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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 115 > THE MERRICK OLD FRIENDS, NEW PLACES

THE MERRICK OLD FRIENDS, NEW PLACES

Sanny heads to the deep south west of

Scotland and steps back into its bloody past.

As part of the ominously named ‘Range of the Awful Hand’ (almost as unappealing as Peak of the Fungal Athlete’s Foot), the Merrick stands some 2,766ft tall, which makes it a Corbett and no, there are no four candles nor ’oes involved. It isn’t a peak that you happen upon by accident.There is no turning of the corner on a highland road that brings a big reveal like the Buachaille. You have to make the effort to seek it out. Despite its relatively gentle slopes, it is no benign presence and many a walker or mountain biker has been caught out by the peculiar microclimate of this imposing peak in an area defined by its history of glaciation and guerrilla warfare.

Joining me for this little adventure in pastures new were long-time riding buddies Mark and Lyndsey. A combination of moving house and life doing that thing of getting in the way meant that we hadn’t turned a pedal together for over two years. As they’d moved down towards New Galloway, I had a perfect excuse to meet up with them. With a fair wind behind us and a forecast of sunshine and clear skies, a plan was hatched. We were go for launch.

Of course, this being Scotland where the weather can kindly be described as somewhat eclectic, the blue skies and sunshine I drove through from Sanny HQ in Glasgow took fright and left, being replaced by ominously dark storm clouds and a stiff westerly wind. Oh arse!

CLASSIC RIDE

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Trailhunter – Tom Fenton continues his search for the very best trails, and finds that Dartmoor might just have them. Classic Ride – Sanny takes us on a tour of the Merrick in Scotland, where there are great views to be had… if you get the weather. Grouptest – Wil puts eight sets of top trail brakes to the test – which four will make his pick of the bunch? Bike test – Better known for their carbon models, Barney tests out three alloy bikes from Norco, Santa Cruz and YT. Finnish Epic – 100 years after its independence, Hannah goes to Finland in search of fat-bike fun. Luckily all the bears are sleeping, and the moose are on her plate. Singletrack Recommended – We bring you the products that are so good, we’d spend our own money on them. Oddball – we love bikes, but we love other things too. This issue, it’s knives. It’s just as well we love each other in the office. Kit Bag – We take a peek inside the tool box of Ray Waxham, Trek’s enduro race mechanic. What does it take to keep the wheels of champions racing? Room 101 – Charlie dispenses justice for your complaints. This issue he has a couple of celebrity submitters in the form of our own editor, Chipps and a pioneer of mountain biking: Charlie Kelly. Jason Miles – Jason passes on his wisdom after years of racing as a top-level amateur endurance racer. Arizona – Charlie The Bikemonger goes on holiday where life is simpler and the trails are paved with cactus spines. Escaping the Bike Parks – Anthony Pease avoids the French bike parks and heads off for a hut to hut trip in the Alps. Whistler for Mortals – in this area better known for its technicality, Sanny discovers there are trails for those who prefer to keep their wheels on the ground. Last word – A ponder on the transient world of the mountain bike enthusiast.
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