The Kingussie Bikeathon
[caption id="attachment_7264" align="alignleft" width="238"]
All ready to go at the start of the Kingussie Bikeathon[/caption]
The Kingussie Bikeathon is an annual event in the area, many families do this each year. However this was very definitely a first for us. We had signed up to the bikeathon a few weeks ago with the aim of getting the boys cycling a few more miles and introducing them to cycling on roads a bit more. We were also raising some funds for the Cairngorms Trust which is a local charity which has 2 Campaign Projects this year. One in Boat of Garten, where they are building an osprey nesting platform amongst other things and one in Kingussie where they are mending paths, so a great local charity for outdoor folks. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nancy-chambers4
if you would like to donate to the projects.
[caption id="attachment_7263" align="alignright" width="290"]
The highest point and the centre of scotland stone[/caption]
The Kingussie bikeathon route is just short of 40 kilometers and for boys that do short distances on their BMX’s or downhill on their mountain bikes was quite a challenge. Finding a steady rhythm to pedal is a big deal when you are 7! Much more exciting to be trying to jump or wiggle. Riding in a straight line along a road at times throughout the day probably was type 2 fun for the little one. (Type 2 fun for those that don’t use the term, is the type of fun that is fun after you have finished!) However the route was punctuated by short stops for bananas, cake and water. Roughly each 10km section had a stop with some sort of entertainment or food at it.
It was such a lovely day, not too hot, not too cold. Perfect for cycling in shorts and tee-shirts. That made logistics much easier. The boys carried a little life rucksack each with their essentials in it. A water bottle, some snacks and a jacket. Nick and I carried slightly more in our rucksacs, to help if it got cold or food ran out etc. None apart from lunch was needed though.
[caption id="attachment_7262" align="alignnone" width="640"]
The centre of Scotland Stone a great photo opportunity[/caption]
There was a mass staggered start, with local outdoor celebrity Cameron McNeish starting us all off. Then onto the cycle way for the first section to Newtonmore, through to Ralia and then to Invernahaven Campsite for the first stop. Bananas eaten and socializing done (it was a great day for catching up with friends) we set of up the hill on a single track road towards the Centre of Scotland stone. This is geographically the furthest point from all coasts within Scotland, great for a wee rest at the top of the hill and amazing views. From here we were downhill towards General Wades Military Road towards The Monarch Hotel where there was a band boogieing away, cakes galore and a few games to entertain the kids.
[caption id="attachment_7266" align="alignnone" width="640"]
Lunch stop on the Kingussie bikeathon[/caption]
Re-fueled, we jumped back on the bikes and headed onto the A86 towards Laggan and Newtonmore. This was the bit of road I was least keen on riding with the boys. It is a fast section of road. However there were a lot of cyclists and plenty of signs and for the most part, the drivers on the road were very considerate.
[caption id="attachment_7267" align="aligncenter" width="464"]
Open single track roads on the Kingussie Bikeathon[/caption]
Newtonmore was back in our sights and then onto the cycle way again. It was bliss letting the boys bike a bit more freely without us chatting to them and encouraging them to stay in a straight line. As we arrived back into Kingussie there were plenty of marshals directing us towards the end point where there were beautiful wooden medals, which if you got four of them form a cog of a bike wheel. Happy to have finished, the boys promptly jumped back on their bikes for a jumps session, (you would think they might have been tired) and then off home for a well earned dinner. It was a top day out, with both boys saying that they would like to do it again next year. What a result.
[caption id="attachment_7265" align="aligncenter" width="640"]
Our 4 finishing medals make up a complete cog at the Kingussie Bikeathon[/caption]