Project:
Bike Mountain

Project:
Bike
Mountain

PROJECT: BIKE MOUNTAIN


You’ve heard of mountain biking but how many times have you actually biked a mountain. We mean a really big one. This adventure unfolds in the deep freeze of the Scottish winter from the shores of Loch Lomond, within easy reach of Glasgow.

The objective: To power your bike to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most southerly Munro – through daylight into darkness. We will establish a mountain bivvy for the night and then of course, what goes up must come down. That’s the special sauce involved with this cool customer. Enjoy an early breakfast with (hopefully) one of the finest mountain views of the United Kingdom laid out before you and then, as dawn unfolds, saddle up and blaze a trail down this classic Munro. It’ll all be yours. Probably time for a ‘second breakfast’ when you hit the bottom at the comforting Rowardennan Hotel, too.

If you can’t make our scheduled departure, we can run this adventure on a bespoke basis for you and your mates. A minimum of 6 people is required to run the trip. Email us to find out more.

Trip Highlights:

– Summit a Munro mountain with your bike
– Overnight bivvy at altitude
– Dawn descent from top to bottom with the mountain to yourself
– Hotels to hand for some liquid rewards

 

 

Saturday 19th January
Meet on the Saturday morning 1000hrs, at the delightful Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha. Accommodation of your choice the night before, or indeed at this Inn. Collections from Glasgow airport/stations can be arranged for a nominal fee. We will then transit northwards on the road to the Rowardennen Hotel to start the ride.

The ride itself involves a strenuous ride and hike-a-bike over the summit of Ben Lomond, to then descend slightly to an area where a remote high-altitude bivvy camp is possible, complete with water source, and few treats from the guiding team to make the overnight experience memorable and comfortable.

The bivvy camp accommodation will a mixture of guide serviced and self-provided equipment. A full kit list will be circulated upon booking of the trip.

Sunday 20th January
Arise at dawn and get warmed and fed and ready for the exciting ride off! It’s all downhill from here. Right at the foot of the adventure lies the Rowardennan Hotel or further south the Oak Tree Inn. Have a warm-up and a second breakfast at the Hotel then clean up, pack up and head off in the knowledge that you have completed something truly exceptional.

Those requiring transport back to Glasgow airport/stations will also be completed.

Rat Race will provide:

  • Vehicle support for the team, including transit to and from Balmaha, and for those that need it, to Glasgow transport links. Should anyone bail from the trip then this same vehicle can also support you.
  • Accomplished guides that stay with you throughout.
  • Communal camping equipment, including tents.
  • Campsite cooking equipment and fuel.

The participant will provide:

Their own mountain bike, helmet, rucksack, cycling gear, footwear, waterproofs (recommended with taped seams), and personal overnight kit and safety kit. A towel and a change of clothes for after the activity is also recommended. The winter nature of this trip will require excellent bike lights and back-up headtorch. For the bivvy camp there are options around tent sharing and bivvy set-ups commensurate with your experience and your kit store. Our guides will assess this and add-in further items to make the overnight comfortable, however you will pack a good winter season sleeping bag and sleeping mat, and note that this will influence the size of pack taken. You should be familiar with your mountain bike and to consider modifications and accessorisations that make the bike fit for purpose, for the conditions.

A full kit list will be circulated upon booking of the trip.

We have rated this challenge as Technical rating 8/10 and Endurance rating 7/10. What does this mean?

Technical rating 8/10
This is a stern winter mountain bike challenge. Darkness is guaranteed. Snow and ice is likely. Bad weather is possible. Beautiful crystal-clear vistas are desired and distinctly possible!  You are required to be a competent mountain biker and to have rehearsed in winter with bike riding, bike clothing, walking, bike-carrying and camping.

Endurance rating 7/10
Participants should expect one strenuous short-day ascending, and one exciting and technical short-day descending. If snow conditions prevent access along the road between Balmaha and Rowardennan, then in addition we will cycle this section both ways. For the mountain alone the distances are short, at 3.5 miles and over 3,000ft up, and 2.5 miles down, though if we cycle from Balmaha then that journey is 7 miles each way on an undulating road. Whilst there will be variances in the groups abilities, we will manage the journey carefully to give the best possible day out. Think of yourselves as a team.

Food and Bev

Provided within the trip costs are:

  • Communal cooking gear and fuel for the overnight camp.
  • Complimentary alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink for all group members in a local pub/hotel to celebrate a job well done.

