Thursday, 9 April 2009

10 down, 8 to go

I managed 4 hours yesterday.

Having watched the blustery showers come and go all morning, I set off from Glen Nevis at 2pm to ride to Kinlochleven and back on the WHW, reckoning on 2 hours each way. The first part of this ride is a slog up fire roads which just don't seem to get any easier. There is a grotesque new road bulldozed through the forest where the WHW used to cross a fence at the walk up to the old vitrified fort and this seems to go all the way to Lundavra. The trail proper ducks off to the left quite soon after the fence and I'm into some nice techy riding down steep, rocky switchbacks followed by tricky climbs up wet steps. All very involving. There are lots of cheerful walkers around, no doubt delighted that they are nearly at the end of the trail.

The ride to Kinlochleven is rough and there is a lot of surface water, but it feels quite easy for the most part. I ride the lovely rocky descent down to the Mamore Lodge road, but take it easy as it would look very foolish to injure myself here, alone and a long way from home. The road up to Mamore Lodge is very steep but it's over quickly. A glance at the GPS shows that I'm going too fast; it has taken less than two hours to get to the turning point. The wind comes to my rescue, however, blowing into my face all the way home. I'm relying on some energy chews to keep me going and although they are a disgusting "orange" flavour, they seem to be very effective because all the hills seem easy, even into the wind. The GPS runs out of power at the Clach nan Caimbuelach just on 3 hours so I remove a stone from the cairn as tradition dictates and dawdle home enjoying the nice technical riding in reverse.

4 hours car-to-car. Today is a rest day so I need to get 8 bike-hours in on Friday and Saturday.

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