Go on, do it again.

I last did this a few years ago, it’s a cracking route. The weather was somewhat indistinct, but I thought I would give it a go, I needed a few shots for a Trail route and I needed to see what kind of nick my knee was in. The right one that is, the left one is fine, looks just like one of Kirk Douglas’s knees from when he was young.

It’s a lovely ride into Gulvain, even with a winter day pack. I didn’t realise how close that ice axe was to my head until I saw the photies right enough, and after an accidental wheelie where I nearly fell backwards it’s making me a little queasy. Cuppa quick…

Ahhh….. I’ve got hike-a-bike shoes, but I lifted the wrong ones as they look just like my gripless bike shoes, lucky the motors got half a dozen pairs of outdoor footwear in it, so my well-worn Keen Oregon’s were changed into at the end of the track.


It was getting cold, but the ridge is bloody steep and I soon worked up a warm glow about my person. The sun was slipping away and so were my chances of making the summit. Cloud was dropping in fat streaks and gripping the tops with more frequency, the light was going, but for a few seconds it was bright and fizzing orange, pouring through a gap in the clouds and burning into the hillside around me. I’ve never seen something quite like it before. What the hell, I’d got the bike shots, this was all mine. I pulled on my hat and sat on my arse and basked in the light until it was gone.

I wandered up, into the snow, but it was grey, it was getting cloudy and my heart just wasn’t in it. It felt a little funny you know. The hills have been good to me, and I say nice things about them, its a fine arrangement we have. But tonight I had the impression that they weren’t in the mood, they were looking at the clock, they commented on their busy day tomorrow, sighed and stretched in their easy chair. I know the signs, it was time to go home.

I had my dinner at the ruined cottage, miles from anywhere, and waited for darkness. Not in a sinister way you understand, in a hot cuppas and “Oh, there’s a donut in my rucksack, I’ll sit here for a while yet” way.
The ride back with my huge bike light was great fun, 900-odd lumens of wildlife terrifying fun, things were taking off, running away, throwing themselves in front of me until I had to stop yet again to negotiate a deer-proof gate. Here they just whispered “Squeak it’s just a fat heating engineer Squeak”.

Back at the motor I was packed and away in a couple of minutes. No stopping, no fannying about, Gulvain to my folk’s house for soup on an empty road in a time that has aged my tyres.
The real week starts tomorrow now.

The knee? It’s toast.

18 thoughts on “Go on, do it again.

  1. Here, what time’s this to be up?

    Nice wee trip indeed!
    The light’s an Exposure Maxx D. Matt just got a new version, brilliant light. It’s a car headlight but the same size as a can of Irn Bru.

  2. Aye, the new version of the Maxx D is 1200 lumens, and is just brilliant – powerful, a design that just has you smiling, and oh so convenient for commuting as well as off-road.

    I bought a 300 lumen Exposure Joystick for the helmet too :)

    (They do an 1800 lumen ‘Six-pack’ too now but tbh its more like a can of baked beans – I wouldn’t bother unless you’re night-racing.)

    And if I’m feeling really mean I still stick my Lupine Edison HID on the bars as well – car drivers don’t stand a chance!! ;O)

    Looks like a good trip out there ptc*, there’s always something nice about being out after dark :)

  3. Night time is a fun time to be out. I like the photos and the LX3 strikes again. Magic. The knee needs to be fine as we all are awaiting the big tent testing trip and write up on the blogs of those going.

  4. Some cracking photos there! I’ve just bought myself a nice shiny new Canon EOS DSLR and I’m feeling inspired, just a pity the weather’s been so sh*te up my way of late!

  5. I love being out at night, it was great fun. Bike camping coming soon up I should think, got a trip to Seana Braigh on the books.

    Martin, that trip is going to be on the coldest spell we’ve had this year, it’ll make for interesting reading, maybe just not alot of distance for me though.

    Good job Gordon, just in time to catch the wonders of winter :o)

    Blondie, don’t worry about double posts, makes me look popular.
    And yes, lights are all the money, all of it.

  6. Seana Braigh – spooky, was saying to Steve last night how that one is very high on my to do list when we are up in Ullapool in the summer kids & weather permiting. Suspect it’ll be that far away before I can contemplate a “big day or 2 oot”

  7. Gulvain is on my list of things to do, although judging by the look of that track, I don’t think my bike would be up to it!

    Walking in late and sticking a tent up at the bottom might be an idea though, esp at this time of year [ponder].

    If your knee is an issue for the Finnish tent swapping extraveganza, may I suggest Loch an Eun between Beinn Iutharn Beag and Glas Tulaichean. Cracking wee spot, not the hardest to get to, and lots of hills around that can be climbed without too much knee flexing. Not technically the Cairgorms but a grand wee corner of Scotland).

  8. Blondie, all will be well, you’ll run in next summer. Maybe :o)

    DavidG The track does get progressively rough, but a mountain bike/ hybrid/ cyclocross bike, anything but a skinny tyred road bike should be okay right up the ruined cottage at the bottom of the hill. It’s a nice wee ride too, a lovely quiet glen. Good camping around there, great bivvy ledges on the ridge too.
    Good eastern options too, it’ll come down to what’s worse on the day: the weather or my knee :o)

    Cheers Dave, and the week has gone downhill from that above!

  9. Seana Braigh – a real highlight of 2010 for me. Fantastic situation and the vertical cliff by the summit is a real surprise if approaching from the Inverlael route. Have fun!

Leave a Reply