After a few days of walking I was keen to try out my new mountain bike in the mountains, so we headed to Blair Atholl where there was a short Munro for Becky and a good MTB loop for me.
We started the day by heading up Glen Tilt together until Forest Lodge. Becky then headed up Carn a’ Chlamain and I continued up the valley. The biking up Glen Tilt was very straightforward up good estate tracks which enabled excellent progress to be made.
The biking became more interesting as I turned off the main estate track and headed down to the Falls of Tarf. After an enjoyable section of rough estate track and single track I was soon at the river crossing, thankfully due to the dry weather recently the river was low and I managed to keep my feet dry.
After pushing my bike up the very steep and loose hill behind the river crossing there was a long section of gently uphill single track towards the very remote Fealer Lodge. This section was surprisingly tiring, but very interesting, however it was a bit of a relief to see the lodge and know that an easier section was approaching.
After the lodge was more estate track, which has had some significant work done on it recently. A long but not too hard pull up rewarded me with a long descent down to Daldhu. This is when the serious uphill started, which tested both my ascending ability and fitness.
Eventually I got to the end of the ascent and had the single track descent down into Glen Girnaig to look forwards to. The descent certainly did not disappoint, but my bike fitness was certainly showing and by the time I got back to the estate track I was just wanting to get home with as little effort as possible.
Unfortunately the wind had other ideas, and the gently descending estate tracks required plenty of effort to keep moving!
Having not ridden a bike outside of a trail centre for many years, I was pretty pleased with having ridden a 54km loop in 5h30min. Looking forward to getting out on the bike again.