Participants will cover costs for:

  • Breakfast prior to departure.
  • Dinner and Breakfast at the overnight camp: Advice will be given on what to bring; and assistance in the preparation of.
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks after the trip, except 1 complimentary one that we will provide, plus ‘second breakfast’ for those who require!

Accommodation

Provided within the trip costs are:

  • Tents, to be split as equal load and carried by the group.

Participants will cover costs for:

  • Provision of their own sleeping bag and roll-mat.
  • It is recommended that for those travelling, local accommodation is sought close to Glasgow / Rowardennan for the night preceding the Challenge.
  • You may wish to arrange accommodation for the night following the Challenge, depending on any further local area or ongoing transport plans, although we will be descended from the mountain in good time for early onward departures for those who wish.

Transport

Provided within the trip costs are:

  • Full on-course support by our vehicle, local to Balmaha.
  • Transfers to and from local rail/bus stations in the Loch Lomond area.

Participants will cover costs for:

  • Travel to Glasgow area.
  • Onward travel from Glasgow area.
  • There exists the opportunity for transport from the Glasgow area to Rowardennan pre and post trip for a nominal fee. This is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please enquire directly for more details.

How far is the route? For the mountain alone the distances are short, at 3.5 miles up, and 2.5 miles down, though if we cycle from Balmaha, due to blocked snow road, then that journey is 7 miles each way on an undulating road. The route will be shared in full in advance of the Challenge commencing. There are excellent local route contingencies should the conditions cause revision.

How hard is it and how fit do I need to be? It’s a toughie: You are required to be a competent, in-condition mountain biker and to have rehearsed in winter with bike riding, bike clothing, walking, bike-carrying and camping. You won’t need to be fast .. just strong of heart, mind and body.

Is it all cyclable? No. You’ve heard of hike-a-bike? Bike carrying and bike pushing is a thing when it comes to real mountains, and a bigger rucksack will help to spread the load with the bike across your shoulders and back. Some of the ascent is certainly cyclable and there will be many spurts to prove as much!

What type of terrain is it? This is rough and steep terrain, with a mix of mud, grass, heather, rock and gravel. Some of the path has been maintained with slabs and steps. Add onto that some water, snow and ice, and this trip is truly adventurous.

What might the weather be like? That is hard to say until forecasting is available 10-days out. Even if bright in the day, temperatures will likely plummet at night. If the weather is angry and windy then the guide will simplify the routing to endeavour to achieve a circuitous day out, including some expert navigation. High-grade head and hand cover is essential, along with spares.

What will the camping experience be like? As long as you are warm, you will love it! Plan ahead for comfort. Pack for comfort. The guides will create an exceptional overnight experience. No need to worry about the exposure and surface for camping. The planned bivvy area is a good ‘un.

Good bike lights you say? Yes, these need to be minimum 500 Lumens, proven, fully charged, and with a backup second light such as a helmet light or and/or headtorch. Rear lights are not crucial.

What if I get lost? Unlikely, as you will be with qualified guides that will intend to keep the group together. If separations are required then the guides will have a plan for how to manage this.

What if I get hurt? Well, this is possible, though some of the spills on this terrain are on soft ground. Competent mountain bikers know how to crash and roll, and have been over the bars a few times. True? Then we want you, not beginners. You can call 999 if it’s a true Emergency but our team will be close in the loop to affect best responses. We have First Aid trained staff on the trip with a medical kit. So if you need assistance we will be there; similarly if you need or wish to withdraw from the route, we will manage, escort you off, or come and get you.

Where will you stay? You have many choices between Glasgow, home, and local to Balmaha – such as Drymen or Milngavie; the start of the West Highland Way, and you might organise a car share once we have our group list assembled. There is always the meeting place itself; The Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha. Accommodation is for you to book.

What is included? Check out the tabs above to see what we provide on kit/ equipment and what is included as far as food/ accommodation/ transport is concerned. You can download the full trip notes file HERE.

How do I get back after the Challenge is over? Once repatriated with your car at Balmaha, you are free to go! We will help others that need a lift to Glasgow transport links such as Airport and Rail Station, for an evening flight or train.

 

19/20th JANUARY 2019
LOCH LOMOND

Mountain Bike over a Munro and wild camp near the summit!

