Saturday, 17 September 2011

Scottish sunshine and showers

I got back last night from a week's mountain biking in Scotland. The weather wasn't as bad as first predicted (booking holiday time off from work two months in advance has its disadvantages) but certainly wasn't wall to wall sunshine.

We started with a ride near Sanquhar which was very boggy and very windy, in fact we cut the ride short because of the wind and struggled to pedal down a 20% road from Wanlockhead (the highest village in Scotland) as it was that strong.

On the Sunday we watched the Tour of Britain bike race go over the Devil's Beeftub pass - I was surprised just how much noise 100 cycles on the road make - louder than the support vehicles though perhaps our ears are accustomed to that. We then headed north to Aviemore. This was fortunate since the main path of the remnants of hurricane Katia actually passed over southern Scotland and northern England and the weather further north wasn't too bad.

Our first ride was an easy one up Glen Einich. Mostly vehicle track with a short section of singletrack and a couple of fords.

We may not have been rained on but we still got wet feet! Glen Einich

The next day we rode around in Glen Feshie on some excellent singletrack.
Some of the lovely singletrack in Glen Feshie.

Riding through some rather deep heather above Glen Feshie

After some man-made attractions at Laggan Wolftrax we began heading south and did a great ride up Glen Tilt and round the Beinn a Ghlo massif - this ride but in reverse as the singletrack is better that way. For once the sun was out and we saw a huge herd of deer, maybe 100 animals, and a red squirrel - definitely a red letter day.

Nearing the head of Glen Tilt

Some remote path to the east of the Beinn a Ghlo massive.

Pretty well every day we got back to the car about ten minutes before a cloud burst. However pretty well every ride had a river crossing of some sort that meant wading! But then that's the nature of biking out in the wilds.

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