It wasn’t as cold as forecast nor as windy as Alan I set out for our exploration of paths less cycled. Mountain bikes are truly horrible when out of their natural mud plugging environment; That was the road up to Ballo.
On Ballo now, and the 29ers are rolling well on the forest trails, we opt for a less muddy option and once over the hill (no comment) we dropped back to the Lairds Loch. The muddy little path from here to Tullybaccart was causing some half crown tanner moments as the bikes do two wheel slides.
The Coupar road crossed and we start the gentle but relentless climb to the turbines – which were not turning. However, standing at their base looking up made me feel like I was going to fall over. The descent from here was chilly to say the least, free falling with one had as I pulled the Buff over my nose.
Now, we get to the Kaisers road and in true mystery tour style Alan nearly missed the turn… this would be because I never said we were going right :-). We go through three gates and cross a bridge before descending some stairs ( I got off to do the stairs). We are on the first of many disused rail lines now, heading for Jacobs Ladder. The track is impressive as it runs through a stone canyon, natural or carved – you choose! The track deteriorates as we near what is signposted as Jacobs ladder.. the track runs out… I think somebody has made off with the ladder – we never saw it. However all is not wasted as we found a path to the”Polish Priest’s Cross”.A plan is hatched to walk to this on New Years day with flasks of hot tea and turkey sandwiches. We head back the way we came, and I stop to open a gate. what a shock to the system when Alan tries to park his handle bar in my rear end!!! We head back towards Newtyle. I am careful to keep Alan and his wayward bars ahead of me. We descend another flight of stairs from the rail track and head off down a guttery wee path with more mole hills than you want to roll over and more two wheel slides than is comfortable.
Tarmac now before cutting back into the woods again and crossing yet another disused track. We cross the Newtyle to Meigle road and negotiate the weird barrier that I think is there to stop bikes 🙂 Back on the track we come to a platform. Dropping off the track we go through the woods and finally pop out on to the road to Meigle at the Belmont Arms.
Cruising to Meigle I steal the 30’s and get to the Joinery for tea and scones. The fire is lit and we warm up. The down side is we don’t want to leave :-(.
We leave and head towards Ardler. But, there is a track to enjoy just off to the left, which of course we have to take… It follows today’s theme. The sleet starts, it is not nice. We spot a burned out tractor and bailer… looks like the sleet arrived to late for that. Through Ardler now and the sleet is persistent.
This adventure was brought to you by the “Alans alternative to the prostate exam – going in hard, deep and fast”