One of the best things about my job as a mountain bike guide and coach is product development. It's very hard to know if a trail on the map is good to ride. Satellite images are very helpful and give more of an idea but there is really only one way to find out and that is to go and ride it. So today, Victor (our springer spaniel) and I went off to check out a trail I have wanted to ride for ages. It was a total winner too!
What I like about mountain biking is riding over the tops of big hills, preferably ridges, on good riding trails. Unfortunately there are not many like this. Most ridges are too rocky or steep for a regular rider like me (I'm not Danny MacAsckill) but this one seemed to have all the ingredients I want. The ride up was 50:50 walking and riding and there was a nice wee descent to a bothy for a quick breather. A big push up then got me to the top at just under 900m and amazing views of Munros all around.
The ride along the ridge with the wind behind me was brilliant with steep gullies down through the crags going past in a blur. The first run down was 500m descent to the bothy on outstanding and very narrow hard pack single track. I went back a different way to the one planned and ended up on a 400m descent over nearly 7km back to the van. 34km in total and 1500m ascent and descent in hot sunshine on bone dry trails. This is why biking in Scotland is world class!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.