So after going on my first bikepacking adventure on the Scottish Winter Bivvy with Ray and the boys from the Bearbones forum, I decided to give the bivvy a month challenge a go this year.
I set off on Saturday morning to catch the train across to Fife with a heavy head, instead of packing up my bike the night before my wonderfull girlfriend had suggested we could go for a quick pint and grab a takeaway, this turned into quite a few pints, a takeaway and then passing out in bed leaving my gear strewn around the house. After dragging myself out of bed and scratching around to find everything I needed, I headed out and made it to the train station with 5 minutes to spare.
After an hour and a half on the train I was feeling right as rain and ready to hit the trails, I called my mate who had agreed to come with me to let him know I would be at the meeting point in 30 mins. He informed me that was no problem, he was at the bothy we were heading for stashing his gear and some fire wood and that he would be there shortly as well.
When I arrived at the meeting point he was there and unpacking his bike from the back of the car, as he had no gear to carry he had brought his free-ride bike thinking it would be much more fun in the snow. He was right but I wasn't going to admit it to him!
The next hour or 2 consisted mostly of pushing, our first way point was the top of the east Lomond and the road up there was slick with ice which made it almost impossible to cycle most of the way, it was well worth it to get to the top and take in the views, we really do live in a beautiful part of the world.
The descent down the front face of the hill was brilliant, really fast and steep. While Tommy disappeared on his Scott I was left wobbling around trying to keep my balance as I couldn't drop my seat any lower due to my new Alpkit tail pack. We soon made the tree line and cut off the main trail and onto the downhill tracks in Falkland Bike Park, the trails were in good condition and we descended quickly through the woods, stopping occasionally for Tommy to size up a jump before deciding it was too icy and taking the chicken runs with me.
The next way point was the Tyndal Bruce monument which sits right in between the East and West Lomonds, the going was back to slow again as we crawled our way across icy paths and deep snow which made cycling a real pain. By the time we arrived there it was getting on for three o'clock and we reluctantly decided to miss out the west peak as it had taken us so long to make this point and we wanted to get to our camp for the night before dark.
It was almost all down hill from the monument to the Bothy we were staying in for the night, we arrived about an hour later to find it in very poor condition compared to the last time we stayed in it. The windows had all been smashed and the door had been used for firewood. I had to string my tarp over the doorway to try and keep the draft out a bit. It was surprisingly warm that night but that might have been all the beer and whisky we consumed!
The next morning we had our breakfast and headed off quite late. It was a short run back to Ladybank on the roads where I jumped back on the train to Falkirk and Tommy's GF picked him up.
All in all a cracking weekend with good company, can't wait to get out in February. 1/1!