Finally got out for a ride with a bit of adventure yesterday. I’d actually meant to include a bivi but Saturdays crap weather extended far beyond what was forecasted so my usual weather wimp out made it a day ride, albeit rather long. Started at Dalwhinnie, down Loch Ericht and over into the Pattack. Cloud was right down so no photies! There is a hydro scheme in progress here and technically the track down the pattack is shut and you have to divert onto a ‘walking trail’ which is a none existent death march. Being a Sunday no-one was working so I rode on down the track through the works and over to Lochan Earba. The cloud started to lift and finally got some views ascending strath Ossian. There are three more hydro schemes going off up here but the contractors seem happy for people to walk and cycle through the works access tracks.
Track over to Loch Rannoch from Ossian. This was the reason for this ride as I’ve been meaning to do this route for yonks. Its been substantially upgraded to a nice smooth track as part of two more hydro schemes and makes what used to be a slog a breeze. Definitely an amazing part of the world and one of the UK’s biggest wildernesses with vast areas of moor, no roads and only the West highland line in the middle.
After a brief bit of road along to Loch Rannoch it was up over the track back to Loch Ericht and a late lunch at Ben Alder cottage (the boggy bit was quite boggy!)
Thereafter over the Bealach dubh and a proper hoon down to Culra and back to the car, all in blazing sunshine. At the top of the pass I noticed for the first time the wreckage of an aircraft which apparently is actually a Wellington bomber which crashed in the war.
All in all 78 miles of which only 4 were on road. It would have been shorter starting at Loch Rannoch but for various reasons I started at Dalwhinnie – it was nice finishing with the Ben Alder descent however.