Visitors to gufftowers will be aware that over the past few years my riding has taken a back seat and time spent on the trails has been shared with Salomon Speedcross 3. The local trail running crew 'Blane Runners' are also a pretty keen and capable bunch of riders. The local strava segments pay testament to this. During a Blane Runners outing, there was a little suggestion for two day North - South take on the West Highland Way. Isn't funny how little suggestions end up with people buying new bikes and kit....
|The Old Kilpatricks - taken when you could count megapixels on one hand....|
A quick jump to the nineties, a change from skinnies to knobblies and a common loop was the Old Kilpatricks on the outskirts of Glasgow. I'm sure those from that area will refer to Glasgow as being on the out skirts of West Dumbartonshire. It was a tough pedal - take the cyclepath from Glasgow and head out to Bowling, then string together some underpasses, attempt to avoid the angry farmer and head up a very long and steep rocky ascent. The views from the summit are fantastic and provided a wonderful backdrop for heaving bodies gasping for breath. The quick dash down to Loch Humprey (a name that's only challenged by Loch Drunkie) was a short respite prior to the wonderful ribbon of rocky, rooty singletrack that ran along the edge of Loch. The next section was a mudfest through the forest that awaited the unwary. The fun really started when you pointed the bike back down towards the Clyde and went for it on the grassy descent to Overton House. This descent never failed to raise uncontrollable giggles. I just remember it being so fast. Flowing corners benefited from natural berms and not so kind off camber bends, a good number of exposed sections of rocks and drops finished off by a wide grass chute to the Overton House grounds gate. Bliss!
|you call that a stem....|
|it's not only the trails that have changed|