Rugged Run – The Postman’s Path on the Isle of Harris (Iain)

The postman’s path connects the small town of Tarbert with the even smaller town of Rhenigidale on the south-east edge of the Isle of Harris.

Until 1989, the only way for the outside world to reach Rhenigidale was by boat, or by this path. Goods and post were taken in and out via this route. Which meant a very long walk for the postman. Thankfully Amazon did not exist back then or he’d never have been able to carry all the post over the hill.

The route is a 13 mile circular path starting in Rhenigidale. TwinbikeAndrew thought it was going to be 10km!

There is parking in Rhengidale and the path is very obvious. Just make sure when you get to the Scalpay side that you take the path on the West side of the Loch. The East side also has a path but it ends after about a mile.

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2874326492451568174

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Spectacular Views on a nice day

Parking

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a car park at the start of the run.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None

Nearest cafe

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Nothing nearby but there are a couple of places in Tarbert.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

Yes as long as your dog likes hills!

Elevation

740M of elevation.

Rugged Run – Ben Cruachan (Iain)

I’ve never had a desire to climb all the Munro’s. I’d rather just climb the good one’s again rather than do one of the less interesting ones. Why spend a day going to climb the 282nd most interesting Munro when you could go and climb one of the top 100 or even the top 10 most interesting?

Climbing a hill just to tick it off a list seems a bit pointless.

Which is why, I’ve only every climbed about 20 Munro’s but I’ve done them all multiple times and they are all some of the most interesting (to me) one’s!

This was my fourth time up Ben Cruachan. The last time I was there was a few years ago, it was the hottest day of the year and of the ten people I was with who started the walk. Only 4 got to the top. The rest conked out in the heat on the way up.

This time the forecast was for it to be even hotter than that day but when we got to the hill it was very cloudy and overcast. Check out the video to see how we got on….

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2871762937338348116

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favorite munro’s but its a hard slog. Do it on a nice day so the views at the top are good.

Parking

Rating: 2 out of 5.

There is a small car park at the start but if its full you will have to park 1km away from the start.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

There are no faciliteis at the start of the walk.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There are a few cafe’s nearby but I didn’t stop at any of them.

Run Surface

70% trail, 30% firetrack road. The trail is a mix of rough paths and rocky routes.

Dog Friendly

yes

Elevation

1100 m

Toddman 2021 Film (Iain)

Every year Andrew Todd and I race each other in an epic contest known around the world as Toddman!

The TV rights are available if sky sports are interested? No? How about Channel 4? No? GB news ? No? Really? Not even wanted by a channel no one watches! How about Onlyfans ? Last year Andrew cheated to win. This year, did history repeat itself ?

If you read last weeks blog then you will know the answer…

Rugged Run – The Falls of Clyde(Iain)

Can a good walk be spoiled by a terrible journey to it?

The Falls of Clyde should be a good walk. It ticks all the boxes of things I like. Its is very scenic, it has unique sights (the village) and there are options to make it a short or long route BUT I hated driving to it.

I hated it because the roads were awful, I got lost and I spent twice as much time in my car than my Sat nav claimed it would take.

By the time I started the walk I was in a foul mood so I did a short route out and back route rather than a full loop. Check out the maps below to see the options.

I enjoyed the walk. It was long enough for me. The route is very well signposted so I won’t bother putting directions here. Just follow the signs to the falls.

MAPS

Short Route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2859444495775347268

Long Route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2852569720978813142

Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Nice walk but it is not a nice drive to get to (from my house)

Parking

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is a big car park.

Facilities

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are toilets, cafes and plenty of shops nearby.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a cafe in New Lanark visitors centra.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

yes

Elevation

300 m

Toddman 2021 (Iain)

Toddman is the annual competition to decided who is the greatest Todd.

The entry requirement is simple. You have to be called Todd. Surname only. If you’re first name is Todd then you aren’t getting in.

This year, many Todd’s entered…actually just two. Andrew and I. Which guaranteed we would both finish on the podium.

Last year Andrew cheated his way onto the top spot (https://twinbikerun.com/2020/06/19/toddman-2020-iain/) This time I was determined I would be declared Toddman!

