Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Biking ?

Yes I'm afraid so.

Today I went back up to the Wildcat on my own to check out the Red Route.

Now I used to mountain bike quite a lot a few years ago, it was all on forest trails. The only technical thing was jumping the centre part of the forest track to line up for cornering on descents.

Today I realised that things have changed.

I started out at the main car park in Golspie although Wildcat now has it's own car park further north, I cycled past it !

The uphill cycle is quite straight forward and not too tiring at all. Part of it is the Cat's Climb which I cycled twice last week.

I could also just see the 20m high walkway on the Black route further on up the hill.

At the top of the climb the red route goes to the left, first downhill then climbing up a forest track.

It was then I got the first glimpse of what downhill is all about. It isn't just going flat out down a wide forestry road as I had believed for the past 20 years.

Through the trees I could see jumps, drop offs and berms.

Soon I arrived at the entrance to 'Valhalla'. I just hoped that I wasn't REALLY on my way there.

Now still having a bit of MTB savvy, I had swapped out my SPD's for platforms and was just about to lower my seat. Doh ! I had put on a rear light the other day in order to take my bike to work. It needed a flat head screwdriver to remove it. I had a cross head, spanners, umpteen allen keys bit no flatty. The seat was staying up.

I started the descent with white knuckles on the brakes.

Hold on. You can't see where these jumps and drop offs are going. Better stop and have a look. JESUS!

I did quite a bit more stopping and looking on my way down. Some I rode others I cheated and some I re-rode. This trail is superb. What I could have done with though, aprt from a lower seat, was soemeone who actually knew what he was doing to go first and I would follow.
The place was deserted. I spent a while looking and redoing a few features but nobody came past me.

Lessons learned.

Make sure you can lower the seat.
Take along an expert.
Don't be such a big jessy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Highland Wildcat -Blue-

I had a week off work after doing a bit of overtime. The kids were off too but the weather was pretty bad at the start of the week.
It was tidy up the garden and chop wood time.

The weather improved near the end of the week.


The wee fella is really getting into cycling so we tried the Blue route with the 20" wheeled bike that he had. He did very well, but I thought he could have done better given the right equipment, so we decided it was worth upgrading to a better bike.

We traded in his Dawes Redtail for this lovely machine.

After a day riding locally and getting to grips with the gears we headed back up to Golspie.

The Blue route is for families, it starts off very easy, has climbs, wooded sections, stones and switchbacks.

Theres some nice views too.

At the top.

On the way back down now...

Kill those switchbacks.

Oops, cut in too quick...

We were the only car in the Wildcat car park. The red and black routes start from the Town car park. We saw three other cyclists, then another bunch going up the black route - they were pushing their bikes !

Off to practise on our wee trail at the bottom of the road, need to get ready for the red route.

No kayaking this week.