We decided to put our alpine training to the test by heading for the River Tilt Caravan Park, part of the Blair Atholl estate. From here we were to ride a scottish classic. 54km of varied terrain from estate tracks to natural singletrack taking in spectacular scenery.
The start of the ride was from the Old Bridge of Tilt car park heading towards and past Forest Lodge. The route follows the river Tilt. The scenery in the glen was fantastic. We soon reached the Bedford Bridge erected in memory of a young man who drowned here. The falls of tarf were stunning and a great spot for a bar break.
After a quick break it was time to follow the singletrack to where we were to cross Tarf Water. According to the guide the river can be dangerous following lots of rain.
|The trail to Fearlar Lodge|
|Careful not to get the feet wet|
The track climbed steeply to soon level out and become rideable again. The heather made for an interesting addition to the singletrack. The book suggests getting off the bike not to damage the ground. It was easy to see how this could happen as in places it was very boggy.
|Hiking the Bike|
This was quite a tough part of the ride as Fearlar lodge felt like it would never come. Fearlar lodge is the most remote farmstead on the Scottish mainland and it was not difficult to see how it earned that title!
|Heading towards Fearlar Lodge|
Through the lodge you pick up the main track to traverse and soon drop to the start of another climb. The climb was on a good surface and we knew a 7km descent awaited us from the top. It was just a shame that it was on a land rover track rather than the flowing singletrack we had been on previously!
The descent down to Daldhu went quick enough weaving between big mountains and feeling very remote. Daldhu was a group of houses that we navigated through before picking up an undulating track alongside the allt glen loch.
We were then faced with a steep rocky climb on the flank of Stac nam Bodach. It was rideable but tough! A great test at this point in the ride. At the top we had a great view of Beinn a Ghlo.
The book promised narrow superb singletrack to Shinagag and it was not mistaken. Cutting through the heather testing riding and navigation skills at times was a great descent to Shinagag.
From Shinagag we climbed a little more until we reached Loch Moraig. A good descent took us onto the road that dropped back to Bridge of Tilt. It was back for a shower and a well earned cup of tea. A great day and excellent scottish mountain biking.
|Heading towards Loch Moraig|