Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cashing in a full winter's Karma points

After an 18 month long winter culminating in snow for the May bank holiday, a decent July was very welcome. To celebrate the thaw I have had some nice long outings on the bike in the last month. A combination of stunning weather, bone dry trails and a newly refurbished Giant has made stoking up the miles a real joy. 

Highlights include: 

- Inverfaragaig to Inverness via the corkscrew road and the pass of the fair haired lads on a day where temperatures hit 28 degrees.  Only the polka dot jersey was missing. 

- a really nice round from home taking in part of the trail of the seven lochs. A fair bit of road but a beautiful section through the woods between Easterton and Bunachton. I had to go back and do it again.

- a long ride from Aviemore to Inverness on a now perfected Wade route. Follow the forest paths beyond the new estate on the west side of the A9 to Kinveachy then follow the route posted below past Sluggan and Slochd to Tomatin. You can just follow the Wade route from Lynebeg but its sketchy and was a green bog during the driest summer in 10 years - so it might be best to take the minor road to just past Moy where you go back across the A9 to the resurgent Wade road past the battle cairn. Do not take the path marked Wade's bridge - the bridge is worth seeing but the path dies against a quarry fence - but follow the forest road down past Auchbain to the Farr road. Then cross the River Nairn at Faillie Bridge - another fine Wade effort - and up the hill to Daviot woods and on to the Sneck itself.   A fine route for a warm day. Watch out for that river crossing before Sluggan - it seems like proof that Wade was a mountain biker. 

Some random images of the Aviemore-Inverness route are below. You should go find it - it's magic.

Looking back towards Lynebeg - there is a Wade Road somewhere under here

Wade bridge on the Midlairgs burn near Daviot quarry

Trail heaven - it really was this good
This portalavvy appeared on the trail at exactly the point when a thunderstorm broke - I do not think it is a Wade original.

Monument to the last battle the Jacobites won - Wade really did score a few own goals

Access for all!  - err......on second thoughts...

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