Here's to messing around on bikes...
Marty, Jon, Dean, Jac and I undertook the traditional, if slightly belated, FBROTY* on saturday: The Legendary Mangrunt.
A gloriously sunny but damned chilly and breezy 10am saw us saddle up from Balmaha and automatically head for Conic Hill, until Jon and Marty realised their error and immediately veered right on some random track back to the road to avoid the gentle ascent, stunning views and rocky pinball madness of the descent... ho hum. ; )
There followed many miles of fire road through Queen Liz Forest Park - with a puncture, a crash and some kidz in bright red breeks to break the monotony of the snowy mountains, green trees and blue skies.
A few miles of road around Loch Arklet gave us more wind chill and stunning vistas of the Arrochar Alps before dropping us down to the Inversnaid Hotel at kilometre sixty. Hardly the jewel in the crown of Scotland's hospitality industry - but they had beer, sandwiches and cups of tea. I must also publicly apologise to Jac for the lack of hot chocolate - I was'nt aware the hotel kitchen need to be open for such culinary delights...
If you see a cowpat and a stone, what would you do?
Back on bikes for the home straight heading south on the west bank of the Bonny Bonny banks of Loch Lomond... Techy tight swoopy fast and slow. All sorts of good singletrack type things - with a few impromptu sessions on the more interesting bits.
Perhaps because of a week in Spain riding up hills quite a lot I somehow managed to clean a flight of step ups... I claim my twenty pounds of flesh, Mr Steel ; ) And Jon should claim his for a spirited clean of the big tree root step up - Marty has it on video I think.
A few more sharp ups and downs follow on from Rowardennan putting the Grunt in the Man, and zapping the strength from the legs we roll in to Balmaha a wee bit later than planned due to the extra miles at the start and the later time spent messing about on bikes. In fact the extra miles we added on have given us the Mangrunt DELUXE. Oh yes.
All jolly good fun. Riding bikes with your mates on ace, dry trails in the sun is quite splendid.
We should do it more.
*First Big Ride of The Year... hey, we made it before British Summer Time Started...