Mostly, this is random stories from my various trips as I collect them, but I've a wee backlog to get through too and those will pop up occasionally.

Feel free to leave comments.

Saturday 6 April 2013

Making Connections

I hadn't been able to fathom out quite what was wrong. The newest addition to my collection of bikes - a Salsa El Mariachi - looked nice, I'd made sure the size was correct and I'd built it with a good choice of components. However, I just wasn't feeling "the love" for it. Maybe it was all due to lack of ride time. The ongoing wintery conditions meant I was still using the Fatbike for all my off-roading and hence for the bikepacking trips I'd been so keen to make more of this year. Then two things happened; 

The first was that I managed to obtain a second hand set of carbon rigid forks to replace the suspension forks I'd originally built it with. I've used rigid forks on my old Titanium hardtail and I've always like the feel of them and it had always been my intention to go down a similar road with this bike. It's an easy job to swap them over - I'd even bought a headset and two crown races to make the job simpler. After fitting them, the bike immediately felt better balanced and a quick spin up and down the street suggested the steering wasn't impaired.

The second was an opportunity to get an early bid in for Aprils bivvy-per-month. I'd been watching the weather forecast and there was a suggestion that the settled cold weather was coming to an end, to be replaced with milder, but wetter, conditions. Having survived out at -10C a couple of weeks previously I reckoned a quick overnight trip would go down just fine. 

The only dampener on all of this was that I'd just managed to contract some sort of virus and was feeling pretty ropey. However, I decided to press on regardless.

The usual map-studying routine began. I really didn't have anywhere in mind but I knew I didn't want it to be too far away. A wee while later I came up with the idea of following the Rob Roy Way. This is normally walked from Drymen to Pitlochry but with a prevailing Easterly and the logistical issues of a train to and from the start and end, it worked out better that I head West, ending at Drymen and then picking up the West Highland Way to Milngavie. A look at route maps suggested that a fair chunk of the route was on good tracks and with the ground still likely to be hard, I reckoned that a thinner, faster rolling tyre was the best option so I fitted the Schwalbe Marathon Mondials. Everything I needed for the trip - including the 4 season sleeping bag - fitted into the Revelate Viscacha saddle bag and Sweet Roll handlebar bag so I seemed to be all set.

Off we go again
I do love setting off from home without a car or van. There's a certain sense of freedom that comes with it and I was still in that state of contentment when I rolled in to Haymarket station for the train to Pitlochry. Despite it still being the school holidays, the train wasn't very busy and even Pitlochry seemed quite quiet. After a few minutes orientation I headed off towards the Right of Way to Strathtay, across the A9 and then up the long climb to Dunfallandy. I'd been up this way a couple of years back but this time I was forced to take the singletrack ascent as there were some forestry operations making the easier, more gradually ascending forest track out of bounds.  The lingering snow and ice, the climb, the lack of traction from my tyres and the weight of the bike meant that it wasn't long before I was forced to push and I was only able to get back on and ride when the slope levelled off before the end of the forest and the lovely view over to Aberfeldy.

Looking across to Aberfeldy and the route onward
From here, it is a fun descent all the way to Strathtay and, being south-facing at this point - the snow had largely disappeared too. As long as I was careful, the tyres were providing just the right amount of grip and I wasn't really missing the suspension forks either. Down at the road, I crossed over the Tay to Grandtully and then picked up the old railway line for a while. Patches of snow and ice remained in the more sheltered spots but I was enjoying getting some decent miles in and made it to Aberfeldy for lunch.

From here, the Rob Roy Way climbs up past the Birks of Aberfeldy. I recalled that there were some steps up this wee gorge but reckoned It wouldn't be too bad, even with the loaded bike. I was wrong. It proved to be a very tiring and time-consuming mistake and by the time I reached the top bridge I was completely puggled. Some of this might have been due to my health and I'm sure the route would work better in reverse when some of the steps would be rideable too. 

A quick chat with Rabbie

Thone's jist braw but dinnae be an erse an' bring a bike here
Still, it confirmed my thoughts on the next part of the route. Some foolhardy person had decided to scope out an optional 13-mile detour to the Rob Roy Way, all the way to Amulree and back. I'd already almost discounted this as a good deal of it was on public roads, I'd walked some of the off-road sections previously and it was taking me a long way from civilization. Seeing the ground conditions so far, I could now add the likelihood of snow and ice, inappropriate tyres and my general ill-health to the list of reasons to avoid it. So, I made my way gingerly along toward Kenmore on more snow- and ice-covered tracks. At least the weather was nice.

