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Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!


Postby J888ohn » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:02 pm

Route description: Carn a'Chlamain

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Chlamain

Date walked: 05/04/2017

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 26.4 km

Ascent: 860m

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**Discalimer - Only for munros with long, gradual walk ins!**

That's me out and about for 2017 and I'd been looking at the two from Old Bridge of Tilt for bike 'n' hikes for a while. Today it was time to see if it would be advantageous.

First dilemma was what to wear. Usually when I'm mountain biking I've got padded shorts and an old pair of trail shoes on. This gave me a few issues. Firstly the pack on my back would be heavy enough without adding hiking boots to it (I don't do walking in trail shoes due to my tendency to trip over things and roll my ankles :roll: ), secondly I knew this would be land rover trails and didn't want my nether regions pulverised but didn't want to scare some poor hiker with my hairy ass getting changed into hiking trousers :lol: . In the end I opted for cycling in my hiking gear which proved to be very comfortable once I got over my fashion conscience and tucked the right trouser leg into my sock to stop it catching on the gears.

After a leisurely start to my day I got to the Glen Tilt car park about 10am. This was well sign posted from the main road through Bridge of Tilt. There was a low arch bridge to go though marked at 2.9m. Having not bothered to measure the height of the car with the bike on the roof I went through this hoping I had aimed for the middle and wasn't about to have a comedy bridge strike. :shock:

It's not a day out in the hills with me without some sort of navigational mishap and today was no different. I was actually planning to go to Beinn Dearg however I turned my GPS on, it decided to do a software update and wiped my waypoints. :thumbdown: Back to the old map then and with the help of the maps at the car park I decided the green arrowed trail was what I had to follow. Navigational fail again!!!!!! Anyway once I realised I was at the eastern side of the rifle range I knew I was on the way to Carn a'Chlamain and kept cycling along. One thing to mention was the rebound from any potholes due to the weight of my pack and having no rear suspension. If I wanted to avoid having my bike surgically removed from my nether regions and a buckled wheel I had to keep my eyes on the trail instead of looking around. :lol: :lol:

P1030818 (640x480).jpg
Nice view and the trail in.


I should mention the substantial uphill close to the start of this walk that goes past Ballanloan Farm. It was enough to make me get off the bike and wonder what I was doing. Stick with it as afterwards the trail is undulating with a cracking downhill through the rifle range. Plus on the way back I managed to hit 36mph coming down the hill!!! :lol: :clap:

Once out the rifle range I crossed Gilberts Bridge which is where the cycle began to get really scenic.

P1030819 (640x480).jpg
River Tilt at Gilberts Bridge


The trail follows the river all the way and I went past a couple of cottages. Pity the trees and heather haven't quite got into Spring yet, I'll need to do Beinn Dearg in the summer to see some colour. I crossed the River TIlt once more over a lovely stone archway bridge and after 5.3 miles I came across a new bridge going over the Allt Craoinidh with an obvious trail heading uphill. This was where I ditched the bike and started hiking. 33 mins to cycle here.

P1030820 (640x480).jpg
Start of hiking trail just to the side of my cycle helmet


You really do feel your first hike after a winter lay off. I was huffing and puffing after a few hundred meters. Luckily the path through the heather met up with another (or maybe the same, I didn't investigate) land rover track. The pic below shows the crossroads I found at the end of the trail through the heather. Take the trail on the right that you can see zig zagging uphill. It's a case of marching up this for most of the way.

P1030822 (640x480).jpg
Crossroads


To be honest it wasn't the most exciting hike, until the RAF arrived and put on a show low flying (at about 400m I think) with Hawk, Tornado and Eurofighter jets through Glen Tilt. When they turned they got that stream of white vapour pouring off their wing tips. Absolutely amazing to sit and watch as a fighter jet passes by at eye level!!! :clap:

So I kept plodding uphill and eventually I got a view of the summit of Carn a'Chlamain.

20170405_110715 (640x360).jpg


The track goes off to the right of the summit and soon I saw the long shoulder I would have to take. Here I left the track and joined another trail through the heather which is easy to spot and marked with a cairn should the weather be naff.

20170405_113851 (640x360).jpg
Path to the summit


This was steep to begin with but after a little effort the terrain flattened out and I got a good view of the final walk to the summit. Thankfully I checked MWIS before I came out and it was right on the money. Blustery and cold up here so it was time to get the jacket and winter woollies on.

20170405_120329 (640x360).jpg
Walk to the summit


As you can see I'd met another (or still the same) land rover track. I seemed to be taking a more direct route so wasn't really bothered if it was the same track. The last bit to the summit is a path through some scree but its over in a minute. Nice to have views but everything was a little brown and dull still. Beinn Dearg didn't look that far off and I can see how people are tempted to go for it.

20170405_121624 (640x360).jpg


20170405_121630 (640x360).jpg


20170405_121638 (640x360).jpg


20170405_121643 (640x360).jpg


20170405_121714 (640x360).jpg


So just a simple case of retracing my steps back to the bike, or was it.......... :?: To be fair it was, however I ended up on another trail, I'll call this one an overgrown land rover trail, that traversed along the ridge above the trail I'd taken on the way up. This was much mossier and overgrown and was much kinder on my feet so I was glad to be on it. It joined up with the original trail a bit further down and it didn't take long to get back to the bike. 2 hours all in for the hiking section.

20170405_124400 (640x360).jpg
The other trail I took on descent


The beauty of a bike 'n' hike is, apart from the time saving, the ride back should be mostly downhill. And it was, apart from the big ass hill back through the rifle range. I had to stop for a breather going up this. Then it was flat and a big downhill all the way to the car park :thumbup: 27 mins for the cycle back and I was home by 4pm, as promised, so I could give the car to the wife so she could go cycling after work.

