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This episode in the Trail Guide TV series sees local Rider Ruari Watt show us some of his favourite trails around Kinlochleven, Scotland. Shot by Mark Huskisson of Reset Films.
About the Kinlochleven trails
Words: Ruari Watt
I’m a 33-year-old father of two who lives near Fort William in the West Highlands. I ‘just’ ride trails around where I live, and occasionally race. Most people are aware of the Fort William World Cup, but beyond ‘Fort Bill’ (locals never call it that…) we have a good riding scene. Small in numbers but high in quality, we have great riders, challenging trails and an outdoor culture where the hills, rivers, lochs and sea are already for playing about on by various means.
I normally ride the tight, twisty and steep mud ruts close to Fort William. The few weeks of super dry weather we get each summer turn them lovely and dusty, but normally they are pretty slippery and require a definite technique to get down. Nearby is the village of Kinlohleven, where this was filmed. The trails there are pretty special, especially on a long summers night; rough, rocky and steep trails, surrounded by the Mamore hills and big views down Loch Leven. The area is pretty well known for riding now, with a few events taking place there and a few articles in the magazines over the years.
For this film I met Mark at the Tour de Ben Nevis, which I had just won, and he was keen to get out and do some filming on a favourite trail of mine. I chose this one because it is pretty epic riding surrounded by impressive scenery. When Mark and his mini crew came up to film me in Kinlochleven, it was a cold and wet October day, a little while ago now in fact. I was riding my battered old bike, one of its last rides before it was retired*. The weather and the state of my frame didn’t help confidence much! The trail I’m riding is the Grey Mares Tail, a steep rocky rut with tight switchbacks running down the side of a big waterfall, the trail was running with water and the big slabs of rock were really slippery. Hopefully this footage gives a good impression of the place and the conditions on the day – I was soaking and cold from hanging about, and those rocks were looking pretty sore to fall on.
*Since this film was made Orange bikes have been good enough to help me out with a nice Five; a really versatile and fun bike for the different trails I ride and I must say a big thank you to them for that.
About Trail Guide TV:
The aim of our Trail Guide TV series is simple: to inspire and uncover. We ride some of the finest natural trails in Britain and occasionally abroad too, sometimes with local riders and sometimes on a trail hunt of our own. Trail Guide TV won’t be providing maps and directions to each of the rides, but it will give a place name and some insight into the terrain. You’ll have to go on a search of your own if you want to ride the same amazing trails.