Newton Bridge to Aberfoyle via Glenalmond and Glen Ample.
Itching to get out bikepacking after several aborted plans due to snow and freezing conditions I decided on doing a shorter version of the Rob Roy Way staring at Newton Bridge in the “Sma Glen”.
The plan was to camp at Dunan as i knew there was some decent flat grassy areas to pitch up my tent so all I had in front of me was a 12 mile cruise to Dunan. This turned out to be harder than anticipated as there was a strong headwind blowing down the Glen.
On reaching Dunan I pitched up in a sheep pen which was relatively free of sheep Jobbies and set about gathering scraps of wood and dried grass to build a fire… and to stop me going to my kip too early. It turned out to be worthwhile as there was a distinct chill in the air that night.
After a good kip and an all day breakfast I headed off down the big descent to Loch Tay, the skies decided to open up here so I was glad to land at the road and into a spot of weak sunshine. The Sleeves were rolled up and big gears engaged for the undulating narrow road section, this was a case of just getting it over with as the big climb up the Moor on the RRW was my next target. This proved to be a dreich affair as the cloud was down and constant rain did its best to piss me off but… No, I just kept mashing the pedals like a demented roadie and got it over and done with without stopping.
I bypassed Killin as its only a unattractive village that has a bridge with dozens of people milling around the Falls of Dochart.
A burger was scoffed at the stall in Glen Ogle after climbing up from Killin and that went down a treat along with several cups of char.
I burped and rifted my way down the Sustrans track in Glen Ogle and turned off to head up Glen Ample. This turned out to be a tough climb with bags on but I managed most of it… only failing on a steep grassy section and a short boulder ridden climb, so I was quite chuffed when I reached the top of the Glen.
I humped and hawed whether to keep on going to Callander or not as I had a good few hours to spare but in the end I decided to camp here as there was a nice pitch with a waterslide nearby.. I had a freezing cold wash in the Waterfall and darted about until darkness forced me to get in my sleeping bag and put on my I-pod.
A bloody wee bird woke me up at dawn with its greatest hits and that lasted an hour before a Cuckoo took over the microphone. Needless to say I was back in my kip for another two or three hours before setting up Brekkie.
I had a mobile sign here so I phoned my good lady to pick me up at Aberfoyle instead of Drymen as I wanted back early-ish as I had things to do.
The trail to Callander flew by in a jiffy so I stopped for a can of Coke and a rollie amid the Blue rinses and the ice cream eaters before hauling my way up the Rob Roy Way to Braeval which turned out to be rather muddy and wet in places…. anyhoo Aberfoyle was soon reached and a couple of pints downed in a beer garden to round things off. Yes I have missed the Bikepacking and this wee taster brought my enthusiasm back to plan longer and tougher routes in the future. I Must admit that this ride was done at a nice pace and I could have went much further and much faster but bikepacking makes you see things differently…all that was missing was some roll up papers and a pouch of weed to chill out the ride even more.. This is as far away from Enduro type riding and the usual YouTube gopro videos as is possible…… and for me and some others I guess, is a good thing. 🙂
A late Friday night start at Newton Bridge.
Cosied up for the night.
I am the firestarter, the twisted firestarter.
This is what bikepacking is all about
They say Tom Jones has one of these in his garden..
Loch Tay. Not the prettiest of Scottish Lochs.
Turn off here for the slog up the RRW
Burger and tea time . Who needs Cliff energy bars and gels.
Tum tee tum....wonder what's for tea.
The lower part of Glee Ample
I have always descended Glen Ample but this is the first time I have climbed it.
An ideal pitch at the top of Glen Ample.
Well... One must wash.