Epic Scottish Weekender – (am) 2nd June
Another place I’d never heard of! It’s somewhere in the north of Scotland, but exactly where I’m still not sure. I haven’t even got the post code from Smitty’s intinery, as he didn’t quote one it’s that far out of the way. We headed there early from our overnight stop in some old railway carriages at Rogart, with the intention of riding there, grabbing some dinner and heading to a second trail centre in the afternoon.
With fresh news of Pete’s injuries from his mate Steve, we set off from the cars for an epic day of mountain biking. A fire road climb gained us some altitude, before we turned off onto some stunning rock slad riding, like at Kirroughtree McMoab, follow the the arrows painted on the rocks and you’ll ride the easiest way through the rocks. With section names such as ‘Rock Hard’, ‘Slab & Tickle’ and ‘Slab Happy’ you kind of get the idea! There are other lines through, but equally you can get off the line of arrows and suddenly find yourself at a unrideable dead end. It certainly wasn’t the fastest riding, but it really got the grey matter working overtime!
Off the rock slabs the trail now dropped in some really stunning fast swoopy sections linked by fireroad climbs. The ‘Loopy Loo’ section being the best of the bunch as we decended the north side of the 210m Cnoc an Tionail. Eventually we dropped onto the blue route that lead back to the car park. This is probably quite an easy ride, but at the rate we rode it, several places saw the bikes getting well out of shape on the sharp off camber corners.
Back at the carpark we decided to head off for another loop, but taking a short cut that cut out one of the big climbs. Ben and Smitty carried on and did a full lap. At the car it was time to grab some food before heading off to Learnie Red Rock trails…. nope, I’d never heard of them either! Someone, I think it was Dom mentioned that we were now closer to Norway than we were to home, and looking round at scenery I didn’t doubt that fact!
The “Epic Scottish Weekender” rolled on………
Ride – #94 Bike – Gary Fisher Paragon 29’er
Miles – 11.7 Total 2012 miles – 1930.4
“Epic Scottish Weekender” miles – 61.3