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Well this is the view that greeted the wee Alp from its cosy winter hibernation…



Saturday 3rd April 2010, This snow arrived over night last Wednesday.. Been a long winter in Aberdeenshire .. We have had snow lying since before Christmas..

The white Christmas novelty has really worn off…..

I had intended to leave at 10am, giving some time for the warm April Sun to deal with the frost and ice on the roads, but the weather was poor, rain and wind with snow forecast over the hills.. I don’t mind the rain & wind, but no fun if the whole ride is going to be like that. Plus, reports from the North (Steve T), confirmed the weather in Moray was pants too.. So possibly snow falling on the high ground…1200 the sun was blazing, blue skies and warm! , well 7c, it is Scotland after all .. So off-ski…..

With the difficult 3-6inchs of snow on the sloppy drive navigated, set off and fuelled up. Headed North on the A944 over the Bridge of Alford, roads clear but wall to wall snow…

My usual run is up to Tomintoul over the Lecht Ski Resort.. Was in two minds, about going that way .. may just do a loop on the A944, Then spotted an R6 coming the other way… so thought… sod it I will see what the roads are like R6 v Transalp in these condition …. I am off over the Lecht high road

So over the Bridge, at the Bridge of Alford and followed the road along the River Don on the A944, then left on to the A97 at Mossat.. The dodgy bends just after Kildrummy Castle were more interesting than usual with plenty of grit and slime..
Transalp very twitchy, then remembered I had the 17inch road wheel on with BT45s fitted… The bike turns really quick with the wee wheel on, lowers the front and the braking efficiency is much improved….. (A cheap way to turn any of the Adventure bikes into a road going fun thing.. Then swap the wheel back and you can then go anywhere …. Would recommend it.. Take care though as it’s a big change from a 21 to a 17….)…

Roads wet but clear.. Snow getting deeper on the sides of the roads the higher I got.

On through Strathdon, joining the A939 just after Colnabiachin, then through Cockbridge, snow gates open so onwards up the hairpins climbing up to the high road to the Lecht.


The snow drifts quite badly here, its very exposed and always windy, (nearly got stuck a few years ago retrieving my son who had been snow boarding)

Some snow ….. This is just prior to getting to the top!!



The road over the top was clear so northward to the Ski Resort…


Plenty of snow here …










Weather still very good, no rain but plenty of melt water running on the roads and getting a bit of a soaking from spray, for the short periods I was behind the mandatory 4x4.. ( Spada one-piece rain suit on the rack as a totem ), roads a lot narrower with the snowy edges and ride lines full of grit and small stones from the running melt water.. So passing needed a bit more attention than usual.. No spirited riding today as some the of bends had fist size boulders on the ride line .. Interesting..

On over the Lecht and down into Moray , leaving Snowy Aberdeenshire..

Weather still fine, no rain, but cloudy and grey then blue and bright.. I think they call it changeable…

Due to the late start, my customary Bacon and Egg roll and frothy coffee at the Firestation café in Tomintoul got a miss, and I followed the A939 through the Bridge of Brown ( the hairpins down into the bridge were dry but with loads of grit, back brake only and gently , the back end still let loose a few times….

Onto the A95 to Grantown on Spey.. River very high with melt water.. No pics just enjoying myself, but now getting cold.. So Decision time … soup and a roll in Aviemore then loop back.

1.30 pm in Aviemore, so had missed the rush ( place was packed .. well it is Easter weekend and they have plenty of snow… ) Stopped at the Corner Café and had a coffee and soup-n -roll.. Feeling much better… Started thinking,, mm Dark at 7 to 8 pm now as the clocks have gone forward and though its winter cold .. It is April, (in the middle of winter its dark. at 3pm up this way).. Recalled the link on the “ its Snowing thread” and Boris posting Glenfinnan and the Via duct that Palerider wanted to visit.. Checked on the trusty Garmin V.. 74 miles!! Set to GOTO and should be there for 4pm, giving me a 3hr run back home….

B9152 though Newtonmore, no snow anywhere, all gone , black clouds… heavens opened and it humped it down , severe wet weather gear still on the rear rack ..:).. Fine and dry, Belstaffs were re-proofed a month ago with some Nikwax wash in stuff (appears to work J ).

But the dreaded Left boot leaked again followed by the Right.. That’s a first.. So time for new boots, or waterproof socks.. But my nice new Seal Skin socks were warm back in the draw at home.. numpty.. )

Was looking ahead and thinking.. Looks bad further west.. Will call it a day and head home…. Rode over the hill into Loch Laggan… sunshine and blue skies..