MTB: 2 day 1 night
Mountain Biking, Guided, Camping, 1 Night Stopover

 What do these mean?
Technical Rating 8/10
Endurance Rating: 7/10

£199

Price is per person

19/20th JANUARY 2019
LOCH LOMOND

Mountain Bike over a Munro and wild camp near the summit!

MTB: 2 day 1 night
Mountain Biking, Guided, Camping, 1 Night Stopover


What do these mean?

Technical Rating 8/10
Endurance Rating: 7/10

£199

Price is per person

You’ve heard of mountain biking but how many times have you actually biked a mountain. We mean a really big one. This adventure unfolds in the deep freeze of the Scottish winter from the shores of Loch Lomond, within easy reach of Glasgow.

The objective: To power your bike to the summit of Ben Lomond, the most southerly Munro – through daylight into darkness. We will establish a mountain bivvy for the night and then of course, what goes up must come down. That’s the special sauce involved with this cool customer. Enjoy an early breakfast with (hopefully) one of the finest mountain views of the United Kingdom laid out before you and then, as dawn unfolds, saddle up and blaze a trail down this classic Munro. It’ll all be yours. Probably time for a ‘second breakfast’ when you hit the bottom at the comforting Rowardennan Hotel, too.

If you can’t make our scheduled departure, we can run this adventure on a bespoke basis for you and your mates. A minimum of 6 people is required to run the trip. Email us to find out more.

Trip Highlights:

– Summit a Munro mountain with your bike
– Overnight bivvy at altitude
– Dawn descent from top to bottom with the mountain to yourself
– Hotels to hand for some liquid rewards

 

 

Saturday 19th January
Meet on the Saturday morning 1000hrs, at the delightful Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha. Accommodation of your choice the night before, or indeed at this Inn. Collections from Glasgow airport/stations can be arranged for a nominal fee. We will then transit northwards on the road to the Rowardennen Hotel to start the ride.

The ride itself involves a strenuous ride and hike-a-bike over the summit of Ben Lomond, to then descend slightly to an area where a remote high-altitude bivvy camp is possible, complete with water source, and few treats from the guiding team to make the overnight experience memorable and comfortable.

The bivvy camp accommodation will a mixture of guide serviced and self-provided equipment. A full kit list will be circulated upon booking of the trip.

Sunday 20th January
Arise at dawn and get warmed and fed and ready for the exciting ride off! It’s all downhill from here. Right at the foot of the adventure lies the Rowardennan Hotel or further south the Oak Tree Inn. Have a warm-up and a second breakfast at the Hotel then clean up, pack up and head off in the knowledge that you have completed something truly exceptional.

Those requiring transport back to Glasgow airport/stations will also be completed.

Rat Race will provide:

  • Vehicle support for the team, including transit to and from Balmaha, and for those that need it, to Glasgow transport links. Should anyone bail from the trip then this same vehicle can also support you.
  • Accomplished guides that stay with you throughout.
  • Communal camping equipment, including tents.
  • Campsite cooking equipment and fuel.

The participant will provide:

Their own mountain bike, helmet, rucksack, cycling gear, footwear, waterproofs (recommended with taped seams), and personal overnight kit and safety kit. A towel and a change of clothes for after the activity is also recommended. The winter nature of this trip will require excellent bike lights and back-up headtorch. For the bivvy camp there are options around tent sharing and bivvy set-ups commensurate with your experience and your kit store. Our guides will assess this and add-in further items to make the overnight comfortable, however you will pack a good winter season sleeping bag and sleeping mat, and note that this will influence the size of pack taken. You should be familiar with your mountain bike and to consider modifications and accessorisations that make the bike fit for purpose, for the conditions.

A full kit list will be circulated upon booking of the trip.

We have rated this challenge as Technical rating 8/10 and Endurance rating 7/10. What does this mean?

Technical rating 8/10
This is a stern winter mountain bike challenge. Darkness is guaranteed. Snow and ice is likely. Bad weather is possible. Beautiful crystal-clear vistas are desired and distinctly possible!  You are required to be a competent mountain biker and to have rehearsed in winter with bike riding, bike clothing, walking, bike-carrying and camping.

Endurance rating 7/10
Participants should expect one strenuous short-day ascending, and one exciting and technical short-day descending. If snow conditions prevent access along the road between Balmaha and Rowardennan, then in addition we will cycle this section both ways. For the mountain alone the distances are short, at 3.5 miles and over 3,000ft up, and 2.5 miles down, though if we cycle from Balmaha then that journey is 7 miles each way on an undulating road. Whilst there will be variances in the groups abilities, we will manage the journey carefully to give the best possible day out. Think of yourselves as a team.

