I first met McTrail Rider a couple of years ago in Innerleithen at a Scottish Enduro Series race. He told me about his YouTube channel and after checking it out I was immediately impressed with the content, videos of him riding Scotland's Munro's and his knowledge of the geography of the places he was riding had me wanting to get my bike out and explore these places! It's as natural as mountain biking gets riding those sorts of trails.
Since becoming a Patreon of his page we got an invite to his Patreon ride at Comrie Croft, which is only 20miles away from me so I made sure to free up the diary. Ironically I also had a delivery of jerseys for the their bike shop so it was timed nicely! Comrie is a great place to ride, particularly when there's been a period of rain. With its rocky terrain and hard packed trails it's the place to ride if you've tired of getting muddy every ride. But on this occasion it turned out to be glorious sunshine and there was a healthy turn out of riders, of all levels, so we rode different grades of trails eventually leading up to the black trail. This is one of the newer ones and though it's a bit of a pedal at the start it soon goes downhill and has plenty to keep you on your toes. There were big smiles all round when we reached the bottom.
More on Comrie shortly, first I want to tell you a bit about McTrail Rider. It was great to have a proper chat with Andrew (McTrail Rider) and his girlfriend Alix, who have committed themselves 100% to riding bikes as often as they can and sharing their experiences with the world via YouTube. They have a similar outlook on life to myself, just go out and chase your dreams. Andrew sadly lost his father which inspired him to purchase a camper van that he wanted to use to travel further afield, experience trails in other countries and share those experiences on his channel. Ill health too has driven him to succeed. He has previously suffered from sarcoidosis, which affected his legs and lungs, and is still recovering from it so he was clearly affected on the climbs with his breathing but he battled on and once it was time to ride downwards he was absolutely "on it"!
He's a skilled rider who loves his mountain biking. This is evident in his videos when he'll giggle going through a section that nearly catches him out, where many others would be coming out with a swear word! It's this passion for biking, and indeed for the outdoors and life in general, that I enjoy in his videos so to ride bikes with him in a fantastic location on such a sunny day was brilliant.
Eventually we descended on The Tea Garden to enjoy some well earned coffee and tasty homemade baking, which we could enjoy sitting outside in the sunshine. I've been to Comrie Croft many times but it had been a while since my last visit so I'm eager to go back again and in particular to ride that black trail more. We dropped off our shipment of custom jerseys to the shop there and had a blether with the friendly staff, including Tom who put in a lot of work on creating that black trail.
The facilities are second to none with not only great trails and a bike shop but bike wash, showers and the aforementioned Tea Garden. They also have a big barn for rent and accommodation which hosts many wedding parties and Muckmedden Events have had Cream o' the Croft there, a family friendly enduro event which would see many racers camp over and have a big party. So for folks from farther afield it's definitely worth a trip, take the camper or a tent with your bike and you'll have a great weekend.
So a great day was had by all. Thanks to Andrew for having us along. If you haven't yet checked out his channel McTrail Rider then do so right now!
Thanks also goes to Lewis Baillie for the photography.