The great thing about the end of the week is of course the weekend and this weekend was made all the better as the weather was fabulous. Cold, but fabulous.
Of course when the weather is good it makes the thought of going out and exercising so much easier and enjoyable. When the winter mornings are still dark and the urge to hibernate under the duvet is strong, it is amazing to see a beautiful blue sky take hold of the day. Even if there is no blue sky if it's dry and not blowing a gale, you've got to jump at the chance to get out and enjoy the few hours before darkness comes in again.
Saturday morning was one of those cold and very crisp mornings and having not run since the beginning of the week it was a great opportunity to head off the pavements and into the hills, or at least closer to them. The small amount of pavement and roads that i did go on were incredibly slippy with black ice, but thankfully I did not become a cropper. No speed records were made, but a successful 8ish miles were completed.
Sunday was mountain biking day. Yippee! Although the blue skies had been swapped for clouds it was dry, but still very cold and frosty.
The decision to head to Glentress and tackle the black route was made. I was especially looking forward to this trip as I recently treated myself to a drop seat (Rock Shock Reverb). This is a fancy seat post that you can lower and raise with the push of a button. This may seem a slightly pointless gadget to some people, but to me it is absolutely amazing. I like a high seat for climbing the hills but like it quite low for the downhills and on a varied trail this can be quite tedious and time consuming to do manually, but with this gadget you can do it on the move. It made me so happy it was beyond ridiculous.
Getting to the top of the black route is quite a leg and lung buster and is broken up with some technical downhills, but all the puffing and panting is worth it, not only for the views but for the great downhill at the end. To come down, we took the direct route that followed mostly red and then blue trail markers, and apart from having a few frozen gear problems it was a great run.
To top off a rather splendid January weekend, we stopped in at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Innerleithen. They have a gluten free menu that delights an especially hungry and slightly chilly me. A bowl of chips, a piece of carrot cake and a latte, blissful.
Now that, in my book, is a great weekend.
Morning bike ride.
All photos by Caroline Harvey.