This is one of the biggest and best rides ever brought to you on these pages. It’s the kind of ride that’s worth training for, preparing for, and waiting for the right day for. And even after all that, the satisfaction of a successful round will leave you feeling smug for days or even weeks afterwards.
So what’s so good about it? Firstly, the views: the trail sneaks through some of Scotland’s finest scenery, nudging up against Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak, in the early stages, and then squeezes past the Mamores and the Grey Corries massifs later in the day.
Secondly, the isolation: by the time you reach the shores of Loch Eilde Mòr, you start to get the feeling that you’re in the middle of nowhere, and at Luibielt, the remote nature of the Highland Glens is almost overpowering. Fording the Abhainn Rath feels like a pretty daunting undertaking, and wet feet are a certainty. And then you press on into even wilder country as you hurdle the ridge between Meall Mòr and Meall a’ Bhúirich, and drop into the deeply cloven Lairig Leacach.
And last, but definitely not least, there’s the riding. Which is a mixed bag including some top-notch forest singletrack on the early stages to Lunduvra, some rough and rocky going along the West Highland Way as far Kinlochleven; and then the crux section of sinuous, and often treacherous singletrack that winds its way over the ride’s highpoint and down into the Lairig Leacach.
The final descent is fast and open, but by now you won’t be looking for anything more challenging. And then it’s easy forest trails all the way through Leanachan Forest back to Fort Bill. Or if you’re really fit, you might want to hook up with some of the wonderful singletrack through here too…