When I found out that my buddies Pete and Ali were heading for a ride on the awesome Ben Lawers, and I couldn't help but ask if I could tag along. Thankfully they said yes, and I joined the guys, as well as Andrew and Ruari for a sunset mission on one of Scotland's highest mountains.
I've ridden Ben Lawers twice before, and on this occassion we were blessed by some of the most amazing sunshine and warm weather. The trails were super dry and dusty which made them sketchy and loose, and I had to stop more than once to rehydrate at the stream crossings.
Getting into the rugged mountains is some of my favourite bike riding, but if you want to do the same I'd recomment the following tips:
1. Ride within your limits and don't go totally into the unknown. It's not wise to venture into the mountains alone, and I'd recommend walking the mountain before you take a bike up.
2. Choose your time wisely - don't go when the hills will be busy with walkers. Consider midweek rides or head up later in the day.
3. Check the weather and take the appropriate kit including spares and spare clothing.
4. Stick to the path and be responsible - the right to roam is awesome but please consider your impact on the paths and hills and take your litter home.
5. Practice your riding skills at the trail centre then take them to the mountains. Bunny hops, rolling drop offs and cornering are a must!
That sums up a few tips for heading to the mountains. If you feel like you're ready I would highly recommend it. If you want a teaser of what it's like to ride Scotland's best mountain bike descent, then you can check out my video below and see my ride on Strava..