Riding straight from our hotel we warm up on a road ride alongside the river A’Ghairbhe before turning off at Loch Clair. We switch to double track passing rapids and waterfalls through the Coulin estate, the climbing really starts, steep, technical singletrack, I walk the first few hundred yards…
As the gradient eases off most of us start pedaling, trying not to clatter pedals on rocks and the edge of the trail. Water bars across the trail require navigation, a subtle shift in body to transfer weight off the front then the rear to avoid casing a wheel and the inevitable pinch puncture.
As we climb the scenery gets bigger. This is a blue sky start to the day, Chris, our guide from H+I Adventures has been watching the forecasts, not just one forecast but several, watching the way the weather is going to develop during the course of the day, by his reckoning we have a weather window from the start of our ride until about 4pm or just after. The views from the top of the climb are worth the hard work, Chris assures us the descent is equally spectacular.
Well, I didn’t stop to take any pictures during the down part of this section of riding, having way too much fun, as descents go this is up there with the best of them, steep, slab rock sections, gnarly, grippy, as fast as you dare. We pop out next to the station at Achnashellach. Another road section follows before we are back on the double track. Climbing again up a wide valley we look behind us and see the weather beginning to close in, but its still in the far distance and we are making good time we should be good to go up and over the mountains.
A big day out in the mountains of Torridon, Chris’s weather window ends ten minutes after we enter the car park where Chris had parked the van and trailer earlier in the day, making the 17K ride back to the hotel whilst we were still in bed and most notably before his weather window opened, whilst it was still pouring rain, above and beyond sir. So was it just luck that we timed this ride pretty much to perfection or hard work, well as my grandma always used to say, the harder you work the luckier you get and with the luck we had that day you can be sure there was some hard work behind it!!