Posts Tagged ‘cairngorms’

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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It’s the end of March and we’ve just experienced yet another week of glorious sunshine. What’s going on?

Once again we took advantage of Summery conditions and headed for the hills, our destination this week being the rough descent from the top of the Burma Road.

This weeks team were Fraser, Ben, Andy, John, Rob, Iona, Paul, Iain, Dawid and me (David)

People Get Ready

We were keen to get away promptly to make the most of the light, but of course things happened and we didn’t manage away until 6.30 Dawid also managed to lose us after less than 2 minutes riding, which has to be a record…

So… upwards and onwards… the Burma Road climb never gets any easier does it? Actually tonight it didn’t seem to take long as I was chatting with folk all the way up – including Paul from Cycletherapy on his first Wednesday ride in many’s a year.

We hung around just a touch too long at the top (getting chilly now) and set of through the gloaming. The track down to Balinluig has always been very braided at the top, not very pretty, but the infinity of line choices does make it interesting to ride.

Group near the top of the Burma Road

It’s a shame the fast grassy section that follows has become so cut up; most of the nice wee drops have been skidded through, leaving axle deep ruts. C’mon folks, if you’re going to venture out into the hills on your pushbikes, please learn to ride them properly first! Fraser, who certainly can ride a bike, was the victim of a hidden hole which a Black Sheep 36er might just have made it through! Witnesses say they have never seen anyone loop over the bars quite so fast…

The ruts claim a victim

The lower track is steep, rocky billy-goat path, with a drop to the stream below to add excitement. This bit of path (almost) always has water running down it, but bikes don’t seem to have had much of an impact here.

It was getting pretty dark by this point, but Paul hadn’t brought lights (rather optimistic about our ride time) and it would have been wrong to interrupt the flow of the descent so Andy, Paul and I kept on into the gloom.

Moonlander descending

We stopped at the gate above Balinluig Farm to regroup, then set off on somewhat gentler tracks for Lynwilg and the most dangerous part of the whole trip, the road back to Aviemore.

Now all we need are some papadums

We stopped off at the Old Bridge Inn for some refreshments, and some excellent roast potatoes, possibly the finest post-ride snack imaginable. Thank you!

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The last 2 rides

It has been a little while since we have updated our blog and a few Wednesday night rides have taken place. The weather has been pretty good while we have been out on the rides but a little windy in the open.

Last week we rode out along the old logging way to Badaguish, it was a good turn out for a cold winters evening with seven of us in total and a wide variety of bikes from a single speed rigid 29’er to 6″ travel full sus bikes.

We pedaled round the flowing singletrack of Badaguish which was in really good condition with only a couple of muddy sections to goosh through. Everyone re-grouped at the bottom of the Canadian trail to the sound of howling huskies from the nearby sled dog centre. We then raced back down the old logging way to the Old Bridge Inn for a nice cold beer and a  few bags of crisps.

Last Wednesday it pretty much snowed all afternoon which may have put a few people off heading off into the hills but as we left the shop it cleared up a bit.

Just three of us this week, winter Wednesday night regular Oli and Joe Barnes who was taking a break from building the mountain bike section of the Red Bull 50/50 race course which takes place on Saturday up Cairngorm mountain.

We decided just to head up High Burnside as the trails are pretty interesting up there with some fresh snow on them.

The ride went up the usual fire road and singletrack climb past the sheep skull which was very slippery towards the top and up to the trails which are skiers right of the rock slabs.

Oli and Joe in the snow

The three of rode some corners for a while on a new trail that is under construction up there and then slid and drifted our way down to the lower fire road through all the fresh snow. From there we headed up to Ed’s trail with the big swooping berms and the wooden North shore style bridges which we managed to slither our way across in the snow and made it over the streams and slippery rocks at the bottom without incident. We then all headed off to get some food from Costcutter as it was getting pretty late and were all fairly hungry.

Hopefully we will see you next Wednesday.

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Wednesday 6 April Uath Lochans – Creag Dubh

This was much better than the picture would suggest!

Perhaps the quintessential Wednesday ride, full of swoopy singletrack gnadgery wee climbs and the odd over-the-bars moment.

Strangely enough the only person who didn’t come to grief at some point was Phil on his Phixie. I must admit to being somewhat sceptical as to how much he would enjoy the experience, but he had a most grinsome time…

Interesting to note that the person who lays branches across the trails in these parts has moved further out from their usual zone… wonder what’s going on there…

The week before we had a ride from Bothy Bikes out to Glenmore forest and didn’t see any of the Capercaillies that our customers have been reporting. I did see a very nice Dipper though.

The previous two weeks were snowy and no-one could muster the enthusiasm. Wrong kind of snow, leaves on the line, that kind of thing…

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