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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Bearsden, UK
    Posts
    1,197

    TR: UK Road Trip

    A little less than a year ago my lady friend and I moved out to Scotland, leaving the liberal metropolis that is Utah behind. For the first six or so months I wasn’t working, who knew it would be so hard to find a gig in a new country without knowing anyone? It left me with ample time to check out lots of riding spots and try to pretend I knew how to ride my bike down steep, muddy, rutted trails – that shit is fuckin’ hard. Also, riding year-round in the rain and mud destroys bearings, so there’s that.

    Had a couple of friends fly out a few weeks ago to see what the fuss was all about. I drove a few hours south from Glasgow to pick up John and we headed over to Wales. Our first spot wasn’t anything special; I just found a place on trailforks that had a campground nearby.



    Car camping…I miss the primitive camping from the intermountain west so damn much. Car camping over here is typically done by paying £12 to £20 for a night in a field with basic amenities, better than a hotel I suppose. There are usually sheep, lots and lots of sheep.



    On our first ride I asked some locals about where we should ride. They offered up a pretty rad spot not on TF which turned out to be pretty fun. With everything in sight green, rolling hills the big cliffs and rock was a nice surprise. Thanks, local dudes!













    We drove over to Snowdonia National Park with hopes of hitting Snowdon early the next morning. Being the highest peak in Wales and the fact that it’s super crowded there’s a rule that you can only bike it before 10am or after 5pm. We setup at a campground a few miles from the bottom and woke up early to some straight-up bullshit weather. Actually about 20 minutes before my alarm went off, I had one of those moments where I thought my tent was about to get ripped out of the ground by wind. The forecast was for sustained 40mph winds and rain all day on the mountain and increasing the next day. We scrapped plans and did some random touristing.


    We snuck in a quick hike-a-bike steep and techy ride that evening, it would be a lie to say we didn’t get blasted by a few quick downpours. Fun trail though.




    After another stormy night we picked up John’s lady mate the next day and decided to blast back up to Scotland to regroup and dry out at my place. We rode the local techy trails in pouring rain for a few hours and I schemed up where to chase the weather for the next couple of days.




    We ended up about an hour and a half away in the Tweed Valley where we found mostly clear weather and an abundance of trails. We did get some rain, but not that much.


    The trails at the Golfie are so steep you ride right out the bottom of the picture



    Trailhead camping at Glentress



    Steep and techy


    I wanted to show my guest some of the proper highland mountain rides but they can really be shitty if the weather isn’t cooperating. Looking at the radar for the next day, there was a break in the afternoon up at Ben Lawers, we boogied up there after a quick morning spin.



    Livin' the dream


    There’s actually a fairly nice non-campground spot near the base of the mountain, when we got there it was 11 degrees and windy…not exactly what you want at the bottom of a big hike-a-bike. It kind of cleared up on the way up, and then got socked in and windy, and then cleared up again, and so on.



    Walking is so fun!






    Cold and cloudy up top



    Not too cold for beers though, naturally



    So good, might be my favourite trail out here...maybe

















    We were psyched to get that ride in, we woke up to more wind and rain, couldn’t even see up the mountain from the bottom of it. We rallied back to Glasgow in the pissing rain to pick up my chica and dog and then headed north.



    Glencoe


    A few lift-served laps at Fort William was pretty fun. Note – the world cup DH track is really techy and sporty on a hardtail. From there we headed out to get basic and see cool shit on Skye. More rain and wind for those camp vibes.





















    Last ride of the trip on Skye - moist

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
    Posts
    11,816
    Nice pics! Looks like some amazing places to ride

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,833
    Very cool! Moist seemed like a theme. Thanks for posting!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The bottom of LCC
    Posts
    5,115
    Rad pics! The weather over there sounds pleasant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    slc
    Posts
    10,693
    Amazing. If that's the mid-summer weather I can only imagine what the other seasons are like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    5,573
    Awesome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
    Posts
    5,937
    D00d, way cool!
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    1,531
    Looks awesome, cool atmosphere despite the bad weather

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Up in ya face!
    Posts
    3,443
    Excellent stuff. Gracias.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,316
    Nice TR, and cool photos.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    2
    Looking Nice.

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