I eventually made it to Tombuie Cottage where a quick glance up the still snow-covered road confirmed that my decision to avoid Amulree had been the correct one. 
The road to Amulree - still blocked by snow just past this bend
From here, one of the most enjoyable sections of the day - The Queens Drive - to Acharn was a real pleasure. However, by the time I'd hit the south Loch Tay road I'd already made up my mind to bypass the next high-level section of the RRW, the section from Ardeonaig to Lochan Breachlaich. That meant a well-timed arrival at Killin for dinner and a relaxing pint of cider before a last stint of riding took me to the top of Glen Ogle and a lovely sheltered spot to pitch the tent.

Tucked away
My routine is quite well-practiced now so it wasn't long before I was in the sleeping bag and the stove was on for some hot chocolate. While it was a wee bit chilly, it was nowhere near as cold as I'd already slept through this winter and, if anything, I was feeling a bit too warm at times. With the feeling of a long, hard day under my belt I was soon fast asleep and didn't really awaken until the sun was popping up.

On paper, day 2 looked to be much easier but having woken up with a bout of hard coughing and full of green phlegm I wasn't taking anything for granted. It was therefore with some pleasure that the first section of todays ride was all downhill through Glen Ogle. At Balquhidder Station I found that, due to more forestry work,s the RRW had been diverted along another section of old railway. This was in some way ironic as I'd seen this path the last time I'd come along this way and had been interested then to see where it went. As it was, it provided a fairly direct and flat, if bumpy and muddy, way in to Strathyre, avoiding the tedious ups and downs on the road section of NCN7. 

As it was still quite early, I had second breakfast at the shop in Strathyre. I seem to have developed a craving for chocolate milk recently so bought some extra and filled a water bottle with it. From here to Callander is another track I'm familiar with and it went by in no time at all, leaving me to turn off onto the RRW again on the Brig of Turk Road then over the bridge into Invertrossachs. A few miles along this cul-de-sac I found the turn off for the Mentieth Hills. I knew that this would be the first decent climb of the day but just grabbed a low gear and ground it out in the morning sunshine. 
Loch Achray and Ben Venue
The track was really chopped up in places as yet more extraction is taking place but it was still cold enough to be hard rather than muddy. As I climbed, I could just make out a low col through the trees and I was relieved when the forest section eventually ended and I was on to more open ground. 

This path was one of the very first I ever cycled on, back in 2005. I'd been going in the other direction that time and I reckon it would be better heading north. However, the little sections of boulder-strewn singletrack were still great fun after doing so much road and track work. The descent into Aberfoyle is very fast and long and I arrived easily 30 minutes ahead of the schedule I'd created in my head. Lunch was pancakes, maple syrup and bacon - and very nice it was too!

More forest tracks lay ahead now and with the help of map and GPS I was able to make up for the inconsistent waymarking through Achray Forest, passing the occasional walker or cyclist. Soon enough I met the old Drymen Road and with a sustained bit of effort topped out to see the Campsies looking very majestic on my left and then made the fast road descent down to Drymen.

Campsie Fells
From here, I picked up the West Highland Way to Gartness where a little honesty box at the roadside provided me with a choc-ice. 

Well - it would be rude not to!!
Picking up another old railway track made progress south fast enough - and it would have been even faster if it hadn't been for the numerous gates. The final climb of the trip was up to the road at Carbeth. The track was smooth to begin with but got very rough near the top. However, determination and the knowledge that I was almost finished was enough to see me up it, past the huts at Carbeth and then in to Mugdock Country Park for a pleasant wee ending to the trip in Milngavie before catching the train home.

And home.....dirtier, but feeling more like "my" bike and not "a" bike
Overall, I'd covered just over 100 miles in the two days. I seemed to spend more time pushing than riding on day 1, due to all the points already raised. Had I been fitter and the tracks less icy I'd have made better progress but I was happy enough with what I'd managed. 

As a cycle route, the Rob Roy Way works in places (like the Queens Drive) and fails in others (Birks of Aberfeldy). Much of the waymarking assumes you are travelling north though and it was only through careful use of the GPS that I avoided some mis-turns.

