Hutch’s Scottish Adventures #2 | The ride that didn’t quite go to plan

Chris Hutchens is fast ticking off his pick of Scotland’s best and least known mountain bike trails.

In episode 2, he’s off to Aboyne and Ballater in Aberdeenshire.

After a wee break we’re back for Episode 2 and we’re off to the stunning area of Aboyne and Ballater.

If you’re unsure, the area is close to Balmoral which is the Queen’s royal estate. Richard from Cycle Highlands is the man with all the local knowledge and it’s only recently I’ve got to know him. We headed up to ride one of his superb spots, a long ridge descending down to the river Dee.

Our first ride involved heading out with Trippin Fella’z Ali Parkin as well as Jamie and Ronan Duggan. We encountered the typical Scottish weather with four seasons in one day. We had it all and the wind forced us to change the plan slightly.

While it’s always satisfying to summit a Munro the opportunity to summit the most Easterly in Scotland, Mount Keen, on this occasion was out of the question given the wind speeds. It wouldn’t have been fun anyway and we were thankful of our wise decision..

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Instead we continued on to ‘The Ridge’ where we tried to ride down, sadly without much speed due to the head wind stopping us dead. We’d been beaten and it was almost a knockout for the group.

So while we might have felt slightly defeated our main aim was to ride the ridge again. Two weeks later, with a slightly different group, we headed back. Ali, new addition and guide for H&I in Inverness, Chris Gibb, and I went for round two. We would get the knock out this time.

After a baking hot ride up we were ready for a killer descent. Sadly a few gopro issues missed that start of this ride but the bottom still shows the slabs, views and awesome riding we had. This is up there as one of the best descents in the UK. If you want something unique and get a warm, calm and sunny day then this seriously can’t be beaten.

In the next episode we’re heading South to Glasgow for a solo mission. Stay tuned!

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