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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:39 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro / PoTM Winnner
Gold Trader / MacRetro / PoTM Winnner
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:04 pm
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Location: Scotland/Poland
Still too exhausted to plug in camera cable and resize pictures. Thought I'll die at work today.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:02 pm 
P.o.T.M. Winner / MacRetro Rider
P.o.T.M. Winner / MacRetro Rider
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:03 am
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Location: In the foothills of the foothills of The Cairngorm Massif :D
OK sorry but this will take a while........

Saturday – part 1

A clear and fine morning as five happy souls innocently assemble bikes in the car park at Bridge of Orchy, pontificating enthusiastically on the joys which lay ahead and the joys of scoring cheap kit from supermarkets without an inkling of the sheer horrors preparing to unfold.

Five souls on five bikes – Univega, Cannondale (rigid), Cinder Cone (rigid) and a couple of those funny shaped GT things, one Ti and the other a very nice colour indeed.

Route is a mixture of tarmac, rough track, very rough track, even rougher track, rock, bogs/rivers and no track at all.

Set off (a bit late) along the short tarmac singletrack road, The Road of the Innocent, to Victoria Bridge and immediately got kicked in the teeth by the change in road surface as we joined The Track of Bones - an attractive but brutal ancient cobbled affair designed by Telford 100s of years ago and now serving only to shake the daylights out of any rolling wheel travelling its length, and cripple the bones of us mortal pilots.

Approx 12 miles of this, up and down, brilliant views across Rannoch Moor, and with a very lengthy, fast bumpy downhill run out at the end took us shaken but still happy to the Kingshouse Hotel for refreshment. A peloton of Roadies crossed our path on the main road en route for Glencoe – pure cycling heaven, we thought.

Brief R&R with soup and rolls, a few encounters with deer, and a chat with pair of other MTBers doing a similar, shorter route on Litespeed and Edinburgh Revolution (I think). Told them I thought it was easy enough, so off they went, never seen again.

After The Track of Bones, the next tarmac section (again single track with passing places to permit overtaking but no overnight camping) The Road of Niceness was pure relief, comprising sweeping downhill curves enclosed by majestic towering hills with distant views of rock climbers on the crags, laughing at us – because they knew something…….

We carried on, nicely fast, towards sea level at the head of Loch Etive. Nice.

The next short section was to be a short plod across a field to pick up a rough track, then join the forestry road. Yeah, right.

The niceness stopped. The Walk of Pain began. Not nice.
Feet immediately became wet on the sodden pasture. Sanity of route began to be questioned. Where? Why? But there isn’t anything…..but nowhere else to go. Nothing for it but to proceed.
The madness was tolerated by my fellow travellers as it was only a short walk……well, shortish, and pushing quite heavily laden bikes at that. Apart from Rado’s which was light as one of Gazz’s used tissues after a Chieftain. Rado had taken it on board to backpack an 80litre rucksack weighing about as many kilos. Hee hee.

And right enough I was vindicated as the short walk led, sure enough onto a rough track after 400m or so. The end of The Walk of Pain. Whoopee..

The Ken won prize for 1st Mechanical of the day – as his (previously highly commended) £12 Tescos throw over panniers fell into two bits. Hasty repair and reallocation of heavy (alcohol content) luggage to other members’ sturdy and altogether more reliable panniers gets us going again.

But rough tracks being rough tracks, they fall into a wide variety of categories – and this indeed was a rough track. The Walk of Pain continued, interspersed with short rideable “bits”. Not nice. I take 2nd mechanical place as front brake arm detaches from spigot on steep downhill loose gravel. Eek, thrice eek in fact. The Ken is close by and provides essential washer replacement (Bullseye crank spanner thingy) as I scour the ground for V brake spring. Found it thank feck. Bike working again.

More rideable sections, mainly narrow gravel mud/rock, then increasingly tough uphill walking sections. The C-word is first used by Gazz. The others agree. I don’t. They insist I am. Boo.
Alas The Walk of Pain continues for several miles. We are tired and sore. Happiness is not in our vocabulary. This hurts and progress is slow. Several “false summits” re the rideable track and numerous C-words later we reach a small clearing. We are nearly suicidal, but The Walk of Pain is over.

Now onto Relief - narrow gravel forestry track opening out into Landrover track takes us, still sore, through the woodland. Rado wishes he’d brought panniers. We regroup by a rocky river, regain strength and move on. Late.

Exit forest and Bothy comes into view – sighs all round. Smoke coming from chimney. Someone’s beaten us to it. White Transit parked nearby on “No Vehicular Access” track. This shouldn’t be. Eek.


