The final instalment of the first chapter

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whitestone
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The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by whitestone » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:03 pm

I had occasionally wondered if it had been forgotten about. Now it's appeared from the darkest depths of Stuart's mind - https://bearbonesbikepacking.blogspot.c ... art-5.html

Nice T-shirt :-bd
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htrider
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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by htrider » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:38 pm

Stu, you've alluded to you 2013 Highland trail attempt a few times - what actually happened?

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:59 pm

Stu, you've alluded to you 2013 Highland trail attempt a few times - what actually happened?
Chew and myself made an attempt in the April. Things were going reasonably well for the first couple of days then my knee started to twinge. That got worse and worse until I was pretty much pedalling with one leg and had real difficulty walking. I forget quite where we were now but Chew (very sensibly) called a halt after quietly watching me spend 15 minutes trying to lift my leg over the bike.

We ended up on Skye and then getting the ferry back across followed by the train to Tyndrum.
#corporate shill for hire

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htrider
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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by htrider » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:54 pm

Tah for that, wondered about the snow on your photo in the history article, it was still winter that April as I recall :-bd

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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by voodoo_simon » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:06 pm

Always loved that picture in the article :-bd

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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by Chew » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:35 pm

htrider wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:38 pm
What actually happened?
Maybe this will be in the book, but we travelled up on the Saturday an I picked Stu up near Preston and built up the bikes in preparation for an early start.

Next more set off from Tyndrum and got over the Devils Staircase and dropped into Kinlochleven to pick up supplies. As we left town, Stu’s rear wheel was out of alignment in his single speed frame so we stopped to adjust it.
Ping....the bolt sheared....

No bike shops for miles around, the only option seemed to be to knock on doors to see if we could buy one off the locals.

Now, if someone knocked on your door looking like a tramp asking if you had a spare 135mm QR they could buy, you can imagine the luck we had...
Final chance before we would have had to call it a day, we found a house with various bits of junk in the back garden, including some bikes. Stu knocked on the door, parents where out and initially the teenage boy who opened the door didn’t seem interested until, his eyes lit up when presented with a shiny £20 note, which was duels exchanged for the rustiest QR you have ever seen.

At least, it got us back on our way again. We made our way across to he river crossing at Luibeilt, which was a bit higher and flowing faster than we envisaged. After getting wet, we divided to head to the Bothy to get out of the wind, and have something to eat.
As we opened the door a dog came running out, and when your cold wet and hungry your heart sinks that the place will be full.

You soon perk up when you discover it’s occupied by two chatty Norwegian blonde ladies... rather than Geoff and Kevin the 68 year olds from Glasgow...
After warming up a bit and eating, Stu says “right, shall we push on a bit”
“Well we could stay here....”
Then I got that look, that we should crack on a bit further, so we left to go back into the cold.

The next section is the unrideable bit to Loch Treig.
It was getting dark and the wind was picking up so we opted for an early night in the abandoned house next to the bridge.

We had lost some time the day before, but it was early in the trip, so we had an early start hoping that we’d make it up over the rest of the week.
Over to Lagan and over Corrieyairack Pass, to pick up supplies in Fort Augustus before the push along the edge of Loch a Chrathaich. When researching the route I’d spotted the small hut on the next section, so we poked our head in to have a look.
Small and well kept, this information was passed on to a few others use as the first nights stop in the following year.

Once again we set off over the hill, but as we dropped into Cannich. Stu was ahead the bike it something and got out of slightly out of shape, and instinctively Stu put his leg out to stop falling off.
Nothing spectacular, but I could see Stu was in pain, but at this point in time there wasn’t much we could do but to roll into Cannich, grab something to eat and see what the options were.

I could tell that the way Stu hobbled of the order, that it was something that he could ride off, so we had to weigh up the options.
By this time we’d fallen further behind schedule, so we would be hard pushed to continue and it seemed unwise to continue further away from civilisation.
I knew that if we cut across Glen Affric that would pop us out near the Skye bridge and then a short ride across to catch the ferry back home.

At this point, either Stu’s knee wasn’t too bad, or he was putting on a brave face so we headed up Glen Affric it’s the aim on getting to Camban Bothy for the night. It’s all a good track, but the weather closed in to the point where we had to pedal downhill into the block headwind. We eventually got there thankful of the shelter for the night.

What we didn’t know was bike a hike section which was coming up the next day. You’d push your bike around the corner and see a trail which looked rideable, only to find it wasn’t when you got there. The scenery made up for it, but any that section finished off Stus knee.
At that point we didn’t have much choice, so Stu just had to grin a bare it until we could get on the road and hopefully be able to spin along the road back to the ferry

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composite
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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by composite » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:22 pm

That 2014 Bearbones200 was a really tough one. 26hours! it took me. First time I had done a single pull over 24hours.

The hike-a-bike on that route was one of the few times I thought there were no redeeming features for what so ever. Much of the time a bit of tough hike-a-bike gets you somewhere nice or means you don't have to go the long way round but that section neat Pont y Brenhin was just terrible for the sake of it. :|

In fact, there were plenty of good bits on that route north of Barmouth but my road/gravel trip 2 weeks ago was closest I have ever got to that area since. It's making me think I should go do a bivi up there once things blow over.

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Re: The final instalment of the first chapter

Post by slarge » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:31 pm

I'm enjoying these write ups of the first years. They bring back memories of the forays into bikepacking, and eating bacon sarnies at BB towers after the BB200's

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