Scotland The Brave

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 .


So many Photos…so many views

A Long Explore with Mr Hull

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 .


A motley crew gathered at the Glen at 8am , Doc Lewis , Kenny , Herself , COC ,Davy (without child) , a Rossi Representative (John) and a cross dressing 6.1er ( BG in an NTSR Jersey) . Santa had obviously been to BG’s for Xmas and delivered a shiny new Hard Tail This will put the cat among the pigeons in the 6.1ers.

Second right , switchbacks at a snails pace for me as Daves big day out had taken its toll on my legs . Cairnuaryers had beaten us to the top but our timing was near perfect as the first Sunrise of 2017 appeared from beneath a big bank of cloud .Joined by Rowan , Brian , Dierdre and Lucky for photos . Closest I’m going to get to a religious moment this year . Stunning , even Kenny smiled.

Home smartly by the Glen .

Happy new year to all who cycle with us or just laugh at our juvenile adventures.


Slaughter The Ninth

In which Doc Lewis nearly gets a clear round ,Liz takes a short cut , Scullion gets a hair cut , Dan and Eamon bring the wrong bikes , The COC nearly quits , Cormac stayed healthy for the day ,No 6.1ers in sight bar the two double agents and not even a glimpse of a Rossi .

The child of Prague deployment was spot on ,I dont think we have ever had a better day . As cycling goes its up there with the thriller as the best day day on a bike. Hills to challenge , descents to conquer , craic , slander and nice cups of tea.

Only 20 takers which made for little stopping and with no punctures or mechanicals the pace soon took its toll on me for one . In fact I nearly withdrew after 3 rounds if Rowan and Kenny had not prevailed on me and I knew I would never hear the end of it. There were some good excuses today but Scullions was by far the best ..he needed a haircut for going out apparently!!

Doc Lewis entered the switchbacks with clear rounds on the 3 previous climbs the elusive 4th just escaped him however and he finished a broken man .

A great day , have to think of a twist for next year to mark the 10th !

Route here .

The Lough Shannagh “Triathlon”

Sponsored by Tullyraine Equine and Mullholland bespoke plumbing , this long established race (which can trace its origins back to Hugh of Pink in 1773 ) took place today . It was very considerate  of the Orange Order to arrange for us all to have the day off .

Race HQ was at LOL 56 ( lovely old legs with average age 56) . The Banbridgers started at home and ” raced ” to the 1st transition at Ott car park . Hugh and Dermy must have had at least three punctures as Lorcan arrived long before them, not so shortly followed by Les. The Rostrevorers had arrived earlier and started with a road loop including the Spelga S see route below  .
Runners were donned for a lap of the Lough Shannagh Horseshoe stopping on the beach at Lough Shannagh for a swim . The water was surprisingly warm , but not warm enough to tempt Dermy to get wet! .

Home over Carn and repaired to K’s in Hilltown for light refreshments and witty banter , mainly it may be said at Mr Sufferns expense.

And like the music says …”my legs are weak”