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

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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

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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

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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

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Peru – Sacred Single Track Day 2

16th May 2017 Left Cusco at 0800 and headed over the mountain pass in the van taking us in the direction of Pisac and into the Sacred Valley. Just after the village of Ccorao, we turned off the main road and started th 45min climb up a dirt track to 3600m and the top of the trail. This trail was a fantastic start to the longer descents I was expecting, fast, flowing lines with hidden corners and startled locals enjoying the morning sun. The GoPro footage would make for great viewing if it it wasn’t corrupt. So will have to work that one out, as the dubious river crossing will make good viewing! We joined the road for a short while, which resulted somehow, in Chris`s pedalls falling off three times in less than 10minutes. I didn`t think that was possible, but yes, it is! After the blast down the road, we jumped back on the trail, getting lost looking

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Peru – Sacred Single Track Day 1

14/15th May 2017 Well, first post, lets start with the most recent before I forget.  I stumbled upon a guided tour of Peru while looking for experiences of solo cycling holidays in Patagonia, turned out to be a lucky stumble. Provided by Saddle Skeddadle and partner Amazonas Explorer, it was a 14 day supported guided tour through the best singletrack trails to be found in the Sacred Valley, finished off with a trip to Machu Picchu.  Graded as a 4-5 on difficulty and skill required, I was immediately itching to get back on a mountain bike after 8 months of lycra and road miles in Rio.  Although road riding in Rio is arguably just as extreme as mountain biking! Won’t go into too much detail of the ‘real’ day 1, but I arrived on the 14th, and met out guide, Carlos Salazar and driver Percey.  Pair of heros.  The day was just phaffing about and getting acclimatised, met brothers Chris

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