Boys tackle their first trail

With both the boys totally familiar and comfortable with the mountain bikes they received for their birthdays earlier this year, the Other Half and I decided it was time to let them loose on a proper trail.

Today, we loaded their bikes into the Land Rover and drove them to Gartly Moor, just up the road from the croft. There are several good trails around and across the moor, but we decided to go with the main loop plus a small side excursion:

Gartly Moor

Gartly Moor: 6.1 miles / 9.82 km

In all, we’d cover just over six miles on a mixture of hard and soft tracks, with quite a few serious changes in gradient and a relatively easy finish over the final mile that would take us along the contour lines instead of across them.

The boys would ride their bikes, the Other Half, Harvey (our Border Terrier) and I would walk. Or rather, I’d walk and run, usually on the uphill sections so I could photograph the boys in action.

The start was quite challenging as the track rises 80 metres over the first 350-400 metres. The Big Lad quickly grasped the right gear combination and technique, but the Wee ‘Un needed a little more guidance and the odd push to keep him going.

Eventually, he took had the gears and technique down, after which they both took off, disappearing into the trees. They’d stop every now and again to wait for the OH and I, usually at places where they could rocket downhill and hurtle through the numerous rivulets that cross the trail.

Harvey, who’s kept fit with my frequent walks, enjoyed himself hugely but the OH felt the pace because, as she wryly observed, she does less walking and cycling now that she lives in the country than when she lived in the city.

In the end, she latched on to my arm, gave me her jacket to carry (along with the water bottles and camera) and cadged a tow for the final two miles back to the car park.

Everyone thought it was a great way to spend two hours so I suspect we’ll be off again soon.

4 Responses to “Boys tackle their first trail”

  1. Good to see you, Harvey and the boys are doing good. I was wondering have ever seen anyone take an animal other than a horse, pony, lama or dog hiking ? I was reading about some people took their pet Mangalitsa hiking with them on a leash. And of others in the US taking feral pig rescues who they don’t want to eat hiking on a leash as well. One blog I read who lives in Wales who lives with seven to ten Bernese mountain dogs who’s various sheep and at one time’s nubian goat Geisha would regularly walk a few miles up down the mountain they lived by daily. Their boar Thor who despire having six of his own females to hang out with refuses to leave their horse and ponies and today walked a mile with their horse. I don’t know if he is just crazy pig, or it is something to do to keep the pig happy.

  2. Andy the City Boy Reply 7 May, 2012 at 10:15

    I think I’m fairly active: going to the gym a couple of times a week, cycling to work three or four days a week, and using the Tube the rest of the time with all the walking that entails. But then I look at your at blog and think, “Whew!”. I mean, you’re up early doing the chores then you’re out digging or mowing or building fences or cutting firewood with an axe or walking the trip to village, what is it you said, 2.5-3 miles, and back. Then you go off to rugby with your boys. And then you go off for a six mile bike and cycle around what are obviously quite steep hill trails. I’m think I’ve read that there’s swimming in your week, too. And I’m sure there’s more going on than that. I feel like a rather fey city slicker after taking all that in: I’m down at the gym trying to keep the body beautiful (haha!) and thinking it’s hard work while you’re ploughing through genuinely hard work then coming back for more. And more. It’s the same over on the Raasay blog, Life at the End of the Road. He and his family just get stuck in, grinding away at tough physical work before relaxing with a four or five-mile walk with his father. I going to go and hide my head behind the spreadsheet I’m supposed to be working on.

    • I’ll happily work outside in the mud, muck, cold and wet but I try to avoid gyms and spreadsheets. Not entirely successfully, when it comes to the latter!

  3. Do you. Mind if I ask how old Harvey is? He looks about the same age as my BT Impi! :)

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