A quick summary of the soaring eagles and squished bugs from the Scotland trip…
Thursday – morning drive up to Mabie, did the red trail there. Onto the bunkhouse up the hill from the trail centre. Hmmmm what shall we say? Well, it’s surrounded by trees, has a big tree growing in the middle of it and is pretty basic and overgrown. Hobbit house and Ewok village spring to mind, but not so cute. Or dry. The impression was not helped by a healthy dose of Scottish drizzle.
Friday – on to Kirroughtree for the black trail. Loads and loads of greasy, jagged rock sections, though the McMoab section was impressive, grippy and enjoyable as ever.
Lunch and shower at Kirro, lunch KOM went to Dan for double egg and bacon baguette with chips.
Drive to the Kailzie bunkhouse near Glentress. We thought we’d checked into the Ritz – dry, clean, light, free packet of Haribos on the pillow (yes really).
The bunkhouse is under new management (the same person who runs the Cardrona village shop). She’s gradually doing the place up (new lounge furniture, mattresses being replaced, planning to install wifi etc), and provided a really tasty meal for us Friday evening. Good stuff.
Some interesting and, for a place usually populated with mountain bikers, unusual company at the bunkhouse – a group of earnest, primarily female and (from an unscientific study) quite ‘auburn’ folks from http://www.beyondbordersscotland.com/ – they were running an event nearby at Innerleithen, including ‘An Audience with the Most Influential Woman in Britain’. No, not Sue Perkins, but Nicola Sturgeon.
Saturday – Glentress
There was an Enduro (sorry, ENDURO!) on at Glentress on the Sunday as part of Tweedlove, with Saturday open for unmarshalled practice. Didn’t get in the way of our riding, but lots of folks in bright Euro Enduro colours around.
Combinations of red, blacks and blues ridden by our group through the day, all good fun, even the climb up to the Buzzard’s Nest was enjoyable in a meditative kind of way, even three times.
Lunch KOM went to Simon for double burger with chili con carne and cheese. In a bun. The anticipated messy food explosion was avoided somehow.
Missed blag moment: the Ibis warranty manager (riding a bright green Mojo) come over for a chat at the cafe and asked me how I was getting on with mine. Unfortunately I didn’t think to try to get some freebies like the rather fetching Ibis T shirt he was wearing.
Back to the bunkhouse to find a bunch of Enduro (sorry, ENDURO!) riders had arrived, with their vans and stuff. Muscles, tattoos and smoothies were the order of the day. I’m sorry to say Tim’s athlete credentials (porridge and coconut water) were somewhat dented by the impressive array of spinach, berries, banana, pineapple etc going into pints of smoothie being downed on Sunday’s race morning. It’s all a true athlete needs apparently.
Nutribullets on everyone’s Christmas list, and I trust we’ll all be strapping our inner tubes and CO2 inflators under our top tubes, for that authentic look.
Travelled back Sunday for some family time. I think everyone enjoyed themselves on the trip, no injuries or massive breakages, though Dan’s frame will likely need some financial love as the swingarm appears cracked. Surprisingly we didn’t really get rained on either – didn’t wear a jacket the whole weekend. Thanks to Pete and Tim for making it happen.