BST begins with Ben Venue Ride Report

Link to Flickr photos.

The British Summer Time period began today, the last Sunday of March. Nine happy soles set off from Aberfoyle for a loop off Ben Venue in glorious Summer sunshine albeit with a slight nip in the air.

With Lyndsey fresh legged from her Lazarote Roadie Ride, she set the pace for the 3 mile road ride along to the opening of Loch Ard where Altskeith starts as quickly as it ends….still that wee section of road at the waterfront offers a wonderful view……no, not the legs!

From Altskeith there’s a 6 foot brown gate on your right that begins the long 800m fireroad climb..that goes on…and on….and on, but the views are stunning.

The first section of fireroad is relatively gentle that twists and turns up through the woods…not a ball buster by any means…yet! Further on up the fireroad Gavin stopped ahead rather promptly to do some Arobics or was it stretching, it was hard to tell, but no one slowed down to ask. As we amassed at the first junction, Gary stood playing with his iphone app, listening with fondness to his GPS coordinators soft spoken tones telling us how far we had come…I’m sure he just just enjoyed her company more than ours.

With some 600m of climbing still to go , we all set off with Gav leading the way out of the forest…no sooner had he started spinning up the hill, he then stopped again, this time facing the wrong direction instructing the group that there was frog spawn and to take a wide berth…jeez, an Arobic instructor come there no end to this man’s talents.

As you reach approximately 400m you can either go right and keep high with the easy short climb to 600m or take the 2k/100m drop alongside the forestry, before the agonising direct 2k climb up towards the hut —like all good Democracys I put up the alternatives……aye right!!! 🙂


Without doubt it’s as hard a climb as you could possibly want and as stunning a view that you could wish for in a clear day, unfortunately your nose is so close to the bars, it’s unlikely you would get the opportunity to see it unless you stopped. With everyone dragging themselves up the hill, I continued until the hill stopped me or I fell off with exhaustion…the hill stopped me, I fell backwards as the slope was so steep. With everyone watching on, I dusted myself off and tried again. Eventually the wheels got traction and I set off on slow pursuit of the hut that lies just off the shadow of Ben Venue.


With everyone at the top we sat at the hut and gazed around…The splendid vista includes Lochs Katrine, Achray and Venachar, Ben Ledi, Stuc a’ Chroin and Ben Vorlich…Beyond we could see Ben Lawers, the Crianlarich ‘Munros’ and Ben Lomond to name a few….Absolutely magic, and the views well deserved. After a quick few group photo shots and our lunch I decided we would take the singletrack that cuts onto the path toward the peak of Ben Venue instead of taking in the peak itself and towards Loch Achray…I though I’d discussed it, but it seems Lyndsey and Chris didn’t catch that bit and headed off to the right a little more than they should have! New guys Alan, Gary then Gav’s bro, Marky Mark etc. headed off to the left until we hit the singletrack.

As we approached the Ben Venue Singletrack, Gary done well to get sight of it…unlike most of us who steered our way carefully onto the path, Gary thought he’d make more of an impact and go over the handle bars and rolled onto it….should have dropped the saddle! No broken bones we waited on Chris and Lyndz to join us after there wee diversion.


The track was a little broken up and quite technical in areas, however like most downhills you make the most of every opportunity…smiles a plenty.

As we approached the bottom I asked Gav if he had spotted the Frog Spawn…..”no mate, was going to fast for that”…oh well nae tadpoles!

As we go to the bottom, we took in a loop of the forestry track around Lock Ard instead of the road back to Aberfoyle.

After just under 5 hrs of riding we took in a cafe stop back at Aberfoyle for some tea and cakes.

Before heading home, I got a phone call…

Caller: “hello Ross, it’s Elizabeth……
Ross: “hello”
Elizabeth: “I’m at Ben Venue and I’m stuck with my bike…Graham Anderton gave me your number”
Ross: “Oh ok, what’s up”
Elizabeth: ” I’m.. oh hold on…. I’ve spotted som…….”

Elizabeth hangs up!!!!

After telling everyone about the odd call, we assumed Elizabeth was stranded on the hill…… Like everyone else, I headed back to the car, got changed and packed up and went home.

…….nooooo, kidding……we phoned back, we found she had been out on her road bike and got a flat tyre and sent out a distress signal….we then headed home………..Some Roadies! 😀

….Elizabeth is safe and well.

Link to Flickr photos.

Kilsyth Hills Photos 27/03/11

Alison was volunteered to do the ride report for today but in the meantime the photos can be seen on flickr at  I know you can send them direct to my blog but I haven’t a clue how to do it . Perhaps the hall could be used for a club seminar on how to use wordpress by someone who knows what they’re doing? I’m sure i’m not the only one who is clueless.

Baldernock Cycle Gala

Anyone who thought of going to the gala at solid rock cycles in Balmore and decided not to , missed a treat. The Clan stunt team turned up with Danny McCaskill on board and gave an outstanding display of acrobatics. I had only seen the youtube clips of Danny McCaskill, but to watch from 10 feet away was breathtaking, the guy is a genius on a bike and the rest of the Clan were equally brilliant.

Thursday Road Ride

Thursday 24th: Stephen Malaney, Chris, No Helmet Al and myself headed off up over the Stockiemuir. Down and round by Dumgoyne and through Strathblane. Up the hill to Mugdock and back. Good ride no real straggling. No idea of distance or speed.

Fine selection of bikes: Al on his carbon  Boardman with the new mavic wheels which take it under the legal racing weight (so he had to carry the bag of tools and spares)… Chris had an old Raleigh titanium out for the first time. Stephen had his Cannondale Cross bike with 25s and (due to a last minute puncture) I had my usual mtb (with road wheels)..


Good to see Stephen making it from so far away.


31st  March 2011:  Next week it will be light much later- so plan would be to do the Auchencarroch mega – loop?  35 miles – 2.5 hours Or just the Auchencarroch loop? 32 miles – 2 hours


Hope to see a few out.

Kilsyth Hills Ride

Forecast for Sunday is 10*C, dry and no wind, so good day to get out on the bike and up some hills.Remember the clocks change Sat/Sun so don’t turn up wondering why you’re on your own and if you’re staying out for the full ride, there are no shops for food/drink en-route so bring what you need with you.The views can be fantastic so don’t forget your camera and i’ll be there at 9.30am. Cheers for now.

Local ride Sunday (27/3/11)

Three ride alternatives on one day? Preposterous.

I’ve got other commitments early on Sunday afternoon so can’t make either of the other rides. That means I’m planning to do a local ride, setting off from the Hall car park at the usual time (9am). All company welcome (lets make the most of this week of Summer), let me know if you’re coming so I don’t set off too early.

Good days!

Nice work guys and gals on the new site. It looks terrific!

A great wee ride last night – out over Drumclog and onto the top moor with a great mix of some familiar and some not so familiar trails. As predicted, it was frog central. Good to see a few faces who we haven’t seen out in a while too. We pushed the pace on the descents meaning we got back bang on ten for a right good post ride blether. Here’s hoping the almost hot weather continues for a while.