Last week I met up with my friend Bernhard and we undertook a 35km cycle route in the northern Cairngorms. The route was an anti-clockwise loop starting and finishing at Loch Garten.
We took advantage of the only day with a forecast of good weather that week, and we had ideal conditions for cycling, with no wind or rain and some blue skies towards the end of the day. There were still some midgies about, but they were not too bad.
This was a really excellent route on mostly forest paths, going past Badaguish Outdoor Centre and Glenmore Lodge, through the pass of Ryvoan and Abernethy Forest. There were no hard gradients anywhere on the route, but the path near Ryvoan bothy is quite rough with many small boulders on the path, and I fell off my bike at this point when my front wheel hit a tree root on the path, although I was going quite slowly at the time. A great day out and a highly recommended route, although perhaps not challenging enough for many mountain bikers, with no real ascents or technical descents anywhere on the route.
A couple of weeks ago I had another great cycling day when I did a proper hill ascent on my Giant Revel 1 bike in the Borders, climbing to the summit of 567m Minch Moor near Innerleithen – there are many routes on this hill specially designed for mountain bikes, some pretty difficult and only for serious cyclists with high-spec. bikes.