Another Epic

The first thing I was going to do here was link to the post about last year’s epic bike journey but apparently I didn’t write one. So, instead, you’ll have to make do with pictures from the event. This year we headed to Fort William for a 43 mile round trip which was along terrain a lot rougher than I expected.

We set off a bit late and weren’t properly underway until 10:30 but we made reasonable time through the woods around Nevis Range though the innacurate Explorer map didn’t help. Some resurveying needs done there. In fact, all the way up the Lairig it was fine and not even all that steep (all hail SPDs). Though I did manage to bounce my balls off my saddle once or twice, as my expression will attest;

Nuts

However the weather held and we were soon at the bothy which heralded the start of the last major climb.

bothy

And here’s where the rot set in for me. The climb from there was a horrible, rocky, muddy path that was ridable in places. The downhill on the other side wasn’t much better. By the time we made it to the river cross I wasn’t in a great mood and feeling resigned to the fact it was going to be a long slog back along the old military road.

house

This was only about halfway round so the prospect of another several hours of bouncing around off pram-sized boulders didn’t exactly fill me with joy. Tim and Sandy, top blokes that they are, left me to stew at the back which is exactly the thing to do with me; never get far enough ahead that I think “where the fuck are they?”, don’t stop so often that I think “patronising gits!” and don’t try and and cheer me up. I’m happy on my tod working through bad thoughts in my head.

However, after a couple more hours it was clear we were all getting very tired. I look pretty wasted here and Tim’s struggling to keep the camera steady.

bonk

I never felt as tired as this as I did on the last epic, but we had the weather on our side this time. I think this was about the point where I donated my emergency gel to Tim to get him back up and running and we pushed on. By this point it was starting to get a bit dark and I was the only one with lights. I think it’s fair to say that I disagree with the others on the idea of going out for a ride without illumination.

On the last push I was tired enough to just forget about the brakes and go hell for leather down the forestry track back to the b-road and home. I probably hit speeds I wouldn’t normally get to when I’m more awake.

A good day out though I do prefer ground that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve been a few rounds with a professional boxer.

dead

All the photos are Tim’s, except the last one which is Sandy’s.