Thursday, October 21, 2010

Holiday at the Hydro - Part 2 - Innerleithen


Black, blue, green, orange and red. Mix them all together and what do you get? A tailor made trip round Glentress.


Highlight: Going off-trail from Jenny's Brae back to the Hydro.
Lowlight: The 'groundhog day' pedal up Shieldgreen Kipps in the rain.
Ride Rating: 7/10

Date: 16/10/10
Pedaling time: ? hours ? minutes
Distance: ? kilometres
Max speed: ? miles/hour
Total ascent: ? metres
Puncture count: 1
Bike shop: The Hub, right at the trail head
Cafe: The Hub, next to the bike shop
Riders: DH, DI, RI, AS, FS and AW

Driving from Glasgow
Distance: 54 miles
Travel time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Directions: Google Maps

Holiday at the Hydro - Part 1 - Innerleithen

This weekend saw a wee holiday from work on the Friday with the plan set for heading down to Peebles for a couple of days. A couple of days biking is good but add in the palatial surroundings of staying at the Hydro and we were all set for a cracking last weekend away for 2010.

All we had to do on the Friday was pedal our way up the cross country trail at Innerleithen. As soon as we left the car park in the rain we started going up and about two hours later we reached the wind-swept summit of Minch Moor. A lot of up, with some more up added for good measure, but at least the rain had stopped.

The climb does give you a great view over the Tweed Valley but it was a tad cold to hand around so it was on to the fun part of the ride which was grin-inducing from the off.

The twisting bermed descent across the moorland with some small drop-offs, all on a pretty much perfect surface, was over all too quickly. It's a few minutes of what mountain biking should be.

The remainder of the ride down was nice but not spectacular until you get the the last part of the ride at Cadon Bank. This is the Alton Towers of cycling. With one rollercoasting table top and bombhole after another, the sense of speed on this steep section is incredible. At two kilometres long, and taking you right to the car park, its the perfect end to a ride even if you are a bit numb at the bottom.

Tomorrow it's Glentress.

Highlight: The rollercoaster ride of Cadon Bank - the laat bit of the ride, but worth the wait.
Lowlight: The seemingly never-ending 2 hour climb in the drizzle to the summit of Minch Moor.
Summary: A lot of up but two really nice and distinctive pieces of down on the way back.
Ride Rating: 7/10

Date: 12/09/10
Pedaling time: 3 hours 30 minutes-ish
Distance: 18 kilometres
Max speed: ? miles/hour
Total ascent: 440 metres
Puncture count: 0
Bike shop: i-Cycles and Alpine Bikes in Innerleithen village
Cafe: Shops in Innerleithen village
Riders: DH and AS

Driving from Glasgow
Distance: 59 miles
Travel time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Directions: Google Maps

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pedal for Scotland 2010

Well that's the Pedal for Scotland finishing line been roled across for another year. Taking about 4 hours to complete yesterday (including a few food stops along the way) we managed to raise almost £1,300 for Maggie's so a big 'thank you' to all that sponsored us.

Scotland's biggest charity bike ride attracted over 9,000 riders this year and the weather was perfect so why not join us to do it all again in 2011?

There's talk already of doing the 100 mile challenge next year. Just talk, mind you.

Highlight: Raising money for charity.
Lowlight: The climb after tucking in at the home baking tent.
Summary: A nice ride across the country in the sun raising money for charity.
Ride Rating: 10/10

Date: 12/09/10
Pedaling time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Distance: 51 miles
Max speed: 32 miles/hour
Total ascent: 570 metres
Puncture count: 0
Bike shop: Support teams at the reststops
Cafe: Food tents at the reststops
Massage: Maggie's tent at the finish line
Riders: DH, AS, FS and AW
Sponsorship Manager: SS

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How To Do... Drop Offs

If you want to master the techniques for tackling a drop-off simply watch this video and then do the opposite. Easy.

If you decide to ignore this advice, and instead copy the moves shown, you'll probably end up looking like this and having to shell out for a new wheel.

