Steve had come all the way from the white cliffs doon sooth. You quickly warm to his unrelenting cheerfulness. The pairing with Jim, our Canadian randonneur, emerged on day two in the bowl of Glen Almond as it snakes through to Loch Tay.
Jim and Steve have ridden too many wild places to be cowed by the Scottish weather. As the rest of us considered the shortest least painful route through Drummochter Pass to somewhere warm to sleep, they committed to the Gaick Pass. A true wilderness section running 35km North via a bog trot, challenging single track and a river crossing.
Joining us in our glamping pod that night, they eventually rolled in at 9.45pm, numb with the cold but exhilarated after 150km and 2000m of tough riding. Brain function was perhaps a bit glitchy. Steve’s enthusiastic purchase of a pizza on route, had lacked the association of ‘glamping pod’ and ‘no oven’. So he abandoned the pizza in favour of the higher culinary treat of a super-noodle butty. Tough legs, tough brains, tough stomachs. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Gaick Pass two: