Sunday, 13 April 2014

Blown Off Track

Saturday I had planned to head upwards & inwards up into the Lammermuir Hills to the Whiteadder reservoir as there are a couple of trails I wanted to check out around to the south side of the reservoir, the day was to be fair with broken sunny spells & a wind speed of around 13-15 mph for my home base in Innerwick, I never gave it a moments thought that the wind speed would be double or even triple that up in the hills...

Right from the off it was an up hill pedal, the wind at this point wasn't too bad as I passed through Aikengall on the way to the wind farm road. 

The higher I went the wind was getting increasingly stronger & by the time I got up to the 'cockit hat' wood I could hardly take a breath.

 The wind turbine road is long, steep & hard enough at the best of times & with the howling wind blasting me head on it was a case of drop down to the wee small gears, head down & plod away.

After the 4th turbine on the right there's a little sheep path which takes me down onto the Monynut road with hills & trees either side, so a break from the relentless wind was much appreciated.
An old sheepfold in the bottom picture.

Veering off the public road & taking the forestry road through the Monynut forest where a lot of recent work extracting the trees has been taking place, although the land looks as if it has been decimated there has been young pine saplings planted in neat rows where the extracted trees once stood, starting the process all over again.

Beautiful shades of green.
 Had a little rain shower which cleared quickly to produce a welcoming blue sky & a little bit of warmth from the sun bringing out the nice fresh pine smell from the trees.
Very quiet cycling through these woods all I could hear were the chatter of Jays & the wind howling above the tree tops.

Coming into a clearing with more apocalyptic scenes of deforestation, opens up some great views though.
Finally emerging from the forest & back onto the road I came across this little lamb sleeping by a fence with it's mother keeping an eye on me, you can see the little orange rubber band on it's tail as I mentioned before in another post, this is to dock the tail for hygiene purposes & soon the end of the tail along with the rubber band will just fall off.

A wee bit of road work before entering into the Crystal Rig wind farm site.

Once up here in the open & exposed moors the wind was unbearable I could hardly keep on the track let alone stay upright & the noise was deafening with the wind howling through the pylons, pylon cables & wind turbine blades, my energy levels were drained battling against a head on wind & an all uphill cycle just to get here & I decided to head back for home & get off this hill, I wish I had an anemometer to measure the wind speed which must of exceeded 30 mph easily up here & the wind gusts were just too hard to deal with, so off I went to a lower altitude.

Through the fields of Weatherly to get to Woodhall Dean nature reserve & it was brilliant to cycle through the fields without being chased by cows which have not been put out to pasture yet here at Weatherly. 

Through Woodhall Dean following a short little section that was once a road to Hartside.

Going off the footpath to follow the route of the Woodhall Burn to the Brunt & then it was a nice tail wind all the way back to the home base of Innerwick where a much looked forward to mug of coffee & a jam piece which seemed like a worthy reward !

A bit of a disappointment today the wind was a real killer & made a not so enjoyable cycle, but never mind the trails up by the Whiteadder will still be there for  another day.

Thanks for reading the post 
'Blown Off Track'
Cheers the now.