Three mountain bikers in Scotland were left gobsmacked when they ran across the British monarch King Charles out on a solo hike last week. It's no secret that the king likes to get out and about on the trails, but it's rare to encounter the royal in the flesh and even get a few moments of banter with him.
The video, which you can watch below, was posted to the McTrail Rider Youtube channel and shows the bikers dropping off their bikepacking gear at the Gelder Shiel Bothy on Balmoral Estate where they were spending the night before heading out on the trails for a very rainy ride.
Along the way, they encounter a solo hiker who turns out to be the king himself, well dressed for the conditions in sturdy hiking boots, a waxed jacket to fend off the rain and carrying a hiking stick.
When faced with a royal encounter in the wild, the bikers do what anyone would do – chat about the weather.
“It's typical," Charles comments of the bleak and wet conditions in mid-September, adding "The midges are horrendous."
When the trio jokes that Charles's entourage has left him to walk home by himself, he responds that he's more than happy to take the heel-toe-express across the 50,000 acre estate and enjoy the beautiful countryside.
"I like my walking. I want to see quite a few things on the way down."
After just over a minute of pleasantries, the two parties part ways and continue on their rainy Scottish adventures.
"He was nice!" the bikers can be heard exclaiming as they ride off and head up a gnarly looking trail.
Balmoral Estate is within Cairngorms National Park and is home to a wide variety of landscapes, including seven Munros, the highest being Lochnagar at 3,789 ft. Lochnagar was the setting for a children's story, The Old Man of Lochnagar, written by the king when he was Prince Charles in 1980.
McTrail Rider is the account of Andrew Mcavoy, a Scottish mountain biker whose videos focus on the glories of the Scottish Mountains.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.