The bike, however, turned out to be a revelation. Despite all my previous concerns, after two days in the saddle I can now feel I've made a good choice. It carried the load easily, was well balanced, stable when it needed to be and just flickable enough in tighter spots. The 29" wheels behave just as I expected, making the lack of suspension a non-issue. Suddenly, I feel an emotional attachment to it that I'd previously been lacking and I'm already looking at some more road/off-road trips in Argyll and further West that I've had my eye on for some time. 

Day 1

Day 2

Saturday 9 March 2013

Oops!...I (almost) did it again

You'd think it would be fairly simple. With loads of time available and 4 whole weeks to get organised, why have I once again left it until the penultimate day of the month to get in my planned bivi-per-month? To be fair, I did have one attempt earlier this month with a trip up to Aviemore. I was doing a couple of route surveys for Scotways and had opted for an overnight camp at the top of a wee hill. When I arrived there (in the dark) I found the spot I wanted under lots of fresh snow and a strong wind starting up. I instead opted to sleep in the van in a much more sheltered spot and was glad I'd made that decision as the van was still rocking all night and more snow arrived. 

This time, the weather looked more settled and I decided to do a "classic" Scottish MTB route - Bridge of Orchy to Loch Etive via Glen Kinglass. By way of an warm-up I headed off up the West Highland Way from Tyndrum. I was aware that the evening was going to be cold and had dressed accordingly but the lovely warm sunshine was already making me pay for it as the track first heads uphill. I was also on the Fatbike and finding the big knobby tyres at only 12psi pretty hard work.

Once off the old road, the big tyres did make light work of the rocky section though it was very slippy going under the cattle creep and then I had to lift the whole bike and gear over the fence.

Back on the old road, I was soon down at Bridge of Orchy and then facing the climb up to Mam Carraigh. I can't help but feel that the gaelic speaker who named this high pass had a sense for a good pun as my legs gave in and I was reduced to pushing for a short while. Soon enough though, I broke out of the forest and could really appreciate the height gained for the wonderful views it provided. 
Time for a wee breather
The descent down to the Inveroran proved to be a real delight - all rocky and slabby. Briefly on the road I was soon at the start of the track to Glen Kinglass and again made good time to the edge of the forest, passing a small area of burning grass on the way. I'd seen a larger area from the top of Mam Carraigh and that turned out to be right at the edge of the track I was on so I took a deep breath and blitzed past it as fast as I could. Once through the farm buildings at Clashgour I had a bit of a choice to make. The footpath led to a nice bridge but would involve a climb over a high stile with the bike. Instead, I opted to see what the ford was like. I was delighted to see a set of high stepping stones, mostly well clear of the water level, so hopped across these, pushing the bike through the river as I went. 

The stepping stones were a lovely surprise
From there, the track carries on alongside the river for a while before it changes character rising up through the terminal moraine of a long-gone glacier. This was a lot more up and down now and I had a sense that the daylight was ending just as I approached the watershed and started my descent into Glen Kinglass.

This turned out to be an absolutely fantastic piece of trail, with large slabby sections like a natural McMoab. Well worth all the effort to get here. 

The route ahead goes thataway....
A couple more river crossings were required, with one old footbridge looking very much the worse for wear and better bypassed. 
Needing some work I think
However, I now had three pressures on me; I needed to concentrate on the trail both for safety and enjoyment, I wanted to look around to enjoy the scenery and take photos, and I still needed to make good time before the sun set. More than once I'd look up at some lovely mountain view, look back at the trail and realise I was about to come a cropper. However, I somehow held it all together and reached Glen Kinglass Lodge in one piece. 

I just happened to have the camera in my hand when this young deer ran out in front of me

From here, the trail improved yet again and  I decided to press on to reach the side of Loch Etive before camping. 

