March 14, 2013
The River Wild(ish)
Against the odds, Day 2 dawned even warmer than the day before. After a night of fine food and booze, it was another early start as we rode through Rothiemurchus on trails both familiar and unfamiliar heading towards Inchriach for a date with The Potting Shed cake shop and to sample some of the nicest trails you’re ever likely to ride with great names such as Cake or Death and the Inca Trail. In a bid to maximise votes for top guide, Andy did a spectacular endo / scorpion / faceplant on one particularly techy rock drop. The judges were awarding nines and tens as he picked himself up and dusted himself down, no harm done. There was a hint of excuse about his awkwardly placed bottle cage on the bottom of his down tube but we knew he just did it to show us how not to spanner ourselves!
How do I get into Pack rafting?
There is nothing to stop you buying a Packraft or do as Dave and Sim did last Spring and go out and buy the cheapest, nastiest dinghy that you can find. Either way, it’s fairly certain you will have a lot of fun. However, going with Andy and Rob at www.backcountrybiking.co.uk on their “Introduction to Bikerafting” course is easily the best way of finding out if the sport is for you without having to explain to your wife or husband why you are now the owner of a very expensive dinghy that lies dormant in the garage. The courses are run out of Aviemore, Scotland’s proper Outdoor Capital despite what Fort William would have you believe and cater for all abilities from the likes of myself as complete novice through to Colin with his many years of paddling experience.
Where to stay?
We stayed in the Aviemore Bunkhouse which ticked all the right boxes as it was cheap, spotlessly clean, the beds were comfy and most importantly, it was next door to the Old Bridge Inn, purveyor of fine food and ales to suit all tastes. Though not on tap there (yet!), if you are up that neck of the woods and have a penchant for micro-brewery fare, seek out Spey Stout from the Spey Valley Brewery. Your taste buds will thank you for it!