Food and Bev

Provided within the trip costs are:

  • Communal cooking gear and fuel for the overnight camp.
  • Complimentary alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink for all group members in a local pub/hotel to celebrate a job well done.

Participants will cover costs for:

  • Breakfast prior to departure.
  • Dinner and Breakfast at the overnight camp: Advice will be given on what to bring; and assistance in the preparation of.
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks after the trip, except 1 complimentary one that we will provide, plus ‘second breakfast’ for those who require!

Accommodation

Provided within the trip costs are:

  • Tents, to be split as equal load and carried by the group.

Participants will cover costs for:

  • Provision of their own sleeping bag and roll-mat.
  • It is recommended that for those travelling, local accommodation is sought close to Glasgow / Rowardennan for the night preceding the Challenge.
  • You may wish to arrange accommodation for the night following the Challenge, depending on any further local area or ongoing transport plans, although we will be descended from the mountain in good time for early onward departures for those who wish.

Transport

Provided within the trip costs are:

  • Full on-course support by our vehicle, local to Balmaha.
  • Transfers to and from local rail/bus stations in the Loch Lomond area.

Participants will cover costs for:

  • Travel to Glasgow area.
  • Onward travel from Glasgow area.
  • There exists the opportunity for transport from the Glasgow area to Rowardennan pre and post trip for a nominal fee. This is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please enquire directly for more details.

How far is the route? For the mountain alone the distances are short, at 3.5 miles up, and 2.5 miles down, though if we cycle from Balmaha, due to blocked snow road, then that journey is 7 miles each way on an undulating road. The route will be shared in full in advance of the Challenge commencing. There are excellent local route contingencies should the conditions cause revision.

How hard is it and how fit do I need to be? It’s a toughie: You are required to be a competent, in-condition mountain biker and to have rehearsed in winter with bike riding, bike clothing, walking, bike-carrying and camping. You won’t need to be fast .. just strong of heart, mind and body.

Is it all cyclable? No. You’ve heard of hike-a-bike? Bike carrying and bike pushing is a thing when it comes to real mountains, and a bigger rucksack will help to spread the load with the bike across your shoulders and back. Some of the ascent is certainly cyclable and there will be many spurts to prove as much!

What type of terrain is it? This is rough and steep terrain, with a mix of mud, grass, heather, rock and gravel. Some of the path has been maintained with slabs and steps. Add onto that some water, snow and ice, and this trip is truly adventurous.

What might the weather be like? That is hard to say until forecasting is available 10-days out. Even if bright in the day, temperatures will likely plummet at night. If the weather is angry and windy then the guide will simplify the routing to endeavour to achieve a circuitous day out, including some expert navigation. High-grade head and hand cover is essential, along with spares.

What will the camping experience be like? As long as you are warm, you will love it! Plan ahead for comfort. Pack for comfort. The guides will create an exceptional overnight experience. No need to worry about the exposure and surface for camping. The planned bivvy area is a good ‘un.

Good bike lights you say? Yes, these need to be minimum 500 Lumens, proven, fully charged, and with a backup second light such as a helmet light or and/or headtorch. Rear lights are not crucial.

What if I get lost? Unlikely, as you will be with qualified guides that will intend to keep the group together. If separations are required then the guides will have a plan for how to manage this.

What if I get hurt? Well, this is possible, though some of the spills on this terrain are on soft ground. Competent mountain bikers know how to crash and roll, and have been over the bars a few times. True? Then we want you, not beginners. You can call 999 if it’s a true Emergency but our team will be close in the loop to affect best responses. We have First Aid trained staff on the trip with a medical kit. So if you need assistance we will be there; similarly if you need or wish to withdraw from the route, we will manage, escort you off, or come and get you.

Where will you stay? You have many choices between Glasgow, home, and local to Balmaha – such as Drymen or Milngavie; the start of the West Highland Way, and you might organise a car share once we have our group list assembled. There is always the meeting place itself; The Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha. Accommodation is for you to book.

What is included? Check out the tabs above to see what we provide on kit/ equipment and what is included as far as food/ accommodation/ transport is concerned. You can download the full trip notes file HERE.

How do I get back after the Challenge is over? Once repatriated with your car at Balmaha, you are free to go! We will help others that need a lift to Glasgow transport links such as Airport and Rail Station, for an evening flight or train.