So, it's been a busy time, I don't know whether it's the website, or authorities just trying to get something done before all the money dries up - gulp, but there's quite a few jobs on the cards at the mo'.
Problem is I don't really want to go into them here, it's part of the process of the whole feasability, planning, funding, process and discussing a clients "possible" project on line is just not good.
But, most of the jobs are at the "figuring it all out" stage which is the trickiest bit for me, kinda like an artist or writer staring at a blank page! In my case I have to walk the area available for as many times as it takes to really get to know all it's nooks, crannies and hidden secrets, once I've done this I spend ages just trying to link the best bits together in the best way.
It's a hell of a responsibility really; I have to figure out what will work, how it would be built, costs, who's it for, will they like it, is it safe, will it be fun, is it sustainable....... There's lots of just sitting on top of hills thinking.
I'm lucky that simply by doing this for quite a few years now I know what does and doesn't work, but the early design stages are always the hardest, get the "flow" wrong and no matter how well it's built it'll never be any good. I think being older *cough* helps, I used to just think of the expert trail riders, but now I know what the family user needs (or more specifically the frustrated dad of the family user!)
Technology helps nowadays though, I'm more computer "savvy", my computer and software allow me to work faster and produce slicker reports, photos can be taken and easily imported, almost even whilst still on the hill, and the iphone (sorry, shameless plug, but it really has proved invaluable) allows me to record grid references, gradients, gps traces, take pictures all in one gadget - it really is amazing compared to having to carry a theodolite, measuring wheel, clinometer, gps, etc, etc. Ok, those gadgets have their place later on, but for the initial survey, light and fast is good!
So, work, interesting and enough on the horizon to feel "relaxed"
Bikewise, welllllllllll, a wee lay off after the 3 Peaks, family time, mainly bike free holiday and now itching to do something again. I would dearly love to do a "proper" cyclo-cross race, but most of them are in the central belt - 3 odd hours away and weekend family time is busy enough as it is. But I've picked one or two that are closer - 2 hours and hopefully I'll manage to get to them. Training wise, cyclo-cross should be ok as most races are only about an hour, so training time needs only be short'n'hard i.e. squeezed in anywhere.
But and it's only a but, there's a part of me thinking about the StrathPuffer, never fancied it before - not fit enough, but with a wee bit of form now, maybe I should give it a go? Problem is once there's snow on the ground my ski head goes on and spare time equals skiing!
Well, that's a bit of a catch up, nights closing in, lights now needed for evening runs and I'm just about to start a new trail build just in time for the wet yeuch that is November.....