Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Welcome to the Scottish Mountain Bike Guides Blog

Welcome to the new Scottish Mountain Bike Guides' blog. My New Years Resolution was to keep a blog for 2009, and since the end of January is fast approaching, I'd better get started!

The idea is that the blog will accompany our monthly newsletter and keep you up to date with what's happening at Scottish Mountain Bike Guides, along with ride reports and other goings on.

As a start to 2009, here's a little review wrapping up the best bits of 2008. Some of these rides where done guiding our clients, some were done as part of research for a new Scottish MTB guidebook I have just finished and some were just for fun.

March: Ali and I went to the 'Rough Bounds' of Knoydart aiming for the Old Forge, the UK's most remote pub, accessible only by boat or miles of boggy wilderness. Snow, flooded tracks and swollen rivers meant we took 10 hours to cover 20 miles and after an overnight stop in Sourlies bothy on the shores of Loch Nevis we beat a retreat without making it to the pub.

April: Took the train from Fort William to Corrour in the middle of Rannoch Moor. A perfect spring day with snow on the mountains and clear blue skies. Eight hours of wilderness riding back to Fort William, with the light slowly fading over the last 2 hours. A beautiful day.

June: Half way across Scotland from Kingussie to the North Sea. Three days of fantastic riding and 2 nights on the soft heather in my bivvy bag. The weather was great - I even got a sun tan! I was travelling as light as possible, so no stove meant no caffeine for 3 days. I lasted 36 hours before the lure of the roadside coffee shop became too much!

August: a great Coast to Coast trip with a small group of clients. I drove the support van all week, but managed to squeeze in a couple of superb rides.

September: The Northern Trail Centres road trip. Six of Scotlands purpose built MTB centres in six days. A great group of riders and a week of constant blue skies. What more can you ask for?

November: Fewer clients means time to concetrate on getting my guidebook finished with a great little roadtrip to the North West Highlands and the Isle of Skye.

I hope 2009 brings everyone as much great riding as 2008 did for me.

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