Thursday, 23 June 2016

Glencoe Mountain Resort - Red Downhill Track

04/06/2016

A road trip to the...
 "Glencoe Mountain Resort" 
...for a day on the downhill tracks with mtb buddies John, Greig, Iain & Bryan.
We were all full of enthusiasm as none of us had ridden here before. The week before we came the Sottish Downhill Association were racing here & through the week some of the worlds best riders were training here before the UCI World Cup at Fort William which was the day after we visited. 



The black graded downhill track from here looked almost vertical. Through the week some of the worlds top downhill riders were along here practicing for the UCI mountain bike world cup just a few miles along the road at Fort William it would of been great to be here to watch them ply their trade, speak to them, check their bikes out & get selfies with them....as you do !

The Glencoe trails notably the red downhill which we done but there's also a black even tougher downhill track as well as the blue cross country trail.
'Stob Dearg' meaning the red peak - 'Buachaille Etive Mor' meaning the big herdsman of Etive.
The mountain is 1021 metres / 3349 feet & is Scotlands 110th highest munro.
Stob Dearg is the highest peak of Buachaille Etive Mor & one of the most famous sights of the Highlands. The mountain presents a huge pyramid of rock to travellers along the A82 across Rannoch Moor.
This is also the mountain on my blog header picture from when I done the West Highland Way in 2012.

For a fee of £25 you can take the ski chair lift to the top of the downhill trails all day long, a nice treat not having the hard work cycling up hills for a change.




The views just got better & better the higher the chair lift went with peace & quiet breathing in the smell of the Highlands.








It doesn't look like it in the pictures but it was a really hot day & looking down to the rocky crags below with the snow melt water flowing down the mountain cascading over countless waterfalls it looked all too tempting to stand under a waterfall to cool down.




Nearing the top of the chair lift ride the munro Meall a'Bhuiridh comes into view, still covered in patches of snow, there are also ski tows to the top.
The munro is 1108 metres / 3635 feet & is Scotland's 45 highest peak.



After about a 15 minute ride to the top the bikes are off & ready to rock'n'roll !

But before we take off down the red graded downhill track, a quick team photo.





The first run down the red track was just a fairly slow exploratory ride to see what technical features we would face when bombing down the track at speed, Iain only made a couple of hundred yards from the top & got a puncture. More or less the whole route down is a boulder field with some sections more rocky than others to negotiate & Iain's bike was not the only casualty of the day he also bent a brake lever & John buckled his front wheel so badly it was unrideable, my front wheel took a slight twist too. Four out of the five of us all crashed at some point fortunately with no serious injuries apart from Greig who managed to stay on his bike due to him riding downhill like an old age pensioner out for a Sunday drive ;-)
After each run down we would meet up at the car park for a blether & had a good laugh talking about some of the 'moments' we had on the way down. Greig, Bryan & Iain brought a BBQ which was amazing scoffing bacon & sausage rolls while having a laugh & every now & then we would see some casualties other riders had sustained as they limped about the car park with torn clothes, bloodied & bruised.



These paraglider dudes were also using the ski lift to get so far up the mountain & then walked higher to their launch point, it looked great fun as they rode the thermals & they gained some height soaring like seagulls & some of them even managed to get over to the Buachaille & were flying around the mountain, they must of had awesome views from up there.

Not a lot of pictures to this blog post I'm afraid as I left the camera,  other breakables & back pack in the van just in case they got damaged or broken, since this is a downhill venue & I wanted to give it what for & go as fast as I could.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed Glencoe as much as we did, personally speaking it was one of the best day's riding Iv'e ever had on an mtb & it won't be long before I'm back at this awesome venue.
Thanks for reading.