Bennachie – September 2017

September 2017   Only getting three rides in over 2 weeks is not a good average, but still made them count.  I always like starting off at Pitfichie, I know the trail well and it’s a god place to get a feel for the bouncy bike again, with enough pedalling to get your legs going.  The first climb,  ‘Hangover Hill’ was a complete slop fest, it’s a punchy climb in the dry nevermind the wet, the descent off Greenhill was also a mess, but actually felt good to get the bike dirty.  The rest of the trail was as normal, with me trying to chase down Dad on the unstoppable E-bike, then got the new brakes properly bedded in on the descent.  We came back over Greenhill to check out a new section of trail that was made for the Enduro there at the start of the year, disaster.  That quickly turned into an uncontroled slide between trees, but would

read more Bennachie – September 2017

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 11

25th May 2017 Ok, final day riding in this awesome place, and I was back at about 90% health!  We were back at the hotel we first stayed at when we arrived (Casa Esmeralda), and after a leasurly breakfast, myself and Carl were still keen to take on a couple more trails before returning the bikes.  So together with Carlos we blasted back down the first trail of the trip, it felt awesome.  This was the third time we’d been on this trail, so had a bit more confidence to let off the brakes, felt awesome, got a video of it this time too! Second trail was a new one, and not used often by bikes, quickly became clear why!  It was more of a slide down the hill bouncing off rocks than a descent!  But the second half dried out, and we had some nice technical sections through the forest.  The trail was called Devils Balcony due to the

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 11

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 10

24th May 2017 No bikes today.  But plenty recovery and a train journey, so not all bad news.  This was our only day off, for the purpose of visiting Machu Pichuu.  Light breakfast with green tea, and jumped on the train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Pichuu village, which was quite touristy, but thankfully less Pizza/Wifi/Coffee places. From the village we got the small bus to the site itself. I don’t really know how to describe it, it’s something that needs to be seen. The architecture and design are amazing, and nearly 90% of the stone work remains unchanged and undamaged. The only downside was the other tourists.  Carlos gave us some history lessons as we walked round, handy he used to be a tour guide there.  I overheard a few groups saying it felt really spiritual, but I didn’t buy into that, it`s just an awesome place to visit. I got myself round, feeling completely useless at my lack of

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 10

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 9

23rd May 2017 How wrong could I have been thinking a good sleep would sort me out.  Started the morning feeling deflated, and not at all excited about the I had been looking forward too the most. Riding the Inca Avalanche race course, twice.  I’d even studied the course on youtube the night before! In the 45km van ride to the top of the descent I felt horrendously sick, and could not keep warm. Stubbornness kept me going and I got half way down before getting the feeling I was going to crash.  I had no bike control and was riding terrible, was only holding on and hoping for the best.  I was walking sections I could easily do on any other day.  Despite being completely water logged, it was fast and technical, and would be fantastic in the dry.  Maybe a potential future adventure to take part in the race itself… We had lunch at a small fish farm,

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 9

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 8

22nd May 2017 Today was a grind, and certainly a regret that I don’t own, or thought to bring, a warm water proof jacket, new waterproof Troy Lee shorts were a good investment though. My bike got treated to a new rear wheel though, after the bearings in the old one exploded at the end of the day before. An hour drive from Ollantaytambo up to around 4500m of the Pumamarca pass, and the trail of the world’s highest enduro race. Bloody hell, what a nightmare, a challenge on foot nevermind a bike. Bogs, river crossings, off camber corners, death pit rock gardens, and to top it off it was raining. I’m a little annoyed at myself as I wasn’t riding well and let myself get frustrated. I also have no interest in riding in the wet. Anyway after lunch and a quiet work with myself I doubled up on jackets and got on with it, bombed down the jeep

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 8

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 7

21st May 2017 Breakfast and bags packed as we left Urubamba heading for Chinchero where we first stopped to have a look round a traditional weavers farm, where they demonstrated the methods of how they make thier fabrics for clothes and decoration from Alpaca and sheep’s wool. All very interesting, and expensive, as I then spend nearly all my cash at their stalls. Peruvians are good are notching up sales! But, small bonus of getting a cracking picture in a poncho and daft hat. Almost a local! From there we mounted the bikes and headed off for the first trail of the day, this time with a slightly better GoPro position, so maybe the footage will be worthwhile. This was another Inca trail, with plenty steps and rock drops, but still able to carry plenty speed, making use of the berms and rock jumps. The trail winded down the valley side to Urquillos. I think this was actually the most

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 7

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 6

20th May 2017 Preperation for this blog must have lost it`s excitment by this point, as my notes are starting to get lesser! Normal start again and in the van for to the top of the first trail, a little beyond the village of Maras in the village of Misminay.  The trail was an easier mix of cross country riding with some gentle but fun downhill. Or as Carlos put it, cross county-downhill. Just as well, a recovery day was needed after a few intense days riding. First trail took us through a small village with a bunch of friendly kids, then past the Inca terraces of Moray. This place was awesome, the Incas built these terraces to experiment with growing different types of crops, to find the best altitude and conditions to get the best produce. Each level of the terrance, just like the valleys in the region, has it`s own micro climate, so important to for them to

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 6

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 5

19th May 2017 Big day ahead, but nothing that wouldn’t seem normal in the UK, 4km with a 500m climb and 20km mixed cross country and fast single track descent. But with a starting altitude of 3800m, it wasn’t going to be easy. About another hour again in the van took us to the start of the trail. Immediately into the climb after getting loaded up with supplies for the day. The trail would take us to our most remote location of the trip, which I think added to the nerves of the phsicall effort needed. We started off near the village of Chinchero, to the east of Lake Puray and would finish up near Lamay, in an area called Sacllo. The climb was as expected really, started off OK, then turned into a complete slog as the air got even thinner and the legs started screaming. Not helped by the rocky track, which made it like cycling through a

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 5

Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 4

18th May 2017 Normal start time and a simple breakfast after eating too much last night, then back in the van at 0800. We’d be riding in the next valley along from where in yesterday, but starting from a far greater height.  After over an hour in the van, and turning uphill at the village of Calca, we reached the top of the Lares pass at 4461m, we walked for a bit to the top to warm up, any physical exertion was a struggle! In total we would descent around 2000m today, which we split into two sections, so we could do the fast upper section twice. This trail was an original Inca trail, most or the original features unspoilt since it was made. We stopped at an burial site, which was on the side of a cliff. The where grave robbers had found the tombs, robbing them leaving the bones exposed on the trail side. The trail itself was

read more Peru Sacred Single Track – Day 4

Peru – Sacred Single Track Day 3

17th May 2017 A completely different way to spend a birthday! Normal start time again, and getting into the routine of breakfast at 0730, all in the van by 0800. Today we headed to Lamay to ride two trails from different sides of the valley, but both ending in the square Lamay. At our request we got out of the van early to cycle to the start to warm up, good way to get the lungs going. Only 100m elevation gain, but it brought us to 3900m, and a grumpy lady how was not pleased to see us, but her dogs and Alpacas were. Lamay 1, the first trail, started of quite boggy but once the ground hardened we were flying. Few places had big drop offs to the right, so was a case of not looking right off the trail! The mid section of the trail was quite technical, with lots of steps and switch backs. Only one section

read more Peru – Sacred Single Track Day 3