As the peak of summer approached, Jon and I had been meaning to shoot photo’s for some articles I had planned in my head. The problem was that Jon was working full time for the Polygon UR team and I have a marketing firm to run – so time was precious.
Since I’ve known him, Jon has improved as a racer to the point where he is a serious contender to win any SDA he enters as a senior rider. So while racing is definitely a hobby for him, it has a competitive nature to it and he wants to win, like any good racer does.
So when I suggested we head up to Ben Nevis the night before an SDA race at Fort William I was a little shocked when he agreed so readily. It’s not a huge ride from the Nevis Range carpark but there’s a bit of climbing and the Witches trail would have been more than an adequate spin.
Our plan was to see just how accessible an “escape” into big mountain terrain in the UK was. We could call it a ” fake escape ” if we wanted to distribute it solely on Instagram.
We aren’t talking about all day missions into the Highland Munroes here, but a quick, sharp spin at decent heights.
As it turns out, the answer was that its way more accessible than you think. Even I found it relatively stress free with a 15 kg camera pack on my back.
While we don’t all have Britain’s highest mountain on our doorstep, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish in two hours. It marked a change from the Sitka we so often find at British race venues.
There is no moral to story here so to say, it’s just another reason why the SDA series is so fantastic – not only do you get great racing, you also awesome trails on your race doorstep to enjoy should you fancy it.
Make the most of your weekends when you can, even if you only have a couple of hours to spare.
Longer than we thought, but equally a relatively short ride up to the CIC path and North Face of Ben Nevis. The weather was intermittent, Jon had a bike to fettle but it seemed like to good an opportunity to miss.
The light displays on offer were pretty stunning. After years of racing at Fort William, this was the first time we'd ever ventured beyond the confines of the whin-dust and visit scotland jump.
We saw runners, hikers and even one guy with Skis on his back. All were accommodating, friendly and making the most of their evening.
What goes up......
Must be prepared to make a hasty exit when the clouds roll in!
One thing is for sure : It definitely beats sitting on the turbo trainer with the ear phones on!