Planning, Dreaming, Planning

We’ve been fortunate here in Scotland in that outdoor exercise has been allowed at all lockdown levels and so the trails and roads I have in my lockdown patch of 297km2 are now getting just a little bit well travelled…

Sitting here in the middle (hopefully) of the latest lockdown, I got to thinking about the elements that that I most enjoy in my riding to help me plan some new rides and give me a good reason to break out the maps. Here’s five things that I’ve got scribbled down on post-its to inform my planning.

The Pointless Challenge – I currently have two on the cards: The Local Hour – during lockdown last year I came up with a plan to hit every trail in my local woods in an hour – all the main tracks and all the cheeky bits of singletrack that run off them. I reckon it’s a go-er, but one for after a spell of dry weather as some of the trails up there are quagmires at the moment.

Hunter’s Trail – my local authority+5 just gets me into the Campsie Fells – an upland area that lies between Glasgow and Stirling in central Scotland – so I’ve stitched together a hotchpotch of forest roads, MTB trails, windfarm access track, road and and trackless bog. Type Two Fun is guaranteed.

Islands – a recurring theme for trips away over the past few years has been islands. Scotland has over 900 offshore islands and they offer adventurous riding of all kinds – MTB, road, gravel. From Arran in the south to South Rona off Skye, I’ve chucked my bike on ferries, ribs and old fishing vessels in search of adventure. Stunning scenery, great trails, some big seas, sea eagles, bothies, whales, dolphins, mild hypothermia and cyclocross racing on Mull too. More please!

Top o’ the hill – having now knocked off almost 50 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet/ 914.4 m) on a bike, I’m starting to run out of ones where dragging a bike to the summit makes sense. So it’s time to look at the list of 222 Corbetts for some fun riding, although ticking off a nice round 50 Munros is a bit too tantalising…

Overnighters – the lack of road trips last year was one of the most frustrating things when I looked back at my 2020 ride log. Bothy trips, bike packing and the relative luxury of bunkhouses and hostels beckons this summer. Time to have a pop at one of the bigger coast-to-coast rides? Return to Tech – 2020 was distinctly lacking in technical MTB rides in the hotspots– only a couple of trips to Funkeld and a slither around the above-my-skill-set-trails of Aberfoyle. Definitely felt a bit rusty on the steep and twisty stuff, but it’s going to be rad getting that aspect of my riding back into good order. We’d love to hear from you over on our social media channels to find out what you have planned – Facebook / Instagram / Twitter.



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