Having had a quick reccy of the start of today’s run, Alan had done similar. Compromising to be done!
The band of 7 set out, up the road, then on to the new to most track. The first trail drops down quite dramatically and flows through the trees, it is a bit rooty. We get to the fairy doors, and there is an obligatory photo op!
Moving on we follow the train posts. This is again a touch more technical than most of the gaggle are used to. We come to what looks a bit like North Shore. It’s not, it has steps in it. KS gets unseated and falls in her usual slow motion style. SW, puts a foot off the boards and has to be helped before KS who is pinned under her bike can be righted. Rolling on we soon join up with the Speyside Way and cover ground we did yesterday only in the other direction.
At Loch Garten now there is a fair amount of plootering down the trails dodging crisps and mutts. When we finally emerge at Boat of Garten, we have covered about 8 miles (going be the road would have been four). My bike wont stay in the rack, so Alan magically produced a pandrol to put behind the wheel – job done. Scones and coffee consumed at The Boat, we head towards Aviemore on the Pine Martin trail. This track slowly deteriorates to a line of squashed grass. Hike a bike. I am at the back of the pack (pee stop) so when I career through the woods and over a tiny rise to catch up, my bar gets snagged on a bit of branch, and I take a tumble… They laugh.
At Aviemore now, we opt for the orbital. Again lots of crisps make this slow going. SW takes a tumble on a steep gravelly descent, while avoiding crisps and another wee dug. Shaken by this we head into the town centre and rest up with choccy biscuits. It surprising how much we all needed the boost.
Heading up the druie Road we turn in at the Dell Farm Road, smooth… PKC could learn a lot from this. We go through the farm and past bulls, in their individual parks.
On the road to Street of Kincardine now. The road is fast as we are wind assisted. Back into the woods now we follow the Osprey viewing trail and then cross back onto the Speyside Way again. We are on a charge to the accommodation now. On a particularly narrow and rocky corner, SS over eggs the pudding and her bike unceremoniously dumps her in the heather. Bruised and bashed her bike is lifted off her and she is helped to her feet – the heather gets a “fluffing up” too.
On the home stretch now, we retrace our route back through the woods to the cabin… Braw! Curry for tea. Washed down with fav beverages. 28 miles again today…. Tomorrow, Loch Ericht/pattack is the target.
There is something to be said for a fluid run, where route decisions were taken on the fly, and different members of the tribe take on the role of ride leader.