Header image header image 2  
Cycling Club
  || HOME ||
Weekend away in Scotland and the Lake District

Saturday July 27th 2011

Usually Stockport Clarion’s mountain biking trips are local events involving no car journeys or camping but this time was different. The idea to go to Scotland quickly snowballed and ended up involving 7 riders.

  • Things just fell into place with me (Emmy) suggesting the weekend
  • Sam and Andy booking us in at the most wonderful campsite
  • Mark and Maggie bringing a complete outdoor kitchen and dining room
  • Dave supplying the crisps and dips
  • Oliver just bringing his usual self, this time in a French disguise

Pictures and a video

Saturday: Mabie

After a quick blast around Mabie to warm up we had a lovely BBQ in the sunset where sausages and burgers were consumed from the numerous little disposable BBQs that were expertly looked after by Dave.

Kirroughtree Trail Centre

Without any rush, allowing for barbecued bacon for breakfast, we were ready for Kirroughtree trail centre the next morning. The weather was spectacularly nice and sun cream had to be liberally applied before setting off on the trail. Most people had done the McMoab section before but to me, Dave and Oliver it was the first time. Thankfully we were able to have a go at it with fresh legs. Consisting of huge stretches of grippy bedrock with painted blue arrows to follow, we slowly went around the area, almost like a trail centre in miniature! The last drop was left for Mark to demonstrate his total lack of self-preservation and for us to peer over the edge feeling waves of vertigo. During the day Andy gave us nice demonstrations of his automatically adjustable seat post which seemed as fun to play with off the bike as it would be useful while on the bike.

Maggie's Moment

Despite the dangers along the way there were no major injuries or crashes (not even from Oliver) apart from Maggie’s over the handlebar moment after trapping her front wheel between two rocks. She appeared remarkably calm and happy to ride on and since there isn’t any photographic evidence must have quickly picked herself up from the floor before the paparazzi gathered.

At the lunch stop Andy provided the entertainment by cycling backwards and Oliver set himself up for a horrible afternoon by taking in far too much sugar. A quick blast around the skills area was followed by the second half of Kirroughtree before returning to our vehicles.

Sam had thankfully booked a big table at the pub and after a long but beautiful walk we arrived hungry but content after a very exciting day. Oliver soon regained colour in his face after eating and everyone felt nice and tired and soon ready to return for a second night in the tents.

Sunday: Dalbeattie

Sunday provided yet another gorgeous day and we set off on our bikes in pursuit of an even harder trail center, Dalbeattie. Oliver was transformed and at times lived up to the polka dot jersey that the midges had provided him with. Dalbeattie had more fire track but these was interspersed with staggeringly scary sections that once you had a look at and given time to contemplate the likelihood of death, didn’t really feel like riding.  That is if you weren’t Mark or going close enough behind Mark (Dave) to not have time to change your mind. The Clarions rode very well and the only casualty was Andy’s rear derailleur. We made it back safely for some nice lunch in the sunshine all jealous of Andy who was towed back by Mark.

The Lake District

At the campsite it was time to say good bye to Sam, Maggie and Oliver who had to return home for work. Dave and I went to the Lake District to continue the biking for a few days and due to the fact that the only place to find a Turner mech-hanger was the Lakes, Andy and Mark decided to follow us down the morning after.

This time the emphasis was on natural trails which made a nice contrast to trail centres. No tight corners here but still plenty of stupidly rocky drops to have a go at. Mark nearly rolled over two collies while me, Andy and Dave took the path along Ullswater at a slightly more relaxed pace, taking time to enjoy the scenery and pose for photos.


The next day we met up in Keswick and did a 56 km route around the back of Skiddaw. We felt slightly tired after having ridden for a few consecutive days (and I think a visit to the pub on Monday night could have been a contributing factor in Andy’s and Mark’s case) and this meant it was a scramble for the last place in the peloton. I’m proud to say I managed to hog it on most of the ride.

To see us through the day we stuffed ourselves with jelly babies as well as a nice picnic halfway through the ride. It was a lovely route and the weather stayed warm, sunny and dry. After some refreshments in the Lakeland Pedlar in Keswick (a cycling weekend does seem to involve a huge amount of eating!) we said good bye to Mark and Andy and that was the end of the biking trip for us.

Andy stayed on for another couple of days which were very eventful...but that is a whole different story!

Report by Emmy Hoyes