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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #1
The first year we mainly went in the southern half of the forest. There were a couple of interesting tracks but mostly it was very easy and to be honest the scenery and views were only ok.

The last 2 years we have in the northern half of the forest where the views are certainly better and the whole place has a bit more of a wild feel. The finale up the HILL is the icing on the cake.

I am happy to do the Northern half again, but I can also have a browse around the map and try and find something in the south to match the north, although this may involve more dead end tracks and U turns. I should be able to keep the HILL as the finale in any case.

So, question for those that have been before: stay in the north and do more or less the same as the last two years (I will look at alternatives but mostly the same major parts of the forest); or take a chance on finding some good routes in the Southern half (for example the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct is worth a look, and some of the dead ends look OK too)

Also, as the tarmac roads round there are mostly ace, is there any interest in having a bit more tarmac between the forestry sections?
 

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Hill Rider
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Austin,

Whatever you plan will be ace, I'm sure.

Only suggections I can think of are:

1 - run the route in reverse

2 - include the toll track on the southern section as well as the viaduct.

But as i've already said, whatever you plan, it'll be ace :thumbright:

Steve T

:cool:
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Steve, I did think about doing the northern bit in reverse, but you have your backs to the views that way. I have however been browsing maps and photo websites and think I have some new routes in the South. It should have some good views back over Loch Ken and the campsite, that interesting track just off the Reivers Road, Big Water of fleet Viaduct, a fastish blast back to Clatteringshaws, then up into the very heart of the forest on a continuous 20+ mile track. Just need to work out the best way to get to the Hill after that. All that followed by a fast tarmac run back up the Queens Highway from Newton Stewart. Should be fun fun fun :D
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #4
OK, I have been plotting routes tonight. There's going to be three principle legs to this for 2013.

1. Starts at the east end of the Reivers Road. We will be in the forest for about 30 miles. We did some of this in 2010 but there's a big area I haven't been to before so not sure what it will be like but there should be good views over Loch Ken. If anyone's a railway buff there is a long stretch on a disused line and we will have a look at Big Water of Fleet Viaduct.

2. After a short stretch of tarmac we will head North, again following some of 2010's route but going as far as the track goes in this area. There should be good views towards Merrick to the West (highest hill) and Corserine to the east (2nd highest). From here (SFC permitting as its a popular route) we will head through the forest towards Glentrool. Total on track also about 30miles.

3. From Glentrool visitor center we will ride up Bennan Hill (1800feet), possibly with a diversion up a dead end track that looks interesting. Return trip approx 10miles.

So that should be about 70 miles of off road riding. Is that OK, as it is tiring, and can get a bit monotonous.

All tracks are reasonably well made forestry tracks, how rough they are depends on how recently forestry operations last took place; the longer ago the more overgrown they get and therefore a bit more interesting to ride, but the trees also close in so views get limited. The tracks are easy enough for our style of bikes with not much mud. If its wet it will be mucky though; if there's been a long dry spell it will be very dusty. The day's ride is tiring and you will stand for most of the time. Bring food and drink.

If we have time there are some tracks to the west of Glentrool we have never been to yet. These are relatively wide tracks often used for rallies, so.....;)

The official speed limit in the forest is 15mph. So far I haven't seen a speed camera or van yet.:D
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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FWIW, my experience of the first year was as you say Austin, fairly gentle riding and easy to manage tracks!

However for big trailies like the Vara on road rubber, I do like a mix of on and off road riding and a bit of a tarmac blast followed by a forestry trail is ideal and keeps the body tense ;)*

As long as the Queens Drive/highway is in... :thumbup: It was even fun last year in my overweight Hyundai battle tank!











*If it doesn't dry up before easter, I am fitting TKC80s
 

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I'm easy, I'll follow you guys wherever! Sorry I've no input to help guys, just thought I'd let you know I'll be happy whatever!

Jim S.
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #7
I was chatting to the guy at the forestry today about routes and stuff. There's a lot harvesting going on at the moment, especially in the northern area. While not out bounds active harvesting areas are best avoided. So my decision to go south is justified.

There's also another part of the route I planned to use that is somewhat sensitive and the forestry have committed to not using a short stretch of track by any of their vehicles and so will not sanction us riding on it. This means a bit of a re-plan of the route outlined above is required. I think this is going to mean a bit more tarmac and a bit less track. The good bit though is that we can do that marvelous stretch of tarmac they call the Queens Highway 3 times that day :toothy3: It will still be a splendid ride.

The other bit of good news is we are still the only motorbike groups the SFC will sanction on forestry tracks.:cool: They are allowing one other group access in 4x4s, who are basically doing the same as us except in 4x4s and in smaller groups. He said the ride reports on XRV (and ABR presumably) have prompted a lot of calls and emails but no one else seems prepared to organise it properly. We are a lucky lot:happy7:
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Whatever you do Austin it will always be great

Just gutted I can't be there especially to savour the Queens Highway
 

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Craigypops
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Hill Rider
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. . . . . but no one else seems prepared to organise it properly.
And if they did, they wouldn't be half as good as you, hence we are allowed, yet again, to enjoy the privilidge of riding the tracks we do.
We are a lucky lot:happy7:
We are indeed - on two counts . . .

