Haggis nachos, walking road bikes and spectacular bonking

BikeRadar's week on two wheels

Where did your wheels take you last week? We found ourselves in the moody Scottish highlands, sliding on ice, riding still-secret bikes and portaging road bikes in places you shouldn't be walking in road cleats. Here is the quick run-down.

Joe Norledge - videographer

Sunday saw me mountain biking with good friend Tom Wragg of 'Ruby The Trail Dog' fame. 

We were both riding equally Gucci Spec Cannondale Scalpel si's, so there was plenty of half wheeling and trying to drop each other on the climbs. I just managed to hold on, but suffered from hunger knock with about five miles to go. 

Tom and Joe - before the hunger flats set in
Tom and Joe - before the hunger flats set in

I eventually made it home in a semi-coherent state and went about consuming every sweet treat my fridge had to offer. We burnt well over 4,000 calories on the ride, so perhaps I'll have two cakes at the cafe stop on our next long one.....

Ruby the Trail Dog, doing her thing

Josh Patterson - US tech editor

Josh rode a new Salsa here in Virginia, but he can't tell you about it yet
Josh rode a new Salsa here in Virginia, but he can't tell you about it yet

I spent most of the week attending a Salsa Cycles media event in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. The new model is under wraps for several weeks, so I can’t comment on the bike. 

I will say that this was an ideal proving ground for the latest addition to Salsa’s fleet. If you’re looking for an excellent riding destination for road, gravel and especially mountain biking, this region will not disappoint. 

Last but certainly not least, I want to give a big shout-out to Stokesville Lodge and Shenandoah Mountain Touring for their hospitality. 

Aoife Glass - BikeRadar women's editor

Glen Nevis, meet Liv Avail. Avail, Nevis
Glen Nevis, meet Liv Avail. Avail, Nevis

I took myself on a mini Scottish adventure over the weekend, heading up to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands to find out about how groups like the Forestry Commission Scotland, local trail building groups and events organisers such as No Fuss work together to ensure safe access to great trails. 

Since I can’t (yet) drive, I turned the experience into a car-free mini adventure, traveling on the Caledonian Sleeper train. There’s nothing quite like falling asleep in the bright lights of London town then walking up with a view of glens and mountains. 

It seemed a shame to waste the opportunity to test ride a bike on actual mountains, so I brought up the Liv Hail. It also seemed a shame not to indulge my love of haggis – though I think the haggis nachos might have been a step too far for some. 

Russell Eich - US tech writer

Although dry ground is peeking through in parts of the Colorado mountains, there is still plenty of snow and ice
Although dry ground is peeking through in parts of the Colorado mountains, there is still plenty of snow and ice

In spite of warmer temperatures and my unrelenting hope for dry ground, winter's snow and ice still dominate my neck of the woods. I've got a new bulbous tire bike though so I'm getting that dialed and seeing where it excels.

Matthew Allen - UK tech writer

Matthew Allen knows how to prop up a bike for a photo. Honest, he does
Matthew Allen knows how to prop up a bike for a photo. Honest, he does

In addition to shredding the light fantastic at the Forest of Dean aboard my Whyte 805 long-termer, I've been testing some affordable road bikes including the Giant Contend SL 2 Disc, which I can report is both laterally stiff and vertically compliant, honest. Shortly after taking this photo I got quite lost in the woods and, being too stubborn to turn back, ended up walking a mile or so on road cleats. Is that what they call #gnarmac? 

Jack Luke - staff writer

Fenders/mud flaps can do wonders for brightening a rider's outlook. So, too, can the contents of the handlebar bag...
Fenders/mud flaps can do wonders for brightening a rider's outlook. So, too, can the contents of the handlebar bag...

This week I’ve been putting in more miles on my Fairlight Strael test bike. I’ve had the bike right through this winter and have clocked close to 900km of gritty, salty miles on the poor thing. 

As a reward for its tireless efforts, I brightened up the Strael with a new, top secret handlebar bag from an unspecified brand. Keep your eyes peeled for news on this and some other cool new kit this week.

Ben Delaney - US editor in chief

Turns out road bikes are more useful to ride than to carry
Turns out road bikes are more useful to ride than to carry

On Sunday my masters/veterans/old-guy team headed north out of Boulder for some miles in the Colorado sunshine. We bypassed a climb around Carter Lake because giant construction signs told us the road was closed. 

While stopped to regroup atop another climb, a passing rider told us that the Carter Lake road was actually perfectly rideable, so we headed back that direction, riding past the 'do not enter' signs. It was indeed perfectly rideable, until it wasn't. A little cyclocrossery on SPD-SLs, though, and we were back on tarmac.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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