5 08 2013

Indecision paralysed me on Sunday evening. I had an opportunity to head off and camp somewhere, maybe get a bit of trail before a sleep then an early start to allow a good, full days riding on monday.

But I couldn’t decide what to do.

I had sort of mis-planned already: I was supposed to be going to Haugh Cross, but that was Saturday, not Sunday (Duhrrrrr!).

Anyway, after becoming increasingly frustrated, I failed to commit and as time marched on I grabbed my road bike in an effort to salvage some pedal time.

Off out to the Crow Road over the Campsies, where a favourable tail wind helped me to a ‘P.B’ of 14.30 mins for the climb, followed by a few more miles. I generally see road biking in good weather as a ‘fail’ I am afraid. When the weather is good, I like to be in the hills, but I could grudgingly appreciate the 2.30 hr of smooth road as a tonic against peering aimlessly at OS maps.

Monday was to be a different matter, though. I needed a taste of some hills. Some friends had hit a sweet route on Beinn a’Ghlo, which whetted the appetite, so I broke out the maps again and forced myself to decide on a route the evening prior, so I could get away sharp. After making my way up the A9 again, I turned into the car park at Lagganlia, quickly got ready and without fuss pedaled down the road past the gliding club to Auchlean. From there, I kept to the east side of the river and enjoyed some of the trail in the trees before turning up the Landy track to climb towards Carn Ban Mor. Despite this being a Scottish mtb ‘classic’ I had never tried it. I felt that as it was pretty rideable and relatively compact, it would allow me to get home in time for Daisy’s bedtime and I was also curious how the Coire Dhondail stalker’s path looked from the west side of Loch Eanaich: I have a vague notion it might come in handy some day…

The climb sucks. However, you just need to buckle down and get it done. Some good views open up as you clear the edge of Coire Garbhlach and from there it is not far to the top. I made good time, so decided to add Mullach Clach a’Bhlair (1019m) before taking the excellent quality Landy trail accross the Moine Mhor, before climbing to the start of the fabled Carn Ban Mor decent. As time was still on my side and the views over to Braeriach were so fine, I decided the dark cloud was no reason not to make a quick detour to the Carn Ban Mor summit proper (1052m), from there onto Sgor Gaoith (1118m). I had some fine views down to Loch Eanaich and the Dhondail path, as well as the plateau proper, before turning back as a squall hit.

The decent was fine. It has been improved, featuring many large rock water bars, that are at times fun, at other times annoying. The drop is welcome though and it was a good test of my saddle bag’s staying power – more on that soon.

Back to base with 3.20 hr on the clock. All good. Now if only the A9 hadn’t been standing between me and the cold beer in the fridge…




4 responses

7 08 2013

Hi, loving your home made bags, very cool.
I just wanted to ask how you like the 29+ front end on your Jones? i have a space frame coming and will be running 29+ on it.
Great blog, keep it up.

11 08 2013

thanks!…the 29+ on the front of the jones is great. it suits the geometry well and the bigger tyre adds some cush…its a good option to have, probably a little lighter than a full fat.

14 08 2013

Only ‘probably’ a little lighter? đŸ˜‰

14 08 2013

surprisingly little i reckon, but (honest, guv) i havent weighed em!….

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