I’ve decided to go home today. I’ve got to be out by 9.30am in the morning so with my last ride done I’d be just hanging around and I can see Dan tonight too.
Yesterday afternoon I went for a quick walk up Doon Hill. It’s a waymarked 1.5 mile trail up and down a local hill in memory of a local Reverend who wrote a book called ‘Secret Commonwealth’ which is about Fairies and Elves. Apparently he died walking on the hill and the trail is in his memory. Now I like a bit of carving. Someone has carved ‘fairy doors’ on a few tree trunks but a lot of people have left a lot of ribbon and trinkets too. Tat basically and for me looks like litter. You decide. The top of the hill is marked by a solitary tree drenched in it. Maybe I’m just a grumpy old man but it looks shit.
Further down the trail I did find something a little more eye-catching. Someone had carved a mushroom and people had stuck small coins in the cracks. Looked quite effective and random too. 20p a go seemed to be the going rate
Trail done, I walked into Aberfoyle and pitched up at The Forth Inn and decided to treat myself to dinner. It was an old looking place. 100 years old (1919) in fact but I thought it was Victorian. Steak and Ale Pie + a pint done, the waitress tempted me with a sticky toffee pudding for dessert but when it came I think it was bigger than my main. I also did another pint. The walk home was uncomfortable, I was fit to burst
Fast-forward to this morning and I was up early to get a ride in before I go home this afternoon. Originally I planned a monster climb of Glen Finglas but the forecast looked iffy and it is high and exposed so I opted for just a 30km quick spin over Dukes pass into the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and back.
I left just after 9am and began the climb out of Aberfoyle. I missed my turn so had to carry on to the Go Ape car park further up and find my way back en-route round the back of the visitor centre. Done, I cracked on with the climb and my legs were really complaining and the mojo was a bit suppressed today too, signs I was fatigued so a quick squirt round the trails was probably the best option.
Over the top I followed the forest drive road and then took a long descent past Loch Drunkie to the shores of Loch Venachar.
The sun had come out so the gilet came off but the wind was whipping up. I rode along the shore on the National Cycle Route. A great gravel path but not fit to be part of the National Cycle Network. Too narrow, too loose, doesn’t cater for all bikes.
I picked up the Forest Drive again and then crossed the main road and laboured up a short, single track climb to a forest road which took me round to the Dukes Pass road climb. Initially I had a welcome tailwind and no ninja flies today but as it snaked up higher the wind really whipped up in my face and made the going hard.
Over the top I was done now and ready to head back. After a couple of km I took a left back into the forest off the main road and zipped down the way I came up then opting for the longer way home.
It’s been a fantastic week of riding and exploring the area. And the cottage has been a perfect base. If you like walking or the type of offroad riding I do then it’s a place blessed with endless trails to enjoy. I think I’ll be back at some point for sure
2 thoughts on “Doon and a quickie”
Sounds like you had a great time 👌
The fairy tree. That’s a very Celtic thing. Pretty common here in Ireland. You tie a small piece of rag to a fairy tree or a tree at a holy well. The rag represents your wish to the fairies/Gods if pagan or your prayer if Christian. People also tie a rag to represent an ailment they want cured.
I feel bad now calling it tat and litter 🤣