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Posts Tagged ‘inshriach’

Last Wednesday (4th April) the usual suspects went for a ride up High Burnside and by all accounts had a fun time in the snow. I had an errand to run so couldn’t be there, but managed out for a quick blast in Inshriach Forest. It was such a glorious evening; with a decent covering of snow, the kind that’s easy to ride in!

Tallboy in the snow at Inshriach Clifftop

I rode up to the top of Creag Glas-Uaine and enjoyed the fabulous view over the forest canopy towards Kinrara. Descending the ‘Inca Trail’ (usually a climb) was fun, those switchbacks are a bit tight in the snow! I finished up making the most of the ‘Scholars Path’ variations between there and Lagganlia.

Argyll Stone, Creag Follais, Moon

This week (Wednesday 11th) I was, once again, delayed (this time I’d miscalculated how long it would take to wash the hire bikes…) but had cleverly arranged to meet at Feshiebridge, thus giving the waiting riders (Will and Iain) an opportunity to visit the Sculpture Park.

Frank bruce sculpture Feshiebridge

We set off via lower Dalnavert, where there’s been a lot of timber felling, and the bike path there is really a no-go. We used the stony track below the official path instead. A steady climb followed, up to the B970 then across to the ‘Dalnavert crossroads’, where we turned left up the track that leads to the Inshriach clifftop.

This week we chose the way down towards Tombain. The traditional way still has a lot of fallen trees, so you have to take what I think is the better descent. It’s got lots of corners, rock features and wee gnarly sections – good value! I was pleased that the ‘gravity drop’ (is there another kind?) works well and the trail seems to be bedding in nicely (it needed a lot of clearing, and some re-routing after last December’s ‘hurricane’)

From Tombain we headed over the ‘Merida bump’ and up to the fabulous ‘Cake or Death’ trail, which apart from the odd tree in the way, is riding really well…

I was keen to do the whole ride without using lights  so I managed to get us lost between Inshriach Nursery car park and the forest road we were aiming for. It’s incredible how wild an area of the forest just yards from the public road can seem when you’re dis-orientated. I’d swear we were in Narnia for a while…

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This was Andy’s prediction for Wednesday night’s ride, and lo! the Heavens did open…

We set off from Inshriach Nursery car park, the forest canopy providing shelter from the downpour. Conditions under tyre were surprisingly good, the recent wind must have dried things out as well as dropping trees everywhere.

We climbed the ‘Inca Trail’ to the Inshriach clifftop – you’re doing well if you get to the top of this without putting a foot down. I managed to dab on every single corner, grrr…

There’s a lot of wind blown trees across the traditional way down from the clifftop, so we followed the newer variation closer to the cliffs. It’s such a fun descent, with much to entertain the rider who likes a wee challenge!

From Tombain we headed over to Dalnavert, up the ‘pylon climb’ (which I was pleased to clean, making up for my earlier failure) and through some nice junipery singletrack.

The ‘old way’ back up to the cliffs was quite enjoyable, although the top part was as wet as I’ve ever seen it. We had a great zoom back down to Tombain via the Inca switchbacks and an old path which has some fabulously shonky jumps half way down.

I think if you tried to hit these you’d just disappear into the moss and rotten wood!

Back over the ‘Merida climb’ (totally doable, but not tonight, fallen trees, leaves on the line etc…) then up to the top of ‘Cake or Death’.

It’s perhaps tempting fate to ride a trail called Cake or Death when the tearoom is closed, but we all made it down in one piece. The bottom section is pretty much un-rideable – lots of fallen trees everywhere.

Despite the rain, it was a great wee ride and the tracks were riding so well, especially for January.

The Old Bridge Inn was in mid-Burns Night fervour, with skirling pipes and master of ceremonies Arthur MacLean doing the haggis stabbing thing. We celebrated with a pint of Scottish Bard. Just right!

Here’s song: Soundtracks & Head – Rain Rain Rain

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