BIKE RAFTING WITH A SCOOP FATTY IN SCOTLAND
The bike packing Journal by Nick Tyron. Pedal and paddle his way through Glen Kinglass to Loch Etive, traversing the country’s immense landscapes and isolated fjords. He observes the wild and barren terrain as he makes his way through it, celebrating every sign of life and earning each mile that ticks by…
Scotland is in crisis
The winter hasn’t arrived but has presented an opportunity to try routes normally associated with the summer months.
One particular trip would take me down Glen Kinglass to Loch Etive. This Sea Loch is an impressive stretch of water surrounded by wild countryside, climbing to some very distinctive mountains towering over the loch.
Getting to the Loch would require following an old double track route through some of the most impressive landscape on my Scoop Fatty, in Scotland.
The day started early with Coffee and porridge, as the sun started to rise the mist descended almost as if it was hiding the splendor of what was to be revealed later that day.
Passing Loch Tulla to the River that feeds it out of Loch Dochart, the track swings west and leads you up to Glenkinglass. This took in several Fjords and bridges just wide enough to get the fully laden Fat bike over. The countless deer grazing, but keeping and eye on your every movement only break the sense of solitude.
The track conditions are excellent, and my Silverback Scoop Fatty is enjoying every minute of it.
The climb to the top of the Glen reveals the extent of the natural beauty of the West Coast of Scotland. You have to stop to fully absorb its splendor. The descent to Glenkinglass Lodge is sublime but not without caution, especially with a fully laden bike. After the massive granite slabs, the thunder of the water crashing through the rocks on the way to feed Loch Etive, kept me company as well as provide a constant source of fresh drinking water. Another impressive suspended estate bridge was waiting at the bottom but had a fjord option; the bike was not going to fit the narrow bridge.
Settling in for the night
A short while later the shores of the Loch glistened in the afternoon light. After picking my spot, I unpacked the raft, stowed the Fat bike and my gear and made my way up the Loch towards the Glen Etive.
The surrounding hills made for an impressive backdrop for the paddle. After several hours I reached the shoreline, repacked my bike and set off on the return leg. Just shy of 10 hours of riding and paddling made for an impressive day out.
By Nick Tryon
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