The route was a new improved Toddman route featuring an altered bike and swim course than the 2020 version.

Swim

We started with a 1km swim in Carron Valley Reservoir. There is no set route so I did some 200m laps back and forth until I hit the race distance. Even though Andrew started five minutes before me, I still finished before him.

I think our GPS watches have very different ideas about how far 1Km is. I’ve noticed even if I swim, bike or run right next to him we will often have very different distances logged.

But in this instance I’m sure my watch was 100% accurate and therefore I declare myself the winner of the Swim leg. 1-0 to Iain.

Bike

The new bike route comprises a climb of Crow Road and Tak Me Doon. Which we have renamed Todd Me Doon. The fastest to the top of both climbs would be declared Todd of the Mountains and he would be awarded the Polka Todd Jersey.

Andrew beat me to the top of both climbs.

BUT I let him win. I had a camera with me as I was filming the competition as we did it. Did Chris Froome have to film his own Tour De France wins? No! Someone did it for him. I lost all the time having to cycle slowly so that I could get Andrew in the shot. If I’d cycled at my normal pace he’d have been left behind and I wouldn’t have had any shots of him.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I think, even though he came first, I should be declared the winner. 2-0 to Iain.

Run

The last leg was an out and back run to the Summit of Meikle bin. I knew from the start of the run that I would win. Each time I pushed the pace a bit faster Andrew would struggle. I was feeling great so I was confident I’d outpace him at the end.

With 1KM to go. Andrew’s shoe lace came undoe. He claims he shouted at me “Hey, wait a sec, I need to tie my shoelace!”

All I heard him say was “Hey Champ, run on. You deserve the win. You truly are Toddman!”        

Who knows who was correct? All I can say is “I am Toddman !”

Rugged Run – Mangersta Bothy (Iain)

Mangersta bothy was built into the side of the Mangersta cliffs, on the Isle of Lewis, almost 30 years ago by two locals, John and Lorna Norgrove.

John and Lorna are the parents of Linda Norgrove who was involved in a terrible accident in Afghanistan in 2010. She was killed by US soldiers. You can read the details about the case here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Linda_Norgrove

Her parents setup a foundaton in Linda’s memory. You can read more about how to stay in the bothy at https://lindanorgrovefoundation.org/mangersta-bothy/

The bothy is in a very remote part of the Isle of Lewis but the walk out to it is relatively simple. Park at the end of Mangestera village and follow the fence westward. The both is tucked into the cliffs near the end of the fence line.

I would not recommend the walk to anyone with young children or anyone who is uncomfortable with heights. Their are allot of steep cliff drops in this area.

I would be scared to spend a night in the bothy in case I needed the loo during the night. I might head out, trip and then never be seen again!

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2859442770365555268

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The both is in a spectacular location

Parking

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is space, at the start of the walk, to park a couple of cars.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

None

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a cafe and shop within 15 minutes drive.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

I wouldn’t recommend it.

Elevation

0m

Rugged Run – Crathes Castle Garden (Iain)

Walled gardens are great for gardeners as they provide shelter from bad weather to allow the creation of a perfect growing environment.

They are not great places places to visit on the hottest day of the year.

The walls made it feel like I was trapped in an oven and that the chef had forgotten to take me out whn my time was up!

The video does not do justice to how hot it was!

MAPS

Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I didn’t walk far but it looked like a nice place for a run/walk.

Parking

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a car park next to the castle.

Facilities

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Toilets

Nearest cafe

Rating: 1 out of 5.

There is a cafe next to the castle.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

Yes

Elevation

0m

Film Friday – Stripey Hat Guy (Iain)

Film Friday is a weekly recommendation of one video to watch this weekend.

The only time I’ve ever seen a YouTuber in the flesh was in Strathblane. A man walked past me wearing a stripey hat. I turned to my wife and said “Do you know who that was? It was Stripey Hat Guy!”

She gave me a look that screamed seriously underwhelmed.

She doesn’t watch as much YouTube as I do.

Anyway, here is Stripey Hat Guy. He makes great videos about Scottish hills, trails and walks.