XC Trip to Fort William and Laggan

With the bikes all loaded in the van and their riders contorted and squished into the cars it was time for EUCC to head up north to tackle some of Scotland’s finest riding. The plans for the trip were primarily trail centre based, with the intention of riding Fort William on the Saturday and then traveling across to Laggan and riding there on the Sunday. However, before any of this could happen, first the group had to find dinner…

What happened in Perth boils down to Craig’s car (myself included) struggling to find a chip shop. Racing around the streets, managing to find every Kebab and Chinese possible but no chip supper. Finally, after some very dubious directions (‘left, left, right and all the way round’) we finally found a chippy/Chinese to replenish the energy spent searching for the place.

However, the weekend was not about eating fish suppers, it was about riding bikes and Saturday morning arrived and EUCC descended on the Glen Nevis range. The first riding involved the long slog up to the top of the World Champs XC, an interesting climb which involved one very loud tyre explosion (myself included). Before long we’d reach the top black section: a cornered rock garden into a little drop which then continued into a long, big bermed red descent with optional trail hucks. Following this, we continued along the red descent back down to the car park.

Next up, we fired along the same climb as before but diverting off to push up a techy, natural trail which included greasy corners, thick mud and ominous drops. Most people handled this natural trail fine (myself not included) and we were promptly climbing again, this time to try out a section of the blue. What we rode here was to become the favourite trail of the day: a fast, well corned trail with large berms and north shore sections we sessioned this at least four times as well as ending the day having photos taken here.

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Fraser at the top of the natural trail

Further excitement arose upon finding Joe Barnes’ 8 Wild Terns location, where we spent time watching some of the group session these to varying degrees of success-most ended in a face full of mud, much to the hilarity of spectators. Finally, some of the group decided to have a mess around on the 4X track after lunch, with the most exciting/terrifying moment being Fraser’s spectacular nose case crash which had major chance of death and very little chance of success.

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Crog hammering 8 Natural Terns

Death avoided however, Sunday rolled around and we departed to Laggan for further riding fun times. A quick blast of the Orange provided a solid warm up before the group split between the Upper Red and the Black. The Black claims to be the most technical trail in Scotland and it probably isn’t far from it with rock slabs, large drops and technical rock gardens it required all the attention that you could muster but was hugely rewarding.

Following this, we blasted around the red, witnessing Craig’s double puncture hucking into Air’s Rock before rolling back into the car park for lunch. Post refreshment we remounted and heading up to the top section again before splitting once more between the Upper Red and the Black. The Upper Red whilst being far less technical was far faster than the Black and provided thrills, with long straights encouraging riders to squeeze more cranks in. Frustratingly however it had no berms so all those extra cranks were duly lost in the flat corners making for an exhausting trail.

Blue route

Smashing the Blue at Fort Bill

What resulted was a successful trip up north which resulted in good feels and fun times which packed in plenty of great riding.

http://vimeo.com/90425346 Check out the video from the weekend here!

Rupert

XC Sec