Getting dark now

It was a bit of a relief to catch my first glimpse of the loch and I decided to head uphill a little before pitching the tent. I reckoned that with such a still night, the cold air would slip down to the valley floor and I wanted to avoid the worst of this. I found an old section of dyke with enough flat ground beside it to fit in my small tent and soon had it pitched. I took the precaution of clearing away all the old, dry grass from the front of the tent and found a flat rock to set my stove on. I know how easy it is to start a grass fire and the two I'd already seen were warning enough. One miscalculation I had made was in not having enough water with me. I'd drunk more than I had realised and at this height there was no running water at all - all had frozen solid. Still, the malt whisky would be fine without....
Would you like ice with that whisky?
Orion over Cruachan

By the time I'd eaten and settled in for the night I was quite cosy and slept well until around 2:30 when I was awoken by the sound of barking. It was far too close to be any sort of estate dog so I can only assume it was a fox giving something a hard time. I popped my head out of the tent, hoping for a nice moon but it had clouded over.

Morning at Loch Etive
Just after 7am I was awake again and settled for a cup of coffee and porridge bar for breakfast before packing everything up  and heading along Loch Etive. This track proved to be much hillier than I'd expected and I was glad to finally see the outskirts of Taynuilt. I had a wee walk around Bonawe Furnace before heading for the village teashop, which turned out to be closed.

Bonawe Furnace - worth a visit
With few other options available I grabbed some food and drink from the grocery and headed down to the station platform where I knew there were a couple of shelters. I had the notion I might even get my stove out to make an impromptu brew but the warm sun and a bench were good enough and I simply relaxed awaiting the train back to Tyndrum.

Another fabulous run and a route I'd repeat as a one-day option some time. 

Now then - maybe I should plan the March bivi night soon?

Kinglass Route

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Revisiting some old ground - and some new

The "get Mim fit" campaign stepped up a gear last week as we took advantage of a Groupon deal to head for the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. I've passed it many times and been attracted to it more recently as it seems to have been spruced up a little and has an excellent reputation for the quality of its food. With only one night booked, we decided we'd do two walks in the area, so all I had to do was come up with a couple of candidates. The presence of snow at higher levels ruled out any Munro-bagging attempts so I decided that we'd just stick to low ground and that our first walk would be a section of the West Highland Way. One advantage of this option was that we could jump on the train from Bridge of Orchy to Crianlarich and so walk a longer stretch - in one direction. the only down-side was that the train would be leaving Bridge of Orchy at 9:03 - and we had to get there first!!

An early start got us on to the road and we were well on track until a small convoy of trucks gradually settled in front of us and as the A85 is never the est road for overtaking, we just had to bide our turn. That over with, we then hit some lengthy roadworks and now we were beginning to worry a little. We made it to the station car park with just five minutes to spare, got our boots on, grabbed our rucksacks and headed out into the blistering cold for only a couple of minutes before the train showed up.

Alighting at Crianlarich, we were already in the mood for a second breakfast and so opted for a quick stop in the Crianlarich Hotel. Thankfully, by the time we stepped out again, the day had got a little warmer and we were certainly warmed up by the time we reached the top of the little spur path that leads onto the WHW. After a little calculation, I worked out that it was 20 years since I'd first walked the WHW and 10 years since I'd last attempted it, on the trip that brought on all my foot problems and effectively put and end to my days as a backpacker.  The path hasn't changed much in the last 10 years, although some of the trees have grown a little.
Looking down Glen Dochart from above Crianlarich
 The section down to the the A82 was all the better for the lack of summer leaves, being altogether brighter, and as we crossed the River Fillan to Auchtertyre, Ben More was looking resplendent and almost alpine in the sunshine. The path through Dalrigh dragged on a bit, as it has on my previous two visits. I reckon knowing that a coffee and food awaits at Tyndrum has some detrimental affect on the brains ability to judge time. In due course, the Green Welly Stop arrived and we were soon in for a bit of a carb treat, reasoning that we could break our diet on account of us doing "so much" exercise! 
Beautiful Ben More

I'm just impressed they can read - never mind close gates behind them!
Soon enough, it was time to head out again and up the track past the new graveyard, eventually walking alongside the railway we'd been on only a few hours earlier. Beinn Dorain was looking very majestic and the view towards Stob Gabhar showed lots of snow higher up. I managed the walk down to Bridge of Orchy much faster than last time. Not having to stop to relieve the pressure on my heels every 15 minutes or so certainly made a difference! 

14.5 miles all in and a very pleasant route. So much so that my thoughts of cycling the West Highland Way this year were very much in my mind and I really have to decided whether I opt for a two-day, relaxed trip or go for the one-day all-out challenge. Or maybe I'll just have to do both!

