Brought to you by kind permission of BL shutters ..always lead from the front
Rob ..Chief Guide , cook and bottle washer .
Finn..Personal Assistant to above.
Mr Power ..supplier of performance enhancing drugs ( Beetroot)
Mr Hull ..navigator and complaints ( making not receiving)
Mr Suffern MRCVS ..Teaser Provider
John ( SCO) ..translator and tartan specialist , swimming coach.
Mr Cooper .. Bus Timetables and Pub advisor . Wing Mirror Crash Testing.
Mr Stewart ..Music and entertainment
Herself …Laundry supervisor , and how to open the washing machine expert
COC ..Complaints ( receiver of) and archivist.
Lesley..assistant to Mr Suffern
Long drive to Torridon by the scenic route , we only lost one wing mirror. Roads were narrow and often single track so progress was slow . Kenny had Hugh up front reading pace notes and arrived first after only one tyre change .
The house was stunning with 360 views of lough and mountain . Bikes quickly unloaded and Cormac had PDI’s carried out in no time .The only tool he didn’t bring was a bike stand , still not sure why. Fed and watered ( well mostly watered!) and off to bed for bright and early start of local loop . Great climbing with PS setting the early pace until Liz had a word in his ear. Stunning descent which just by coincidence ended at the pub . Home for more food and water , well possibly less water as Rob promised big miles on tuesday.
Tuesday , stunning 2 climb/ 2 descent ride. Many punctures ..I curse those drainage ditches. Apart from a shower at beginning and a steady headwind it was fine. Once again by complete coincidence the ride spat us out by the pub .
3rd day was an easy ride to the beautiful applecroft and beach , followed by dinner in applecroft pub , super seafood with a view of Skye mountains in the distance .
4th day say a split with the elite ( Cormac and Kenny ) doing a monster climb / descent with Finn , and the rest with Rob for a more sedate affair . COC and Herself absconded with various poor excuses.
Final day was a great climb back up a previous descent , Paul took the crooked glass award having firmly lodged the point of his saddle where the sun dont shine. It has to be said John was in close contention. Bit of hike a bike at top and then a very rocky descent leading to a brilliant flowy descent to road . I managed a puncture about 3 milliseconds after Rob warned us about sharp drainage ditch…dohhhh. By complete coincidence the road home passed the pub so we felt obliged to call in .
Evening finished off by a fine venison casserole and some water .
Great weeks crack ..thanks to Rob and Finn and Baron Tollemache for the use of his country residence. Let down only by the absence of champagne glasses..well really!
Long drive home , held up by ministry of agriculture checkpoint where Liz was held fro trying to import a tick .Same safely removed you’ll be glad to hear .
Select bunch today , no sick note from Teresa, Pamela or Leona . Kenny and Cormac away getting go faster stickers applied to their wreckonings , probably bells and reflectors also.
Scullion , 2 Pauls , Robbie , Coc , Herself and John (Sco) made up the merry band . Taking care to greet the pedestrians on the fairy glen we headed for Giants pad and up towards Fallow loop. There was a bit of a sprint up the first climb , Robbie and John fell away early leaving PS and COC to battle . COC must still have a bit of wheeler in him somewhere as he fought PS off for KOH .
Up to Tunnel where on Tuesday night it was reported that Doc Lewis got a clear round to fence . It was very dry and the normally dangerous logs had some grip. Repeated attempts by PS , Scullion and COC resulted in only one more clear by the boss.
Up to mast where I think everyone was clear it was so dry . Out towards Knockshee , and were enjoying the view so much that missed the turn . However our scottish pathfinder soon had us back on track.
Robbie then started to creak first brakes then frame , new pads and bearings need sorted which provided him a weak excuse for getting off the bike on fern gully .
Over the wall and down to lower gate off piste , v. nice. Home by wall .
As the name suggests this was a backwards loop of Castle bog :
Mr Hull remains indisposed
Leona has a big birthday
Liz has a swim
We inherit a dog
COC claims dismount of the day
A bijou crowd gathered at the glen although in the future this might have to be a clandestine affair if KCA get their way . Pamela , Liz,Leona, New Paul , Cormac and COC.
Giants pad , Green road , Trails to Ford where we picked up Eamons dog who decided Eamon was running too slow and wanted a bit of decent pace. Then a twist to the tale ..sheep pen and up along the river / fence to the boundary stone . On the way here Liz did a bit of a spectacular dive into a rather deep pool , broke new helmet and was soaked from head to toe. Girls left us here for home and birthday breakfast in the school house. We persevered to Pierces castle and down to leitrim lodge . Home by trails.
Any easy day without Herr Obenfurher Hull the second .
A shorter spin was planned for today after the recent epic/mepic . There was a goodly turnout of the fair sex with Teresa , Leona , Pamela and Herself at the start ( if not the finish) , Dr Lewis , the not unusually late Mr Scullion, Mr Power , New Paul , PS and Kenny . John( SCO) had been out earlier and was a way to inflict pain on some poor unsuspecting patient. Robbie has sent in a sick note for his bike.
Starting along Burma, to Top burma via fiddlers green , dropping to low burma at the end , wall Sallys to post , across to knockshee and then down to the gully and yes kenny you navigated well( he gets upset if I dont say that) . Up to fallow corner and turned for tunnel losing 3 of the girls here . Up to mast where there were too many clear rounds to mention , but i will mention that Mr Power didn’t get one even on his Evil Machine.
At the mast we realised we had lost one …Kenny. It was clear Mr Hull had “wrecked” his back and failed to get away “Scott” free . He had turned and limped home downhill so we turned also to make sure he wasn’t lying in heap.When it was eventually clear he was ok we headed home by red and black trails to wall.
Cormac’s achilles remains hovering at the door of intensive care but I’m sure his private physio remains on standby.
Billed as a Mepic ( just less than an Epic and with more hiking than a normal “spin” ) with promise of new routes and lots of hike-a-bike . Mr Hull delivered in spades and I doff my helmet . Starting at the Glen where new Paul was lucky to make it having been attacked by one of angry dog woman’s hungry mutt’s .Sounds like he was very restrained in his response . Chris and Paddy made a rare appearance to bring down the average age by 50%. Mr Hull and herself with COC made up todays gang . Cormac was stuck in deutschland, Tim in Wicklow performing road trials on the pickenflick frankenbike, and John (sco) sentenced to a tow path sportive.
The pace was high at the start and I would have had a hissy fit if I had been able to catch up . Batts , hentrack to wall , contoured round Moughanmore ( on foot) , down to sandy brae direction , back up the red moss river , over to glenloughan lane in a masterful navigational move by Mr hull. We then found a promising looking trail which took us to Rocky very nicely and dropped down to Formal . Onto the road and back into mountain at Ballyed. Youngsters here went up sallys ( respect) while the oldies headed home along the wall. Great spin with some lovely new lines to be revisited .