Munro Bagging By Bike – Why Bother?

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What approach would you take to Munro bagging? Are you a ‘gotta catch em all’, or a ‘when the sun shines I’ll bag another’ kind of person?

Our very own Sanny set out to bag the Munros by bike as an incentive to get out there a bit more and make the most of good conditions. It’s not about setting a goal and forcing himself up them come hell or high water. If you’d like to read about that and see a selection of the pictures he’s also bagged on the way, you should read Singletrack Issue 125.

Images: Sanny

Sanny now reckons he’s got less than 100 to go – though given his vagueness we can see he’s still not taking the counting and bagging terribly seriously. There’s no spreadsheet or ticked off Spotter’s Guide to Munros. He’s just quietly working his way up and down them over the years.

Others take a more focussed approach to Munro bagging, and Sean ‘Griz’ Green is one of them. He’s still working his way through them all, but he’s already made this video to explain what is driving him out there, up there, and over the hills.

Sean Green is a well recognised face on the mountain’s of Scotland. With a eclectic mix of tattoos, his grizzly frame and often with a bike on his back, a shrinking violet he is not. A childhood spent drawing patterns on himself while dreaming of the rugged peaks, whirling dervishes and esoteric endeavours that the Highlands provide left Sean with a drive to summit them all – “bagging” as it has now commonly become known as .

While he isn’t the first (Paul Tattersal can claim this feat) to make all 282 summits by bike, and being only just over half way through, Sean is a working guy with a young family – requiring a deft ability to juggle his own ambitions with the responsibilities of family life – that makes his project both long, arduous and at times, at risk of going unfulfilled.

Images: Andy Cole

In Sean’s own word’s the dream he is chasing goes beyond the physical experiences “I often get asked about my favourite descent. And that’s a really hard one to answer. I reckon there are maybe 6 or 7 that would battle it out for the top spot. What makes it so hard is the romanticism of these mountains and the emotions they evoke. Some of the best days on my bike, haven’t necessarily been on the best trails that these mountains offer, but instead, a combination of sights and feelings which filled me with nothing but ‘euphoria’ for want of a better word.

Images: Andy Cole

Standing atop the summit of Binnien Mor at 10.15 PM on a summers night, watching the sunset over the mighty Ben Nevis. Not a breath of wind, clear skies for 100miles in every direction, a feeling of true solitude and ultimately insignificance In this world. A clear mind to focus on nothing but your surroundings. All that matters is me, my bike, and making it off this mountain with the biggest smile on my face.

Those are the days I yearn for, the slithers of golden singletrack never before ridden, are just a bonus.”

After all this time staying close to home, does the prospect of ticking off mountains get your adventure whiskers twitching? Or is just being out there all the incentive you need?

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