Bike Packing Weekend – 125km through the cairngorms

Not the best start this ride as the night before Friday had been a night of beer and bento with the lads. Woke up early then drove to Blair Athol

assembled on bike rack
assembled on bike rack

Set off up Glen Tilt and then realised that my spare batteries for the GPS were still on charge at home.

first bridge
first bridge

Only had half a charge but had my OS maps ready with me so off I went through the first wood and spotted my first red deer in the Woods. 20km in and had to stop for recovery food beans and sausage lunch cold but effective hangover cure.

2015-07-25 12.35.43

Headed on and track became muddy and rocky and nearly too narrow for the bike was feeling calorifically low.

path gets rockier and narrow
path gets rockier and narrow

The valley is obviously used by the RAF for training as a Hercules buzzed me about 80 foot up. More red deer crossing river and bounding up slope opposite – very skittish of humans sign that it must be hunted.

ruin
ruin
selfie
selfie

2015-07-25 14.20.17

Stopped at Glen Tilt ruin where the trail opened onto flood plain valley floor then afterwards headed left over the muddiest moor i have seen in a while. Normal mtb tread just disappeared into gloop but i was fat so did better but still had to get off every 50 foot to cross burns or mud holes.

over falls
over falls

2015-07-25 16.38.20

Crossed makeshift crossing over the river by waterfall and then faced with two deeper river crossing but misjudged depth which came to crotch so shoes were sodden.

The last 2 km to the Bothy screamed down a technical downhill smacked a rock hard and punctured – was going to walk to the bothie but decided to change tube and discovered that the small lezyne pump I had with me unscrewed the valve when I was taking it off – what a pain after 4 mins of huffing and puffing to get the FAT tube pumped up to have it all WOOOSHHHH out.

better roads
better roads – just before e the descent that punctured me

Sunday 5:40 AM woke up in bothy after a good sleep maybe helped by the contribution of the two Edinburgh climbers with either their 2nd hand dope smoke or a rum and Coke I drank.

in bothy
in bothy
morning
morning

Packed and try to inflate me a tyre some more and enjoyed the unscrewing of the valve once again. Decided to divert to Kingussie and the food co-op there to restock on food I haven’t figured that the ride would take so long at a slow 10km/h average.

fern lane
fern lane
Fern Lane
Fern Lane

Cycled out the enjoining valley which was much easier going ( a tip from Fossil cyclist) past 2 fast 29er riders and then later by 2 female mountain bike on their way to Nethy bridge (a long haul for sure)

Finished the ride with a long section of tarmac which felt so slow on the fatbike into Blair Athol – Tired drive home my arse tender and my legs sore.

DAY1
DAY1
DAY2
DAY2
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2 thoughts on “Bike Packing Weekend – 125km through the cairngorms”

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