Most moist! Well wet! Damn damp!
I knew we were in for a nautical adventure when we pulled into the carpark to find Cousteau's Calypso already moored there and taking up most of the parking space.
Wet suits donned, we sealed our hatches and tacked windwards on the road for a couple of miles - upwards towards our first port of call, Craigowl radio mast.
Craigowl radio mast - Pass the tinfoil buff please...
It was hard going swimming like salmon against the flow up hill. The flotilla was not amused, but don't let the picture below fool you, Mikee soon cheered up when he spotted his beloved Lomonds distant on the horizon.
Aye, the first climb was that bad - clubby just out of shot to right
Dundee - Where even the livestock are junkies
Setting off again from the mast, grassy and a few loopy up and downs. The Ken was the first to run aground - managing to beach on a small island, and avoiding a wet arse by the narrowest of margins. Then we hit the hillside descent proper - dark heather, muddy, rocky, rutted and the inevitable flowing water.
Jamie coming down off the mast
Rob - easily rider of the day. The man was in the groooooove
The Ken and his soft, soft gloves
We stopped part of the way down the rapids - you can see on the other side of the hill 'the steps' from the old XC races. Clubby, TK and mikee were waxing lyrical.
A river runs doon it - Once were paths
After fording the 'Dead Marshes' from Lord of the Rings and failing to guide TK to his doom, we climbed about a third of the way up the steps, hooked a left, slipping and sliding on some narrow muddy singletrack towards the quarry. Bomb holes, and a wee bit of gnarl at the end.
The Ken and Jamie rocking in the quarry
Crash of the day went to Mark. We were descending some steep muddy singletrack - not sure what happened, but he ended up several meters down the hillside, his bike balanced perfectly on seat and handlebars (?), and his fall only broken by assorted gorse bushes. I don't think he was impressed with his DIY acupuncture, although he'll be pleased when he finds he no longer suffers from a bad back.
There were definitely some nasty climbs involved, but plenty of singletrack too. ' On a dry day... ' was said more than once, but it was much better than good as it was, even though the conditions weren't.
TK and Mikee bailed before the final descent - a Mikee trail of the first order. Totally overgrown at the top, and seriously laugh out loud wet as we continued downwards. At one point I couldn't figure out why clubby was slowing down until I saw the water up at his cranks. Dive, dive, dive!
A great day out, and Mark hit it on the head. It really did renew the enthusiasm.
clubby dealing the hard stuff in the trees