cafe in High Street)

    Or you could just spend all day riding the miles of criss cross sandy singletrack around Gullane, (German Cafe)

    Spoiled for choice 🙂

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Bigjim, any evidence of the Pentlands ‘Megaavalanche’ event that was held on Cox’s in October?

    No way – I have previously commented on the state of the steep bit at the end of Cox’s a month or two back – I thought a large group had been down it with locked rear brakes as it has become a mud chute. I didn’t ride it yesterday based on that – I did the first bit then took the right down the the jonny zebra bit. Bit of a shame about that, it was such a sensitive bit of trail that steep bit.

    I remember there was some adventure race in the Pentlands in 2008 which saw a load of people on bikes go down Phantoms and it was never the same after that. Apparently they were supposed to stick to paths on a 50k OS map and they didn’t.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Does this post date tie in with the pentland megaavalanche?

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/its-glorious-out-there#post-3137131

    edit, no dates are there, but it was 2 months ago, so would fit…

    Yeah, about the right time. If you imagine trying to race down that steep bit, blind, then there probably would be a hell of a lot of back brake!

    Notice suggestions that it might have been the uni club, it was organised by a uni, but not the uni 😉 The uni club are pretty good at staying off squishy stuff on their big rides, or so I’ve seen on my infrequent outings with them.

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