Last edited by Mr Panda on Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:06 pm 
MacModerator
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:59 pm
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Location: Sol Kitts
:D :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:13 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 11:02 pm
Posts: 5252
Location: Falkirk! But I am a Fifer so that's OK...
MOAR, MOAR you big tease Mr P... Great read, and something tells me the transit van did not contain the Swedish Ladies Gymnastics team.

Still wishing I'd been there too...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:00 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 11:03 am
Posts: 18207
Location: Sunny Glasgow
And..........
come on you cant finish it there :?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:05 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
Sounds suitably epic chaps. Looking forward to the next instalment from the Bothy of Doom.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:27 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:23 am
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great write up Mr P, tis a veritable literary feast for the eyes- a James Boswell for the boomtown rats generation!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:50 pm 
P.o.T.M. Winner / MacRetro Rider
P.o.T.M. Winner / MacRetro Rider
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:03 am
Posts: 5502
Location: In the foothills of the foothills of The Cairngorm Massif :D
Saturday – part 2

The Ken gets his hackles up on seeing the White Transit – he’s obviously had a nasty experience.
We straggle into the bothy approx 8pm and reconnoitre the inhabitants. Two tame Weegies up for a night away from it all have brought a load of pallets which they are chopping with an axe (where’s Dyna-ti when you need him?) and a full-on hunting knife. Shedloads of coal, food, lanterns and some beer. They’ve even brought a couple of comfy chairs to use at the bothy.

We chat away and set up shop in the next door room – fortunately the bothy is big enough for us all. Weegies leave axe and large hunting knife beside front door. “You are my wife now.” Hmmm.

Dave G convinces himself they are Hardened Deer Poachers up for some illicit shooting and makes Bang Bang gesticulations with his arms. Frighteningly realistic. Frighteningly plausible – two guys up for the weekend in a long wheelbase White Transit. Hmmmm. On the “no vehicular access” track. Hmmmm.

Actually they’re fine, offering us wood and coal to get our fire going to dry our footwear and offering us the axe to use if we want. I scavenge some hefty logs which are lying around 200m from the bothy and do the trainee arsonist bit whilst others prepare food in the gloomy candlelight. We are tired and hungry. The Ken lets Gazz cook on his new £12 gas stove and explains how excellent it (the stove) is (I think I know where this is going).

Rado starts snoring as I ‘m still cooking. Some wine is produced along with some beer (the Alcoholic Contents of The Ken’s broken panniers). In a bizarre twist he decides he doesn’t like the beer and offers it up. There is some consumption of Peach Schnapps (only Gazz would bring this) I believe and Rado grumbles intermittently whilst continuing to snore.

Its now about 9:30pm. A couple of new people walk in after walking from Bonawe about four miles away. More weegies, but harmless enough. One a lassie with sore legs who proceeds to incinerate five years worth of Personal Paperwork, bank statements and so on, in the fire. Weird. Very weird. They announce the impending arrival of a further three pals and intention to drink lots of whisky and sing through to the wee hours.

I Immediately book space on floor by rolling out sleeping bag and mat between The Ken and the fire (talk about between a rock and a hard place…gulp).

The next three weegies arrive (half of Glasgow’s up here tonight) and we jokingly question their singing ability (see previous references about singing all night) – the question doesn’t go down well, being met with brusque disdain.

DaveG appears and talks of NEDS roaring up the track in a hatchback, shouting, gesticulating and roaring away again. I think they were probably put off by his Ginger Haired Glowering Stance.

The Gaelic Singing Weegies want to bunk up with us for the night. We tolerate them for a while then tell them we’re bringing the bikes in. They retire next door, leaving yet more coal.
We are warm and tired, but The Ken perks up at the prospect of a Blind Whisky Tasting game – he gets it quickly. Ledaig, Tobermory. Nice.

We talk gibberish for a while and there is some mention of Throbbing Gristle during an exchange of musical tastes. Alarms are set for 6:45am and we drift off to strange tuneless verses from The Gaelic Singing Weegies next door. Madness. But relatively pain free madness when compared to earlier in the day. I sleep with two knives by my pillow, each approx 2” long, but comforting none the less.

I also assure everyone that Sunday will be easy, with nothing like the rigours of today.


to be continued...... :twisted:


Last edited by Mr Panda on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:57 pm 
MacModerator
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:59 pm
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Location: Sol Kitts
:D :lol: :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:10 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:23 am
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:lol: :lol:


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