1 - We are allowed back

and

2 - We have you, taking it upon yourself, to brilliantly organise & run this event, and others like it . . .

THANK YOU

Steve T

:cool:
 

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Hi Austin, it all sounds great & having looked at previous event photo's the area looks stunning! Been to Galloway once in the car but didn't explore the forest.

The Serow currently has road-legal knobblies on (great for mud not so great for tarmac).
I hope not to slow folk down on the ride out - the Serow is happiest @45mph but struggles on hills (it's geared for trails in Yorkshire) & I'm still a novice trail rider and haven't been on any trails since November.

I'll refuel in Castle Douglas before I arrive on Friday but during Saturday's ride out, I will need to fuel around 80 miles. But happy to peel off then re-group as I'll have a map and satnav with me. Do you normally distribute the route for those with OS Maps?
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Austin, it all sounds great & having looked at previous event photo's the area looks stunning! Been to Galloway once in the car but didn't explore the forest.

The Serow currently has road-legal knobblies on (great for mud not so great for tarmac).
I hope not to slow folk down on the ride out - the Serow is happiest @45mph but struggles on hills (it's geared for trails in Yorkshire) & I'm still a novice trail rider and haven't been on any trails since November.

I'll refuel in Castle Douglas before I arrive on Friday but during Saturday's ride out, I will need to fuel around 80 miles. But happy to peel off then re-group as I'll have a map and satnav with me. Do you normally distribute the route for those with OS Maps?
Stop worrying about being on a slower bike, you wont slow anyone down. There's usually loads of gates to open and close so everyone keeps together. Its only the couple of tarmac stretches where people will want to take advantage of the super road but its not for long and the route is dead simple and me or someone will wait if you get behind.

Nearest fuel to the campsite is in St John's Town of Dalry, but its expensive so better filling up in CD, although unless you need shops, the better way from the A75 is to turn onto the A712 at Crocketford. Once on the run, the amended route I am now following will pass through a filling station in Newton Stewart about 50-60 miles from the start so you should be ok.

I don't distribute maps. My objective is to keep the group together. I will give a briefing on what to do in the unlikely event that we get split up or someone gets lost.
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Stop worrying about being on a slower bike, you wont slow anyone down. There's usually loads of gates to open and close so everyone keeps together. Its only the couple of tarmac stretches where people will want to take advantage of the super road but its not for long and the route is dead simple and me or someone will wait if you get behind.

Nearest fuel to the campsite is in St John's Town of Dalry, but its expensive so better filling up in CD, although unless you need shops, the better way from the A75 is to turn onto the A712 at Crocketford.
The garage at the St John sells super Scottish tablet though, a filling needed with every bite, but soooo nice :) The road from Crocketford is fun, even at more sensible speeds.

On the actual run in the forests, you will be on probably the best bit of kit in the group, as for the Queens Drive blast, well it's only a few miles and you will have fun bend swinging with the best of us :thumbright:

Look forward to seeing you soon, hopefull when its a tad warmer...... Brrrrrrr!
 

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You can't beat a bit of tablet, I may well make some of my famous tablet to take down with me! Nothing goes better with a Speyside single malt than a bit of home made tablet!
I've a few special treats from the Highlands for you guys, famous McLeod's black pudding straight off the ferry from Stornoway, a single malt whisky called 'The Double wood' from the Balvenie distillery in Dufftown and I may take some Scottish traditional tablet made by my own fair hands!
A great weekend ahead! I may just wash my Africa Twin for the trip! LOL! Well,,,, I MIGHT wash it!
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #16
I think I will bring something different. I am rather enjoying a Bushmills blend at the mo and the shop has some 10yo Bushmills single malt, or some Gentleman Jack bourbon. I had better bring a regular Scottish malt too. I will see what's on offer in Booths.



Sent from my iPhone with a smile :)
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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I think I will bring something different. I am rather enjoying a Bushmills blend at the mo and the shop has some 10yo Bushmills single malt, or some Gentleman Jack bourbon. I had better bring a regular Scottish malt too. I will see what's on offer in Booths.



Sent from my iPhone with a smile :)
My head has started to ache with just the thought of the amount of whiskey that will be drunk!! :D I will have to see if I have a bottle of the 2011 Damson Gin left in the cellar......
 

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On the Whiskey front, I do enjoy a Gentleman Jack of a Saturday night! It has that bourbon charcoal taste to it! Lovely!

Maybe I should concentrate on Scottish food rather than drink,,,,, oh well,,,,, DRINK! LOL!
 
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