Date: 05/08/10
Stunt Rider: FS
Camera Rider: H
Filmed on location at Mugdock Country Park.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dirt School

Today saw us head down to Peebles for a skills course at Glentress with Dirt School's Andy Barlow. The morning was spent at the Freeride area where we were introduced to pulling manuals, loading over jumps and getting take off on jumps.

After heading back down to the Hub for a spot of lunch, it was back up to the Freeride area to practice drop-offs and then a quick spin up to Spooky Woods to put it all together and get some tuition in cornering round the berms.

The full day of Andy's expert tuition and pactience at our obvous lack of talent flew by and the results were instant even if the techniques hadn't quite been mastered. Riding back to the Hub (for some of their excellent Banoffe pie) on the Blue trail was much faster, flowing and fun than it had been when we took the route only a few hours earlier.

A great day was had by all and we can't recommend Dirt School enough so book your course today!

Highlight: Instant improvements in pretty much every area.
Lowlight: Realising that you've been doing it wrong all these years.
Summary: Expert friendly review of existing skills and teaching of new ones.
Ride Rating: 10/10

Date: 11/06/10
Pedaling time: Course runs from 9.30am - 4.00pm
Distance: N/A
Max speed: N/A
Total ascent: N/A
Total descent: N/A
Puncture count: 2
Bike shop: The Hub on site
Cafe: The Hub on site
Riders: DH, RI, AS, FS and AW

Driving from Glasgow
Distance: 54 miles
Travel time: 1hr 30mins
Directions: Google Maps

Sunday, April 4, 2010


The Easter Expedition with Dirt School at Glentress got hit where it hurts after an unseasonal dump saw the trails covered in a foot of snow. After being forced to cancel at the eleventh hour a hurried change of plan was put in place to head to one of the Seven Stanes in the West. Travelling South of Dumfries we arrived at Mabie which was to be our home for the day.

The first proper ride of the year got under way in perfect Spring weather with a ride past the Ghost Stane and along the red graded Phoenix Trail but if you want to see everything that's on offer then take a look at the official trail map.

The route has some nice riding through mixed woodland and offers some great views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the climbs. A variety of fast flowing trails combined with a few rocks, roots, jumps and drop-offs made for a great 'classic' day out even if it didn't have some of the iconic parts found at some other rides.

The cycle was finished off with a very quick visit to the orange graded Mini X area. As usual we were rubbish and put to shame by the kids that were quite happily battering over the dirt jumps.

A cross country drive later and we were cleaned up at our Peebles accommodation (well Dirt School was off but the night out was on) and out for a curry. So at the end of the day, a nice wee Easter break was had by all.

Highlight: The twisting ride down the Descender Bender
Lowlight: The leg sapping Elevator
Summary: Nothing too strenuous for the year's first ride and a good mix of up, down and twisting singletrack.
Ride Rating: 6/10

Stats for this ride suffered a bit from the GPS logger battery running out so some are a bit of an estimate.
Date: 02/04/10
Pedaling time: 2 hrs?
Distance: 17km?
Max speed: ?
Total ascent: ?
Total descent: ?
Puncture count: 2
Bike shop: The Shed on site
Cafe: The Shed on site
Riders: DH, RI, AS, FS and AW

Driving from Glasgow
Distance: 82 miles
Travel time: 1hr 45mins
Directions: Google Maps

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Easter Expedition

The Easter holiday has been booked and it'll be a wee trip to sunny Peebles. We've booked in with the gents at Dirt School to see if us old dogs can finally learn some new tricks at Glentress.

Should be a great day out, assuming all the snow is gone by then.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doesn't Time Fly?

Well it's that time of year again and Pedal for Scotland, Scotland's biggest charity bike ride, is now taking entries.

OK, so it not until September 12th 2010 but you can't start early enough getting all that sponsorship money lined up.

You can pledge some cash using the widget on the right of the screen or go along to to find out more.

Route Locations

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