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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

Inspired by Mikesee's video summary of the last year which he posted a few days ago, here are a few photos of my highlights of 2008.

Some of these rides where done guiding our clients, some were done as part of research for a new Scottish MTB guidebook I have just finished and some were just for fun.

2008 was a great year, roll on 2009!

March: Ali and I went to the 'Rough Bounds' of Knoydart aiming for the Old Forge, the UK's most remote pub, accessible only by boat or miles of boggy wilderness. Snow, flooded tracks and swollen rivers meant we took 10 hours to cover 20 miles and after an overnight stop in Sourlies bothy on the shores of Loch Nevis we beat a retreat without making it to the pub.



April: Took the train from Fort William to Corrour in the middle of Rannoch Moor. A perfect spring day with snow on the mountains and clear blue skies. Eight hours of wilderness riding back to Fort William, with the light slowly fading over the last 2 hours. A beautiful day.



June: Half way across Scotland from Kingussie to the North Sea. Three days of fantastic riding and 2 nights on the soft heather in my bivvy bag. The weather was great - I even got a sun tan! I was travelling as light as possible, so no stove meant no caffeine for 3 days. I lasted 36 hours before the lure of the roadside coffee shop became too much!





August: a great Coast to Coast trip with a small group of clients. I drove the support van all week, but managed to squeeze in a couple of awesome rides.



September: The Northern Trail Centres road trip. Six of Scotlands purpose built MTB centres in six days. A great group of riders and a week of constant blue skies. What more can you ask for?



November: The change from Summer to Autumn is accompanied by a change in bike, well, a new frame anyway.



Fewer clients means time to concetrate on getting my guidebook finished with a great little roadtrip to the North West Highlands and the Isle of Skye.



I hope 2009 brings everyone as much great riding as this year has for me. For the full slideshow have a look at https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottishmountainbikeguides/sets/72157611316811743/



Phil
 

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Great post. I've always dreamed of a mountain bike tour of Scotland. This isn't making that dream any less appealing, for sure.
 

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wow, nice. don't be shy with the pictures. that's some outstanding corner of the world you ahve there.
 

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My favorite place in the world is and will always be Scotland.

Would love to live there!
 

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Great shots, as brianc mentioned dont hesitate to post up a few more shots. Also let us know when the guide is out, I just might pick up a copy.
 

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My friend Andrew is from Scotland, and he never said anything about the rugged beauty displayed in your photos. I think he wants to keep it for himself, or he doesn't enjoy the rain very much...
 

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Wow there are some beautiful pics of a part of the world we don't see here on MTBR often enough. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
CDtofer - Thanks for your interest in the guidebook. It was something which I really enjoyed doing - revisting some classic old routes which I hadn't ridden for a while and getting out and exploring some parts of the country where I hadn't done much riding before.

My stuff all went to the publishers a couple of weeks ago. They are taking my words and maps and combining them with some pictures to make something which looks like a book. I get a copy to approve around the end of January and then it goes to the printers, with a release date in Spring 09.

As soon as I have a picture of the cover, it'll be up on my website http://www.scottishmountainbikeguides.com, where you'll be able to pre-order copies before the release date.

You'll probably also be able to get it from amazon etc, but if you buy direct from me you'll get a discount off the retail price, and you'll be keeping me in bike parts and groceries!

If you click through to my site and sign up to the newsletter you'll be first to know of whats happening.

Thanks,

Phil
 

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Great photos and a great place to ride. I'm looking forward to riding Torriden and others next year. Here are some more Scottish piccies:

Isle of Skye (not my photos, as too busy riding :))









Near Glencoe (Devils Staircase)




To balance, here are a couple of Englandshire photos

(Winlatter from my crappy phone camera)



If you like looking at loads of MTB photos (mainly based around North West England [Lakes,Peaks,Dales]) see here: www.bogtrotters.org
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! Cracking Skye photos! I was there last month and did the Glen Sligachan loop, but the weather was not so good



and this happened a lot!



Do you think whoever took those pics would allow me to use one or two to illustrate our Northern Highlands and Skye holiday?https://www.scottishmountainbikeguides.com/guided-holidays-scotland/highlands-skye

They are some of the best Skye shots I've seen. Email me if you're interested.

Cheers,

Phil
 

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amar la vida de dos niner
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Gotta make like a mountain goat on those Skye trails, I'd say. ;)

Skye looks absolutely stunning. Thanks for those shots.
 

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This thread makes me miss my old friend Ian. He was an old gentelman, in his 90's, from Scotland, who had sailboat berthed next to mine...I couldn't understand a word he spoke with his heavy scottish accent. Nor could he understand my Texas drawl... until I invited him over for a glass of wine. When the bottle emptied, he ask me over for a shot of scotch...when his bottle emptied, I found we understood each other perfectly! We had many such visits and I must say he was one of the most interesting and pleseant people I have ever met. I went to the boat one day and he was gone...heard he went to Australia.

I guess what I'm saying is, I miss Scotland, and I've never been there!

Great thread,
Mikey
 

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A few more from Skye (again not my photos, but from a ride I was on):

Forgot just how good this track was :)



Fantastic Seaside track (if a bit hairy in places :))


Looking back along the Sea track


Miles of remote singletrack frequented with dry river bed crossings
https://148.88.53.14/rides/2006/2jun/dsc05272.jpg

A just for balance:

The Lake District is probably the best all year riding in the UK as the majority of trails hold up well in winter and there is a good mix of high and low level routes within great scenery (oh and the fells are only an hour away from my house) [some of these *are* my photos for once :)]


lower part of Nan Bield pass


Harter Fell


Haweswater (tis a village at the bottom)


Lonscale Fell


Silhouette over Derwent


Singletrack in the snow


Ride in all weathers :)


We always do this ride in atrocious weather :)


Lower Man decent


North Wales (Snowdonia) is good too

Me after an awful climb/carry


but then the decent is fantastic (Snowdon Ranger track)


and the list goes on and on (Yorkshire Dales, Peak District...). Apart from Skye most places are within 1 hour or so drive :). Pick up an OS map then follow the bridleways and byways (Scotland any track is generally OK to ride)
 

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amar la vida de dos niner
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Thanks for posting more pics of the region, doubletalkin. Beautiful.

Everytime I see shots from the Lake District, I want to go visit. I attribute it to my "homeland" calling to me, as my family's roots are in Great Britain. But since it's been a few centuries since we lived there, I'm no doubt overplaying that idea.

You are fortunate to live so close to such gems. And to have the National Trust to preserve them for you.
 

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Went to scotland this summer and saw all those beautiful riding spots. I'll have to come back there in a few years without the family and ride some of that awesome track.
It's painful when you travel to a place without a bike and see awesome riding but can't ride it :p
 
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