Long weekend

Being based at a course in Drymen last week meant I got to go out to play on Conic hill on Thursday night. I'm so pleased that I've been running so much on 'proper' hills recently and I managed to get all the way up it without walking so that's quite satisfying too. Then Friday night I had a really easy mtb ride along the West Highland Way from the Drovers. I was really just killing time before heading up to Taynuilt but it's a nice section for biking. I killed the rest of the time in the real food cafe, where they've built a lovely new extension with sofas.

I spent Saturday biking with Lizzie from Taynuilt to Bridge of Orchy and back through Glen Kinglass. Despite the incessant rain it was a beautiful ride with lots to keep us interested, including several river crossings. We had a wee stop to cheer when I reached my 1000th mile of the year (by bike). In total, the ride was 88km which is the most I've done on my mountain bike. It had a bit of a sting in the tail at the end with constant ups and downs so I feel like I've done a huge interval workout. Lizzie's going to get really strong if she trains there regularly!

I hadn't really had much phone reception (or battery) that day but I knew that Neil was in Barra, on his way back from a climbing trip to Mingulay and would be back in Oban on Sunday. However, on coming out of the village hall in Taynuilt that night (after seeing Philip's dad's band playing there), Lizzie had a missed call saying that Neil was sitting in the car outside her caravan! Given that Neil didn't even know Lizzie's second name, never mind her phone number or where she lived we were all dead impressed. Turns out he'd made it back to Oban a day early. I knew the ferry didn't run on a saturday so hadn't even imagined he'd be back but he made it somehow (via some island hopping - anything to get away from the rain on Barra!). He then did some strategic googling and phoning of people in Taynuilt (getting offered a bed for the night from Lizzie's mum along the way) and eventually found us. Where he then sat for hours in the car outside, waiting for us to find him! (I have a sense of deja vu here, from when he drove all the way from Chamonix to propose and ended up sitting outside Anna's flat for hours in Edinburgh to wait on me coming back from a race).

So we let him have an easy morning on Sunday while we ran up Beinn Glas. Then, with a quick stop back at real food cafe for more lovely soup and sofas, me and Neil went back to Glasgow.

Today, I managed to inveigle him out on my second 'big country' bike ride of the weekend. This time round Glen Ample which is possibly a bit too boggy for this time of year. I'm getting good use out of my waterproof socks with all these river crossings. We also experienced what feels like the hilliest bit of sustrans EVER (I'd told Neil it was an easy 12mile back along an old railway line - turns out that's not entirely true). Had a quick look at Rob Roy's grave and then got back home with a very dead Neil. As he explained to me in the car they actually did rather a lot of climbing last week (umm, maybe 60hrs??lots anyway) and he's a wee bit tired and needs to not go out to play for a couple of days. So he's now happily eating apple crumble and trying to read my blog in the other room!

That was a VERY satisfying weekend of lovely bike rides and hills.


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