I’ll run, you ride

Craig’s bike has been lame for a while, and a quick fix wasn’t likely in time for tonight so he said he’d run it and see how it all matched up with me and Phil on the bikes. I knew it’d be fine, he’s too fit by far, but it was still interesting how it all panned out.
We took the simplest Kilpatricks route, a big loop from my front door, but there’s still a huge amount of ascent which is always hard enough without that bloody wind tonight which slowed me down and eventually knocked me and then Phil off the saddle and onto our feet a couple of times.
Of course when we got to the level section at the quarry Craig was waiting for us, he totally creamed us on the ascent. As did a group of lycra-clad bikers on hardtails who passed us on their way to greater things.
I like to be reminded that I can’t compete, it takes the pressure off.

We rode and ran the newly constructed trails with a little flair and some welcome speed now that the trail was twisting and winding rather than just going up, up, up. The distance between bikes and feet was always elastic, but stopping now and again for a drink and a quick bit of banter kept us within shouting distance.
In the trees, the wind was just a whisper, and that was very welcome indeed. Wind on a bare hillside is relentless, and on a bike you just feel like it’s picking on you and having a bit of a laugh because it’s the “Big Wind” and you’re just a wee fanny on a daft contraption. I never feel persecuted by the wind when I’m on foot. I’ll talk to someone about these feelings at some point.

Leaving the forest was just magic, Ben Lomond, the Arrochar Alps, even Ben Lui, all well defined in the clear evening air. We all stopped and had a “Ohhh…” moment.
Then straps were tightened, shades secured, arse shoved back and we headed downhill.
I was a bit happier than last time and only got wrong footed in a boggy section, the trail has hardened up and it’s getting fast.
The cool eveing air rushing past my grinning coupon as grit stung my legs and stuck to my shades, I found a little bit of confidence tonight and really enjoyed the run down to Overtoun. It’s a joy, it really is, and as we go through summer it’ll only get better.
We waited for Craig to catch up near the bottom, chortling way to ourselves at the simple fun of it all, and catch up he did, very quickly too. Running down this trail is as good as biking (or walking) it, at times it’s so steep you’re on the verge on losing control and becoming a spinning ball of budgie green and broken limbs. You don’t need “stuff” to get excitement, an incline and unreasonable optomism is often more than enough to get that adrenaline rush.

After Overtoun House it’s a tarmac descent to the A82 where you run out of gears and sacrifice rubber from your expensive sticky tyres. But watching a drop of spit boil on your front brake disc on the roadside at the bottom makes up for any inconvenience.
Craig appeared after a wee while, the longest we’d been out of comms all evening. The bikes won the descent, that’s the bikes, not the riders.
We met the other group of riders from earlier as we headed for some tasty goods from the BP/ Marks and Sparks Simply Food at Milton that must be familiar to anybody heading North on the A82 who’ll be wishing it was on their side of the road as the Esso Shop on on the Northbound carriageway only has pork pies and the like.

It was a great night, it’s been a while since were all out together and if was fun, pure and simple.

12 thoughts on “I’ll run, you ride

  1. Fantastic account ptc*.

    Someone famous (my memory is getting worse everyday I swear) once said that a bike was the only true way to experience every subtle contour of a country. I guess there is some physics behind that.

    Sadly my bike is still languishing in someone else’s garage since last September although the trails around here are too steep and interspersed with scrambles! I’d spend half the time with the bloody thing on my shoulder.

  2. “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”

    –Ernest Hemingway

    Thank Christ for Google!

  3. My arse speaks to me of the previous evenings adventures, I definitely soften up over winter!

    Good quote that holdfast, there is something about being on the bike that changes the view of the ground, it makes it smaller and bigger at the same time, just like wild camping changes your perspective on the hills.
    Aye, it’s good to change your piiont of view now and again.

  4. A bit like your night out with Craig running and the rest of you biking, what we’ve found works for our family at present is that the 4 boys (13, 11, 9 and 6) and my wife bike, whilst I run. I then push the two younger boys up the hills and if they are struggling. But that way we can all keep together fairly comfortably and all get a reasonable work out. It works for now, but from your picks Pete, it will be a while before you are at that stage yet; the challenge comes when they want to walk, but are too big to carry, you then need to get them fit really quickly! My 6 year old can now do 15k days with 1000m+ ascents, not quite as good as those 6 year olds that have done all the Wainwrights but nevertheless not too shabby.

  5. Aye Andy, Holly’s just 18 months, so I’ve got some thinking time, not much though given how quickly that’s passed.
    I like your idea, going out together. Family outdoor days are magic, and I’ll need ways to keep that going without putting Holly off by asking too much (or too little?!).

    More-On, that is indeed a guaranteed face plant :o)

  6. Pete – unfortunately, we found it very difficult to get out and do stuff outdoors (certainly hill walking etc) as a family whilst they were toddlers (the fact that we went on and had 4 meant that this period obviously lasted a long time!) as they don’t want to be carried, but don’t have the strength / fitness to do anything too strenuous.

    Trailer bikes can be good (you’ll have to get one to test!), but suggest keeping it fairly tame, otherwise she will bounce off!

  7. Andy, I’ve been thinking about those trailers for a while. I quite fancy a wee trip up the Loch Katrine lochside road for a picnic. No rough stuff!

    Craig is depressingly fit Martin, but to balace it out those two had to drive for fifteen minutes to get to the hills :o)

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