Video, Cycling the Morvern Gap. Adventure Cycling in the Scottish Highlands

Since buying my gravel bike in May I've seen our part of the Scottish Highlands in a different light.

I've cycled most of the roads - there aren't that many.  I've hiked lots of the hills, which are mostly too steep to carry up a heavy mountain bike.

But with the light gravel bike I'm seeking out new through-routes - or at least new to me.  Ideally they'll all be on rough tracks or rideable paths with the minimum of pushing and carrying.

I'd been looking at the area of Morvern from Rahoy to Laudale for a while.  There are a few old Rights of Way in there, and I've done a couple, but all seem to involve quite a bit of carrying.  Then I spotted two forest tracks which head deep into the interior and come within a few kilometres of joining up.

This is what I called the Morvern Gap.  Except, it's not a gap at all.  The roads DO join up and give a fantastic route, almost all of which is rideable - the route mapping is below.  The Ordnance Survey and other mapping systems simply haven't caught up yet.  How do I know this?  Watch the video to find out.

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Video, Wild Swimming Nirvana, The Arisaig Skerries, Scotland

Arisaig is sea kayak central.

The reasons for this also make it a superb location for open water swimming.

Those reasons don't need a long explanation, you only have to look at a satellite image of the area (below).

If an Almighty Deity smashed a rock with celestial sledge hammer, scattering the fragments across the sea, it would look like this.  The Arisaig Skerries are spectacular.

Video, Sonder Camino Ti Review at Six Months

The Sonder Camino Ti has helped me re-discover the joy of off-road cycling, so it's no secret I like this bike.

However, there are shortcomings.  Niggles, really.  But let's go back a step.

To learn why I bought the Sonder Camino rather than the Kinesis titanium bike I had as a demonstrator, please check out this video.

My Titanium Test video sets out the comparison between the two and explains why I think the Camino is a good bike and one heck of an astonishingly good price.

Video, Fake Cycling Kit

When something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

So a Rapha brand cycling shirt for £9 plus postage was always going to be slightly dodgy - but how bad could it be?

I bought one to find out.

My parents used to own fashion shops and, back in the day, the factories which made designer dresses would often make extra, tweak a few things, then sell them as their own.  It was called "cabbage" - no idea why.

Video Series, Safety In Wild Places

It's easy to take your own skills for granted and undervalue them.

Acquired over a lifetime of exploring wild places, techniques that are second nature to me might not be to other people.

After a tricky hike-a-bike through woods, where a slip could see me impaled on a branch, I looked at my small collections of safety kit and thought, "I should tell people about this".

Video, Castle Tioram Swim

Castle Tioram is an imposing presence on Loch Moidart and a popular destination for visitors to our area.

This one one of the first lochs in which we sea kayaked, taking our rented vessels out to a lovely beach at the head of the loch.

We also 'enjoyed' more than a little excitement trying to paddle around Riska Island.  I knew a lot less about tidal streams back then and hadn't appreciated how strong they can be.

Buy This Swim Kit For Winter

Through my voluntary work with the local charity Highland Openwater Swim, I'm delighted to have played a small part in helping people to start wild swimming.

Recent converts who hope to keep swimming year-round and ask, "How do I stay warm"?

I usually give a couple of answers; get a good wetsuit that fits tight to the body - Liz and I think the BlueSeventy Thermal Reaction is the warmest we've worn.

Get a good cap too, and again BlueSeventy makes a thermal cap which fits tight to the head.

When it gets particularly chilly - under 10C - I'll add a swimming balaclava.