The result of a wee after-dinner walk and a 60-second timer on the compact camera

For day 2, we opted for a straight out-and-back on the path from Victoria Bridge to Glen Kinglass, reckoning we'd simply head out for a couple of hours before turning back. Although it features as one of the mountain biking classic routes, I'd only ever been here on foot and only as far as the farm buildings at Clashgour. I was therefore very keen to see what the track was like further along towards Loch Dochard. 

Scotways sign at Forest Lodge
 It wasn't long after leaving the van that we spotted our first red deer of the day and he seemed pretty much unperturbed by our presence. I reckoned that the intervening river was making him a bit less skittish than he might otherwise have been. However, that didn't explain our next encounter, with one stag standing only a few feet of the track as we passed him by. He looked up at us, watched us go past, then carried on with the salt lick at his feet.

The cheeky beggar was sticking his tongue out at us!
The Right of Way is signposted along the river bank rather than through the forest so we took the opportunity to remain in more open surroundings on the way to the little ford and then the footbridge over the Abhainn Shira. At one section, the riverside path has disappeared altogether due to water erosion and it's still possible to see large chunks of what was river bank slightly further downstream, obviously carried under the power of the river. 

It won't be long before this path is impassable

The track "was" here....
The good track carries on after the little footbridge, eventually climbing up the terminal moraine of an old glacier, past an old stable and then Loch Dochard. We carried on a little further until the path threatened to descend again and we were now astride the Druim Alba - the watershed of Scotland. Strange to think that this far west, we'd only just reached the point where the streams we saw would eventually lead in to the Atantic rather than the North Sea. A brief lunch in the open and a pleasant walk back - passing Clashgour farm this time - saw us back at the van in a little over 4 hours. 

Friday 8 February 2013

Getting some direction

I'm not 100% sure when and where it started but it seems I've always had a fascination for maps and old routes. I learnt some map reading skills when I was in the Cubs and then the Scouts - certainly enough to get around the countryside fairly safely - and I've explained in my blog about my A9 trip that my father would often point out some old routes he was aware of, particularly the "Wade" military roads. Most of that was forgotten about when i took up motorcycling, especially as access laws in Scotland means you are more-or-less limited to tarmac. However, when I started to get back into hillwalking it wasn't long before I found myself poring over maps, looking at the various black dotted lines and trying to interpret how they would traverse the terrain in real life. As a Munro-bagger, many of these old routes are only used as a way of getting closer to the final ascent, or as a way into somewhere for an overnight camp. After all, our ancestors were mainly interested in how to travel through the countryside, not how to get to the tops of all the hills. 

That fascination also exhibits itself whenever I'm driving somewhere and I see one of the green-arrowed Scottish Rights of Way signs. I can never help myself from trying to work out where the path goes and what it might be like. Old railway lines and old roads also grab my attention whenever I look at a map and I am forced to ponder on what sorts of folk used them and why they are no longer in use. I have, at various times, harboured the notion of filming all the remaining Wade and Caulfield roads, probably from the saddle of a bike, and yet never quite got round to doing something about it. 

Now, as I sometimes find myself with an excess of free time and considering what to do with it, I've started to think about how I could put it to better use. I'd thought about various volunteering opportunities before and been in touch with some organisations. However, one look at my skill-set and I'm soon asked if I could set up a website or do some other IT role. Frankly, and this might sound a bit selfish, I've no intention of getting back into that. So when I was thinking about it again those old green SRWS signs came back to mind and I got in touch with the organisation now known as Scotways. We had chat to discuss how I could help out in a voluntary capacity, seemed to hit it off fairly well (well - it's more map geeks, innit?) and I now find myself as a volunteer path surveyor for Scotways and the Heritage Paths website.  

I really can't say how excited I am about this. I'll be walking and riding lots of routes, adding to the existing descriptions, adding new descriptions and taking photos as necessary. With my cycling background, I'll also be considering how usable they are by bike - and on horseback - with things like gates, fences and other obstacles to negotiate. So if you see me out and about, taking photos of random bits of track, or riding back and forth looking for some hard-to-find bit of a route, you'll now know what I'm up to!

Friday 1 February 2013

Just made it!

