Sunday, 19 May 2013


Bill was running a short notice TCL training course for Campbell and Paul around Mugdock Park.  The weather was poor on Saturday but improved for Sunday, when they were looking in detail at objective dangers on the trail.

Lots of good cycling terrain in the park to help differentiate between TCL & MBL trails; great trails to ride & navigate around to learn the requisite techniques to the required standard. 

All in a great couple of days and both Campbell and Paul had a great couple of days.

Get in touch if you want to learn the skills necessary to lead groups in the trail.

Wind and the Gallows

Craig, Mark and Peter went on a CPD day, scoping out new tracks in the Coe area and found that it's hard to beat the old favourite of the Devil's Staircase.  We parked at the King's House Hotel and cycled up the road to the path and headed up the trudge to the top.

There were plenty of WHWers out having a good day and there was plenty of chat from them, which is always nice to see; bikers and walkers appreciating the environment on equal terms.  Once up top, it was 'lock and load' and we headed off on the loose path to the small burn crossing then a short climb to the start of the route proper - nice knarly single track, seeking the hardest line to keep skills sharp; the Turner 5-Spot comes into its own on this terrain, and Pete and I both appreciate the decision to buy made 7&8 years ago respectively!!

Anyway, downhill towards K'levem until we met Murray Watson and co. on their way back from Torridon - resplendent in his Rockhard top :)   Down into the Ice Factor for lunch (after my first puncture in ages - 'I never puncture' - and then a review of the shop with nothing worth buying!
On top of the Glen Coe Caldera

On up the road towards Glen Coe village and a short cut behind the cottages and found amazing river/rock formations caused by pebbles rubbing rock over thousands of years - should become a Geopark...?
Stuck climber
Into the Coe proper and met by a howling - proper howling - gale but forced a route off road almost all the way to the bottom of the Devil's...tough in the wind and then torrential rain tho...that said, it is biking in Scotland which is always hard earned but absolutely amazing :))

Onto the WHW and straight down to the King's House in jig time (ish) for a quick change in the rain and off home for The Great Gatsby.
The change in rock delineates the andesite and rhyolite bands of rock in the caldera
All in, a great day, reminding us all of how good the Devil's really is and how good biking in Scotland can be, despite the weather.

Mountain biking in Scotland.....why wouldn't you...why not join us?

Meantime, Bill was out delivering a MBLA Trail Cycle Leader course - get in touch if you want to get some qualifications to lead groups - simply contact details

Thursday, 16 May 2013

'The Gambler' and Kenny Rodger sing-alongs

Craig and Bill were out with Boclair Academy for a DofE bronze practice around the Menteith Hills enjoying some rain and some sunshine.  A well organised group were suited and booted early doors in anticipation of a big day one walk.

Relatively benign weather saw us get into camp around 6 after a hard days walking, although we did have the best lunch spot :)

Tents up and food cooked under cover of a lean to saw the world's biggest game of tig while we went and retrieved the vehicles for the finish line.

Day 2 was set fair with sunny weather and after a full English breakfast, they were off along Loch Achray, navigating with great confidence for a Bronze group.  A slow plodding (and sensible pace) saw us have lunch with the finish line in sight, overlooking Kinlochard with not a midge in sight :)  BLISS

As Craig's group neared the end, blisters were playing up for one of the pupils and she needed extra assistance to get to the finish line - step in Bargy, the Kenny Rodger's stand in and give us all a fantastic rendition of the was very entertaining and indeed very good...I thought Kenny was standing on my shoulders!   Now need to download it from i-tunes and learn more words than just the chorus.

Teamwork plays a big part of DofE and the team walked in arm in arm singing more tunes which meant nothing to me whatsoever.

Well done to all the pupils for a great effort and a great few days - looking forward to the assessment now!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Pentland's 'Reservoir' - a Duke Of Edinburgh soaking

Friday saw Craig and Bill out on a Bronze DofE practice expedition around the Pentland hills; this is a popular location for DofE groups, evidenced by the small groups of young people out walking around the paths.

Friday was a truly appalling day and well done to the young folks for getting round with minimal 'loss of location' in heavy rain and very gusty winds.  There were lots of learning points for them around navigation, first aid and what to carry (and not to carry) for an overnight camp.   The final act of the evening was to ensure the guy lines were tied down taut to prevent the wind blowing them over, as well as evacuating an unwell pupil :(

They had a ball at the camp site (occasionally too much!)  and awoke to sunshine and no rain on day 2 - up at 4am!!! and breakfast from 5-8am gave them enough time sort things out and us to get organised.

We set off on the last day - some too tired for obvious reasons - and made good time with more learning points along the way.The sun shone all too briefly and cloud moved over with gusts continuing but it was a huge improvement on day 1.   Another unwell evacuation tested logistics and planning but a very very helpful local joiner, returning from fishing on Loganlea Reservoir, took Bill and the IP to the RVP and saved the day.

All the young people (seemed) to have a great time and they all look forward to their assessment in June.

Quote of the expedition was 'how do you make powdered milk'.........I suppose we were all there once?!?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A Spin Around Glen Feshie

Craig and Bill went for a dash to Glen Feshie to scope out the route for day three of a forthcoming Duke of Edinburgh biking expedition.  It was a long day and much map pouring was involved.

 However, we were never, thankfully, lost and found some gems for a great final day on the bikes.   A long journey saw us cross streams, broken bridges and new locations for more visits.

All in, a very worth while trip; the biking and walking in Glen Feshie is amazing and I could easily find myself moving to this area in the future!?!!

The short video gives some idea of the location; it can hardly give it justice though - this is a hidden gold mine for future discovery :)  

We shall return no doubt.