I must have done something to deserve another great day out this week – this time it was biking down at the Nevis Range. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything other than pootle around Glengarry forest on my mountain bike, but when Rick and Anna said they were off to do the red 10 Under The Ben trail, Matt offered to look after Alby so I jumped at the chance to join in. I’m normally in my comfort zone on a blue ride, but have ridden a bit of red before and Matt confidently informed me it was a nice 10k route which wasn’t as intense as the Witch’s Trail Red we rode last time we were here. With this in mind, we happily set off along the first section, which ambled through forest on bumpy singletrack. After about 45 minutes we’d covered a good distance, some long uphill forest roads, quite a lot of single track, some scary boardwalk and a few decent downhills. Then we met the top of the forest road leading back to the car park, and I was surprised to see the signs pointing us away from this. I figured it must take a trickier route back, but we continued along forest roads for a while in what seemed like the wrong direction. To cut a long story short, another hour and quite a few expletives later we still hadn’t finished. The going was not too hard, although I do admit to a few squeals on some of the boardwalked sections, but it seemed to go on and on and on… I couldn’t believe it was only 10 kilometres.
When we did finally ride back into the car park to meet Matt and Alby I was absolutely shattered. A trip to the cafe next to the Farm Shop to recuperate was definitely on the agenda, but on the way we stopped in at the bike shop so that Matt could treat me to a pair of biking gloves. A chat with the lovely Maggie at Nevis Cycles revealed that the 10 Under The Ben was not, in fact, 10k but 11.7 miles, or 18.8 kilometres – almost twice as far as I’d signed up for. But there was a happy ending, as Maggie gave us some excellent discounts on our new gear, plenty of useful information for our next rides, and best of all some tickets for complementary tea and cake in the cafe next door – just what the doctor ordered. In the end I realised it was a good job I’d burned all those calories as I tucked into a toasted cheese sandwich, a slice of amazing lemon cake and a well earned cup of tea. I can highly recommend the cafe, the service and food were just the ticket after a tiring day’s riding, and can definitely recommend a trip to Nevis Cycles for anyone after a bargain or just some good advice on the local riding.
All in all it was a great day out, and a trail I can definitely recommend, just make sure you don’t expect it to be half as long as it is )
Click on the video below if you fancy whetting your appetite…