D of E Silver Award Biking Practice
19th April, 2017
With one participant fewer than expected, it was a quick reshuffle of tents and a speedy visit to the supermarket for some alternative provisions. We made good time to Aberfoyle, considering the wet conditions on the road. After a tough start through the forest, the group settled into its rhythm. Fin was struggling with some saddle soreness and Scott found a couple of hills to be tough going, along with James L. Team spirit, however, was good and the conversation was lively and upbeat. The weather stayed dry for the rest of the day and we made good time into the first camp. Heavy rain overnight tested the organisational abilities of some members in the group and we set off on day 2 slightly later than planned. With easier terrain under the wheels, we made quick progress to Loch Earn.
George C was demonstrating a solid, even pace for the group and no hill seemed too steep for him. His technique throughout was excellent. Credit must also go to Scott H, who took the lead and rode the entirety of the South Loch Earn road. The group settled in behind him and he quickly adopted all the signals and communication skills a leader at the front should do.
With sunnier conditions and lack of suitability for the initial camp location, we pushed on as a group into part of day 3 and were the better for it. By 6pm, the group found a wonderful woodland camp spot with access to plentiful water close by.
A slightly later start on was made on day 3, following a chilly night, with the prospect of hills and more hills. The group, however , was in good spirits, with James L, William H and George C taking the front and navigational duties. No-one seemed to be struggling too much on the last day and the weather and light winds helped the situation somewhat. With the prospect of a downhill finish back to the bus, the boys took on the final remaining undulations and arrived tired but happy and pleased with their efforts over the three days. My thanks to Bill Ross for his expert tuition and guidance on expedition .