The problem with Resolutions (New Year or otherwise) is that they are made whilst in the most optimistic frame of mind and reality rarely matches our predictions. When I'd decided I'd try to get out for at least one nights bivvying/wild camping each month I was of course thinking of those lovely May/June evenings when it's warm enough to sit out under the stars with a hipflask and just watch the world go by for a bit before relaxing into a nice warm tent and a nice warm sleeping bag. Of course, in order to get through to May, I have a few colder months to endure first. Having put it off during the early, milder days of January, then watching as the freezing weather arrived, it was starting to look like I was going to fail at the first hurdle and as the end of the month approached, we were left with stormy conditions that looked somewhat less than inviting. 

Nevertheless, I made plans for a night on Loch Lomond-side, somewhere north of Rowardennan. I reckoned that would give me a simple cycle in and, at this time of year, it would be very quiet. As the days ticked away, it became obvious that this was a rubbish plan. The strong winds were all westerlies and the east shore of Loch Lomond would be taking the full brunt. A hasty re-plan brought up Tentsmuir Forest in Fife. This is an area I've wanted to explore for some time. I'd passed it on my North East Coast cycle tour a couple of years ago and seen the NCN1 signs but been unsure of how suitable the tracks would be for a touring bike with panniers and so gave it a miss. It also had the advantage that it wasn't too far away to get to and I could make some sort of loop out of it.

The usual last-minute faffage saw me leaving Edinburgh behind schedule and more luggage issues at Leuchars meant I was a whole hour behind my self-imposed timetable when I set off. As a result, it was already getting dark as I started along the Fife Coastal Path and by the time I reached the edge of the forest I was already having to use the front light. This wasn't too much of an issue on the broad forest tracks but by the time I reached the trails through the dunes at Kinshady it was difficult to see far enough ahead to make good progress. What's more, the trails here are like a rabbit warren and it was hard to keep to the main trail. All I could do was keep the trees to my left and head north in search of a sheltered spot. 

At one junction, I headed towards the trees and I found an old WWII pill-box that had once been inundated by the dunes. It was very sheltered hereabouts - too much so in fact. There was little view of the sky and none of the beach. A couple of hundred metres further north, I found a much better spot. The forest was to my back, giving me shelter from the howling winds and I had an open outlook eastwards. 

A few minutes later the tent was pitched, the mat inflated, the sleeping bag unrolled and the water was on for a cook-in-the-bag meal. It was cold though - very - and I clambered into the sleeping bag still fully dressed as I sat to enjoy my food. A little Oban malt whisky and all was soon right with the world. 

After reading a few chapters of Life of Pi on my phone and another brew-up to get some heat, it was just a case of hunkering down for the night, listening to the roar of the wind in the trees and the occasional bird cry from the beach. That's when it started to get lighter and I knew I had to get out of the tent for a while. The moon was rising over the north sea against a dark, starry sky. I managed to get a couple of (poor) photos, wishing I'd brought a better camera with me. Then it was a few star-jumps to warm up again and back into the sleeping bag until morning.

After looking at the weather forecast I'd already decided that I should make an effort to wake up around 5:30. The wind was due to change direction and I knew my little spot would be a bit exposed. However, as I flitted between awake and asleep all night, I was also aware that the rain had returned with a vengeance and when 5:30 came it was still lashing it down, the tent was still stable and I just hunkered down for another couple of hours. At 7:30, the rain had subsided and I opted for a quick breakfast so I could get everything packed away before it returned. 

My hands were getting numb rolling the tent up and doing up the straps but as soon as I was on my way again, I warmed up. I headed north to complete the coast ride round to Tayport and then back south via the Morton Lochs to make up a little loop. On the way I saw more pillboxes, an icehouse, deer and lots of rabbits. With lots of interest in Tentsmuir Forest, I feel it's an area I'll be back to explore further - both by bike and on foot. 

As I headed back along the Fife Coastal Path, I met one of the local rangers who was very, very interested in the bike. He'd seen my tracks from the night before and was intrigued by them. As we chatted he seemed very switched on to "evironmentally-friendly" low-impact of the wide tyres and I gave him some of my details to pass on to his colleagues. As I reached the van again at Leuchars, the heavens opened. Perfect timing.

Overall, not a bad night out. All the gear worked, although I'll no doubt add/change a couple of things, and it was refreshing just to get out into the wilds again for a wee break. Plans for Februarys bivvy are already being formulated and this time it might be using the 29er.

Oh - and this was waiting for me when I got home.......