Day four and we have to be out the accommodation by 10:00. Its too early to go home, so a cunning plan of doing some more traffic free cycling it hatched. When i say hatched, the plan was conceived before we went but never spoken about until late into the beer and curry fuelled evening of day 3.
The route: To Loch Pattack from Dalwhinnie and back (obviously).
The refuge vacated (on time) we set off in convoy from Nethy Bridge to Dalwhinnie. The drizzle is hitting the windscreen, nobody is in any real hurry. We park up at station road, A train goes past… We set off and cross the main line. The wind is in our faces,. it will remain this way all the way to the Loch. Loch Ericht is quite small, with a man made dam at the Dalwhinnie end. Today it has what i would call “white horses” on it. There are timber works on the road, and a truck squeezes past us with it load of logs. This run is, and i quote, “relatively flat”. The track is smooth (mostly) and wide. We push on up and over the many undulations until we reach Ben Alder Lodge, where the right turn just goes up and up and up. Up for almost 2 miles solid. We all climb. We are strung out on the hill like Christmas lights on a tree (florescent, green and red) ,over the hill side.
Loch Pattack reached, there is little point in going far along the loch side as the drizzle is persistent and the wind more so! We scoff cake and chocolate before admitting that the weather was just not going to improve and we should just leave.
The descent, ah the descent, what a descent. I have gone off the front early and grinning like an idiot reach the only gate on the run. On reaching it, i wedge it open with my bike and wait for the magnificent seven to appear. They did come charging over the horizon, squirted past and left me standing on my lone some.
I set off and careered down the trail. awww they waited at the top of the next rise 🙂
Back to Dalwhinnie now, bikes all loaded we set off for some warming soup at a wee cafe in Blair Atholl. This is only delaying the inevitable.
Stats for the weekend 6 fall offs, no punctures, 2 pedals detached (same pedal) a ton of cheese not eaten, and about 700 miles cycled.