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Archive for May, 2012

Heatwave!

I missed the last two rides after spending the daytime skiing (lost count of the number of hikes to the summit) but the gang went up High Burnside on the 9th and to Carrbridge on the 16th. Both great rides by the sound of things.

Here’s some pics of me and Fraser enjoying the incredible conditions on Cairngorm:

Fraser on Cairngorm

David on Cairngorm

This Wednesday Aviemore was the hottest place in the UK with a high of 26.9C , quite a contrast with last weeks snow!

We met at the Uach Lochan car park on the west side of Glen Feshie; it’s a great place to start a ride. There’s also a bird watching hide (never seen much from it though) and a nice walk around the Lochans over boardwalks.

Guess what bike they’re discussing

Our destination was the trig point on Creag Dubh, which we rode to via crispy dry singletrack trails. It was the first time I’d been back there since clearing the way in March (feels like last summer now…) and everything was flowing very nicely.

The first descent we did was very muddy at the top, perhaps we need to let that one lie fallow for a while… The main forest road to the top has been ‘upgraded’ part of the way and there’s lots of white tape around so it looks as if the area may soon be off-limits anyway due to timber harvesting…

Second run down was fabulous; there’s quicker ways off the Badan, but we took the scenic route for added value! Interesting to see that someone has removed the stone ramps from fallen trees below the trig point and chainsawed through the trees… I was looking forward to riding over them too…

Dawid on the solitude trail

Phil on the solitude trail

After that we headed up to the Lochans viewpoint where Dawid told us how to make a delicious cough syrup from pine needles. Hmm…

Top of the Lochans

From the summit we swooped down the clifftop path then turned off down an old track I hadn’t ridden for years. It was always a challenge to cleanly ride the rock garden halfway down, so I was really looking forward to giving it some 29er action. Unfortunately it’s been cleaned another way and instead of a rocky jumble there’s just a couple of steps. Oh well…

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Ok, today is not quite so marvellous (it’s cold, wet and windy) but last Wednesday we had one of those special spring evenings with wonderful dry trails and warm, sunny weather.

Braeriach looked stunning with a good covering of snow (maybe we should have gone ski touring) looking especially fine with the spring colours in the foreground.

Over the moor

Andy was demoing our Jeff Jones Spaceframe bike. Lateral thinking in bicycle form, the Jones is a fixed geometry (you wouldn’t call it rigid if you rode one…) all mountain bike. Andy reckons it is the most rideable, playful bike he’s ever been on and placed an order mid way through the ride! As you can see from the pics, it’s a bike that invites a lot of discussion!

Talking about the Jones

Still talking about the Jones

There’s lots going on with the Jones

We climbed up to the treeline in the gorgeous evening sunlight, accompanied briefly by a female Capercaillie who had been enjoying a stroll on the same path.

Follow that Caper

It’s always chilly at the top of the climb, so we didn’t spend too long looking for Santa’s pals… plenty of time till they’re needed though!

I have but not today

The Moon and Lairig Ghru

The descent was bliss. Swoopy, swoopy, joy, joy….

Full on John is happy

At the bottom of the trail, time was found for further Jones discussion…

I sense a theme to this ride

Then we rode to the Old Bridge Inn for fine ales and banter. I think we talked about ski touring…

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