Absolutely amazing views over the lock..





It was so still and watching the moving mirror that was the reflection of the other side of the loch , had me taking my eyes of the road far too much.. Slowed the pace and stopped for pictures and to gape … with mist burning of Binnein Shios and Binnein Shuas… worth getting wet through Newtonmore.. Wet feet?



Stopped at the Dam on Lock Laggan….



Followed the A89 to Spean Bridge joining the A82 to Fort William fuelled up at the BP garage taking the right on the A830 road to the Islands… 14 miles to Glenfinnan…Looped into the car park.. Are all Tourists deaf… not one of them could hear the Alp coming in .. Nearly collected a few.. Like midges in the summer. Mainly Japanese.. Well at least they are spending money..

Few pictures check ETA to home 7.30 pm ekkkk better get move on….



The road home (eastern end of Loch Laggen )



On through Newtonmore.. Got soaked again…. Only rained twice all day, both times here at the same place … what’s with Newtonmore!!!!

Stopped at Aviemore (pub this time as the corner café was shut !! ).. Quick warm and a coffee.. Feet really cold now… checked GPS .. Quickest route as I thought, was back over the Lecht.. So retraced my tracks from the Moray side over the top.. Still light, temperature dropping rapidly, but all the Skiers had gone.. Car park empty?

Guess they are on winter time dark-o clock openings, as this amount of snow , this late in the year is not usual ..

Home 7 30 PM still light and 280 miles 7 hrs 30mins.. so much for my quick ride out.. Got to be done..

If I had gone by the weather reports.. Would have been in by the fire all day and missed a great ride… Ahh Scotland ..

PS I think the R6 had done a 4 mile loop out the Village, and was sitting tucked up with a hot drink…..
 

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Crackin post Ray, I drove down Lagganside last Sunday then up the A82 on Wednesday, hopefully the roads will have improved by this weekend coming, should be a lot milder going by the forecast.
 

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Great report must get off the island soon and get some miles in :thumbright:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Crackin post Ray, I drove down Lagganside last Sunday then up the A82 on Wednesday, hopefully the roads will have improved by this weekend coming, should be a lot milder going by the forecast.
loved it.. sod the weather.. it only adds to the beauty , that's it winter officially over.. hope you and Fiona have a great week:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Bling Tastic Transalp
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Aye Ray ,Cold feet can really spoil things.
, I have a pair of those sealskinz socks, they are great .

Also got some non waterproof socks called *heat holders* very good unless its wet ..

cheers craig
 

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So I missed the wet bits - result :thumbup:

Very nice report Ray - thanks for sharing - shame we didn't meet up, Loch Laggan road the Spean Bridge is an ace ride.

Maybe next time - an AT outing maybe, once yer new stead has arrived :thumbup:

Steve T

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I missed the wet bits - result :thumbup:

Very nice report Ray - thanks for sharing - shame we didn't meet up, Loch Laggan road the Spean Bridge is an ace ride.

Maybe next time - an AT outing maybe, once yer new stead has arrived :thumbup:

Steve T

:cool:
sounds like a plan :thumbup:

looking forward to the AT tank range.. hit reserve on the alp about a mile from home 150miles, hope the AT is as Good as the Alp:rolleyes: will be a shame to see it go :eek:ccasion8:

Ray
 

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will be a shame to see it go :eek:ccasion8:
Easy solution - don't sell it, sell something else from the garage - like the knee cruncher :thumbright:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Easy solution - don't sell it, sell something else from the garage - like the knee cruncher :thumbright:

what.. :eek::eek:

nope Alp will have to go I would use it in the same way as yours.. off road.. but the DR is better suited.. if I keep the alp I will mess with it.. so best I punt it... its a great wee machine just a wee AT :cool:.. once I am happy with the AT it will gather dust... shame.. so best someone else abuses it...:(

oh and I have Super moto wheels for the thumper..:blob8:
the XLV to sort.. the A10... sacrifice and simplify :eek:ccasion8:

and I have to spare some time to ride..........:toothy10:
 

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Saturday 3rd April 2010, This snow arrived over night last Wednesday.. Been a long winter in Aberdeenshire .. We have had snow lying since before Christmas..

The white Christmas novelty has really worn off…
Great report, Raymo. We had snow on the ground off and on for about two weeks and that was more than enough, so sympathies for the icy conditions up there! Easter usually means improving weather and roads; the beginning of my favourite time of the biking year.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
fek me that snow will still be there in June!!!

still snow on the Cairngorms met Steve T on the lech the other week.. midnight dusk time and it was still feking cold...
 
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