Bike 'n' hike has opened up a whole raft of possibilities for me now, and munros accessible without having to get up at silly o'clock in the morning. Now most of the Cairngorms from Braemar don't seem too far (and I might be able to join a few of them up), the five south of Invervey are achievable in a day as are the Ben Alder group. Even Fisherfield might be possible in a day. No turning back for me now, if it's got a long, gradual walk in I'll be on my bike. :D
Last edited by J888ohn on Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby Jaxter » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:34 pm

Nice one dude - I've always felt totally uninspired by these two, but there's a Corbett around there somewhere too so was thinking about linking that in. Biking adds an extra dimension though doesn't it :thumbup: :D
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby J888ohn » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:08 pm

Jaxter wrote:Nice one dude - I've always felt totally uninspired by these two, but there's a Corbett around there somewhere too so was thinking about linking that in. Biking adds an extra dimension though doesn't it :thumbup: :D


Corbett? What's a Corbett? lol. Biking is def the way to do these. My feet were louping when I got to the bike and the walk back would've been horrible. Half an hour of cycling with no feet issues and I'm back at the car.
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby rockhopper » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:24 pm

Yup - good area for a bike 'n hike.
Now you're started, there'll be no stopping you - just don't mention it to the purists :wink:
There're quite a few hills, corbetts included, to the summits of which you can cycle. Like you, I tend to cycle in hillwalking gear if the gradients aren't too steep and use flat pedals - if very steep and/or a lot of cycling, I'd take a bike with clipless pedals and cycling shoes - a bit of a faff to change them but they're a lot lighter than my boots.
And as for the corbett beside Carn a'Chlamain, here's an option........cheers :)

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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby Jaxter » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:30 am

rockhopper wrote:Yup - good area for a bike 'n hike.
Now you're started, there'll be no stopping you - just don't mention it to the purists :wink:
There're quite a few hills, corbetts included, to the summits of which you can cycle. Like you, I tend to cycle in hillwalking gear if the gradients aren't too steep and use flat pedals - if very steep and/or a lot of cycling, I'd take a bike with clipless pedals and cycling shoes - a bit of a faff to change them but they're a lot lighter than my boots.
And as for the corbett beside Carn a'Chlamain, here's an option........cheers :)
Blair Atholl 20aug2011 active log.gpx

Ahh smashing, added to the plan!! :thumbup:
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby Guinessman » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:42 am

There are loads of possibilities John. Linn of Dee to Geldie Lodge for An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir, Glen Callater for Lochnagar, Linn Of Dee to Derry Lodge for the southern cairngorms, Glen Affric to Altbeithe for the munros there, Craig up to Slugain Lodge, loads.

When I,ve done bike and hike I cycle in my walking boots and wear padded shorts over my hiking trousers.
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby ridgerunner » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:16 pm

Guinessman wrote:When I,ve done bike and hike I cycle in my walking boots and wear padded shorts over my hiking trousers.


Despite having biked in many times , wearing padded shorts on top has never even crossed my mind!
But now you have mentioned this, it does make some sense if one has a baggy pair and can turn a blind eye to the look.
Were you perhaps a Marvel comics/Superman fan in your youth?
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby J888ohn » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:03 pm

Guinessman wrote:There are loads of possibilities John. Linn of Dee to Geldie Lodge for An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir, Glen Callater for Lochnagar, Linn Of Dee to Derry Lodge for the southern cairngorms, Glen Affric to Altbeithe for the munros there, Craig up to Slugain Lodge,


Cheers Guinessman. I'll add them to the bike 'n' hike list. I'd better tell the wife I'll be stealing her car alot this year!
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby Jaxter » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:30 pm

J888ohn wrote:
Guinessman wrote:There are loads of possibilities John. Linn of Dee to Geldie Lodge for An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir, Glen Callater for Lochnagar, Linn Of Dee to Derry Lodge for the southern cairngorms, Glen Affric to Altbeithe for the munros there, Craig up to Slugain Lodge,


Cheers Guinessman. I'll add them to the bike 'n' hike list. I'd better tell the wife I'll be stealing her car alot this year!

Or wear your big boy pants and cycle from home :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby dogplodder » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:39 pm

Didn't use a bike but have to admit to even easier access with a guy who taught at a school that had permission to drive in to Marble Lodge. :shh:

Not sure it did me much good though as I vividly remember feeling sick on the first part of the ascent up that track and thinking I could have done with a bit of a level walk in to get me going gradually! There's no pleasing some folk. :lol:
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby mamoset » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:37 pm

Agree with you john, bike n hike saves loads of time. I did the Tilt two in January using a bike, was definitely the way to go :thumbup:

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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby J888ohn » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:06 pm

[/quote]Or wear your big boy pants and cycle from home :lol: :lol: :lol:[/quote]

Aye Bonnybridge to Old Bridge of Tilt. Nae bother Jackie, should only take an hour ;)
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby Guinessman » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:10 pm

ridgerunner wrote:
Guinessman wrote:When I,ve done bike and hike I cycle in my walking boots and wear padded shorts over my hiking trousers.


Despite having biked in many times , wearing padded shorts on top has never even crossed my mind!
But now you have mentioned this, it does make some sense if one has a baggy pair and can turn a blind eye to the look.
Were you perhaps a Marvel comics/Superman fan in your youth?
no but it helps if your biking shorts are the same colour as your trews ! John add to the list Dalwhinnie into the Ben Alder group, Attadale to bendronaig bothy for Lurg mhor and cheesecake, Inverleal up the Beinn Dearg group you can cycle for about 3 miles.
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Re: Bike 'n' hike, the way forward!

Postby naepace » Sun May 07, 2017 9:24 pm

Keeping a close eye on these, I fancy giving this 'hike n bike' a try.
Any more suggestions folks ?
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