Bike legs

Craig’s bike was finally finished, so a run round the Kilpatricks was in order this Sunday afternoon, and evening as it turned out. There’s miles of trails, some easy farm tracks, some technical, some now unrideable after winter, some fast and grin inducing. Some hike-a-bike as well which is always fun. Stumbling across country, bike on your shoulder and helmet straps swinging loose like an extra from a bad ‘Nam movie.

Craig is the fittest man in Europe, and now with paper to prove it after to spending time in the US doing his Crossfit certification, so it’s never an easy task keeping him in sight. But he was kind on the ascents and on the descents my weight advantage saved the day, well that and the bike bless it. There’s nothing quite like losing altitude with the air rushing past your ears, your arse low over the back wheel and the scenery passing your bare knees at bone snapping speed. Fantastic.

To get to that there’s the ascents, hundreds of metres of it. I was tired and emotional by the time we got the the fence at the loch. I was wanting to lift the bike over and then hop over the metal steps which are deadly with shaky knees and cleated shoes. Instead I ended up with a Great Escape moment and scraped some of my magnolia paint.

Craig mocked me by successfully taking the right way, I bear no grudge.

Anyway, as we’re scooting about we came across a man with a big pack, camera around his neck and carrying a tripod. His name was Alan Forbes and he was researching for his update to his book 25 Walks: In and Around Glasgow. Which as it turns out, I have. He seemed like a good lad, it’ll be nice to see the new version later in the year.

After that we worked our way around the top on the Lang Craigs to the last down hill ride to Overtoun House and then the A82. This is wonderful stuff right here, twisty, hardpacked and very fast. We’ve all had incidents up here and elsewhere, but on this very trail Helen won a fine selection of X-rays and fetching flesh coloured wrist support to be worn way past the end of it’s initial novelty. Only grins in evidence this time.

My bike legs are still in winter mode though and my arse is all wrong as I sit here, regardless of my SDG Bel-Air Snow Leopard print saddle. All these things will be right given the miles, summer is bike time for sure.

10 thoughts on “Bike legs

  1. Is that the new Gregory bike pack ‘tester’ you’re sporting in the last photie PTC? Hows it working out? Looks like it sits low down. I’m looking for a new bike pack, my MULE has had it.

  2. It is indeed. I took the Reactor and Craig gave the Iso a shot. I liked the Reactor, very stable indeed. That pocket you see sticking out the back in the photie just above took my helmet easy for the hike-a-bike sections(and I wear the quite fat Giro Xen). The waist buckle is to the left side like an old Alpiniste pack so you don’t get abrasion from it. Lot’s of nice features, and not as faffy as I though it might have been with multiple pockets and adjustments. I had a full 2 litre bladder in it, a windshirt, munchies and bike repair kit.
    I’ll get some more trips on it and see how it does, but it’s looking good.

  3. Bike legs are good legs to have. Living in Norfolk I don’t get to hike and bike up many hills. Lucky there are some whacking big forests and MBR said Thetford was the best low level riding going. Problem is I haven’t gone there lately and the Giant is in the garage looking rather clean. I’ll get out soon I now. Any way Q. Ever thought of Bikepacking across Scotland, and wild camping as you go. Some great routes spring to mind, what would your dream route be?

  4. A dirty bike is a happy bike!

    A coast to coast on the bike is something we’ve thought about a few times. The Southern Upland Way seems like a good bet for following a waymarked route, but further north is always better.
    Bob has “cycled” through the Lairig Ghru, so it’s possible to get through rather than go round the Cairngorms.
    Ralph Storer’s Exploring Scottish Hill Tracks is great for planning this sort of thing. An off road route would be well away from a straight line, but quite an expedition.

    Is it something you’re thinking of?

    I’ve done Bowling to Edinburgh which is a cosat to coast, but it’s on a canal towpath and only takes a few hours!

  5. I tried something like that back in ’97, well more of a coast to coast to coast figure-8, starting and ending at Montrose. A mix of on and off road….. Crossing Rannoch Moor from Rannoch Station to the Kingshouse with a pannier-laden bike in a hoolie was memorable (and the Kingshouse was its usual non-welcoming self on arrival!). The Great Glen Way was remarkably good (I wouldn’t want to do it on foot). Glen Affric was grand. The bottom of the Corryairack out of Fort Augustus beat us in the end….. must go back sometime, with less kit and more suspension! :)

  6. That sounds like fun :o)

    I like mountain routes on the bike, but I’ve never attempted it with a backpacking sack on my back. Camping at low level though, a pack should be tiny.

    Oh, there’s thinking to be done here…

  7. PTC

    A coast to coast would be fun on a bike; I’ve done three of them across Scotland on foot so it would be different. I would go via Glen Affric to Fort Aug, and then over the Corrieyairack pass, then in to Glen Feshie. I would skip the Lairig Ghru and go via the Geldie and miss the landslide by staying on the low path and ride through the rivers or just plunge in. Then to Bramar, from there I would go to Ballater and work my way into the Fetteresso Forest and then to the coast. Be fun and I reckon 1 week……well see.

  8. I’m liking this idea. My bike is good on the rough stuff, but it doesn’t take panniers being full suspension.
    I’d have to practice riding with a full pack to see if it’s possible.
    We’ve got a bike-camp to Seana Bhraigh coming up, that’ll be a test of sorts.

    You should write that trip up Martin :o)

  9. I meant the bike trip, I was getting ahead of myself and willing you on your way so I could read about it!

    I’ll check out that site right now.

    Have a good trip. I’m local this weekend, no driving :o)

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