Braemar to Blair Atholl
The final day of our Cairngorm loop, taking us up to 200km. The sunshine of yesterday was gone, and in its place overcast skies and headwinds…
Iain was recovering well from his stomach upset, but Malcolm had succombed in the night (plus he was already empty from the exertions of yesterday). However, all the team set off, and there was an initial rolling 10km along an undulating road to the (spectacular) Linn of Dee.
After some sightseeing at the Linn, it was time for some off road estate track riding upstream alongside the Dee to the (inappropriately named) White Bridge.
We are eventually in the upper reaches of Glen Tilt, which is a very long dead-straight valley (and also allegedly superb mountain biking). The upper reaches are steep, super technical, and consequently slow progress.
After a nasty little climb, we reach nearly 60km/h on the way into Blair Castle. Having seen virtually nobody over four days in the remote hills, it’s a little surreal to be dodging tourists as we speed through the castle grounds on our dirty bikes.
On hitting the main road we head immediately to the water mill cafe, where we started this journey fours days ago. Lap one complete!
Absolute kudos to Iain and Malcolm for getting around when not feeling 100%. A massive challenging ride in wild, hard terrain, but with good company!
Overview/inspiration on Bikepacking.com. Today’s route: 48 km, 672m of climbing.