Monday, November 05, 2007

More Of The Same. Learnie and Abriachan.

Still I'm reliving my love of cycling that I had before the small humans arrived.

At the end of October I went over to Learnie on the Black Isle.
It was a familiar scene in the car park, perhaps I am lucky to work shifts, which
allows me to do things during the week when the less fortunate have to work.

I decided to ride all the blue then the red downhill, the whole shooting match is just over 7Km.

On the blue there's some predictable trail but some nice jumpy bits too.

Ah, blue or black ?

Is it for me ?

NO !

Not if I'm going to walk the bike over most of it.

Nice view over the firth where I go kayaking with the club in the summer.

Back to the car through some nice singletrack, a short but really sweet red section, and then a green section with some wee jumps.


Now the trip I did at the weekend was a little different.

I told you I cycled a lot about ten years ago, well just to punish myself into getting fit again I agreed to this:

Inverness to Abriachan, around the blue trails and back to Inverness.

Yep do-able, just take it easy, no prob.

I went with Brian who does a SPIN class in Invergordon also Jean and Saunders who attend spin classes, run, do triathlons and the Loch Ness 360 !

Here's the route.

It's 17Km to Abriachan and then there's 7Km of Blue routes.

As the profile suggests, it was a bit of a lung buster to start at a faster pace than I have been used to.

I thought I could do the distance but the pace was just above me.

I was able to make it up the first bit without keeling over, and took a photo of Brian and Saunders.

Then it was head down arse up again for a while, through the trees mostly apart from the odd open bit.

I made it to the trails, we did all the blue stuff and there were only a few crashes. Loads of jumps and berms for a blue route, tight, twisty and bumpy. My back brake gave up and just stayed on until I noticed the next day !

Too much happening to get pics but just to prove I made it to Abriachan :


Another 17K cycle along the lovely Great Glen Way, where I had to draught Jean on the road section. Thanks Jean.
I got left when we returned to the wooded part, I could do no more so stopped to relieve myself.

We arrived above Inverness and I was STILL alive. Now we had the high speed descent into the City ... YES.

Passing the old buildings of Craig Dunain which recently suffered fire damage.

We descended the final part. I was behind Saunders with Brian and Jean behind.

I saw Saunders brake hard and noticed a large plank if wood sticking side-on out of the ground. ( It was like one of those things you see to divert water off a trail.)

This plank was several inches above the ground and thanks to Saunders braking warning I was able to bunny hop it. Jean wasn't so lucky.

We waited at the bottom then heard Jean on the walky talky, she had stacked. ( ha I'm getting the lingo now )

To cut a long story short, I found out later that evening that they had stayed on in Inverness.

Jean had done an extra trip, one to Accident and Emergency.

I think she got an x-ray but all internal bits and bobs were still in the right place. Drugs were dished out and a 38 minute cycling ban imposed.

So thanks for a great day out Brian Saunders and Jean. For a pretty complete cycling experience.

No, I'm not ready for that 3 hour spin class !