Mabie Red (17km)

The mabie red route offers a bit of everything in a fun packed adventure filled 17km. The route starts of on a short section of road before starting a singletrack ascent called butterhole hill. At the top of this you then follow the firetrack onto a singletrack climb that takes you to the ride descent. Take in the magnificent veiws before plunging back down this fun packed descent with uphill berms, berms, jumps, and drops you will finish the ridge with a smile on your face and realise all that climbing was worth it. The next section you reach is the contour climb this is a short rough and steep climb made trickier with a stategic placement of rocks and roots. To be finished later…

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7 Stanes trip

Last Sunday I headed of for a five day 7 stanes trip with some friends. I will write up full reports for all the centres but in the meantime a quick overview. Staying at the fantastic Urr Lodge Hostel. On Monday we headed up to mabie forest to ride the red route. This was a nice warmup for the rest of the week and had some quality riding. On Tuesday we went to kirroughtree this was an inspired choice as all the lads had a great time shredding the twister red route. On Wednesday we took the long drive to newcastleton and while the blue and red routes where both fun and exiting for the distance travelled we would have been better riding one of the closer by centres. On Thursday we road Dalbeattie red in the pouring down rain at this was great fun especially the scree slope near the start of the trail. On our final day of riding we went to Ae and rode the red route there this was a decent route but not my favourite. I hope you’ll agree the next 5 reports will be rather intresting. In total we biked around 115km around 73% of that was singletrack and what a week it was!

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Eag Mhor gap (Red) 3 hours

This route again starts outside the Spar shop at Nethybridge. There are various way’s to make it to forest lodge and the best idea is to pick a map and have a look. From forest lodge you then go down a steep rocky hill and follow the forest track round. It’s then best to use a map to negotiate your way to eag mhor. One hinter although on OS map’s it say’s there’s no direct track through the forest just before the gap there is! There is also a dodgy river crossing just after a long forest track downhill before the forest. The track from here is a bit faded but rapidly improves. Going through the gap is then really spectacular with bits of nice singletrack through the gap this is my favourite part of the cycle. You then follow a succession of farm tracks which our downhill and good fun you then cross a wide river (there our stepping stones through it) you then continue following the farm track’s til you reach the road from here you go west and its a gentle 7km ish cycle on the road back to NethyBridge.

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Lairgh Ghru Bottom Section (Red) 1 hour for short loop

The route starts at the loch morlich car park next to the sailing club. From there you head along the road for 100m and then take a left onto the gravel road. You follow the gravel road all the way up to Rothie lodge this is roughly about 4-5km. As you reach Rothie lodge you take a right onto a wide single track climb. At points it is not possible to cycle up this path due to rocks and steepness of the terrain. After going up for about 2km you reach a junction which is the way you will go down. There our two options at this point, you can either keep following the path up until you decide the terrain becomes too difficult or you feel you’ve done enough bike lugging for one day. When you decide to turn around after 5 seconds you will realise all the bike pushing was worth it as steep narrow singletrack with rocky descents and technical objects. Once you reach the junction you hold a left or if you’ve taken the second option and stopped at the junction you also take the other path at the junction. This is the best part of the descent for me as it winds on a tree sheltered plateau with occasional 2 foot drops it is a brilliant track. Sadly it all comes to an end all to soon. At the bottom of the singletrack take a right and follow the double track back to the gravel road. Follow this for about 2-3km and you our at the finish after an excellent ride!

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Glentress Red (Red) 19km

This brilliant man-made track starts at the bottom car park of glentress and winds its way up to the top of spooky wood with some challenging climbs and technical features. Spooky wood is for me my favourite part of the trail 3 rock drops then into a winding 1.5km fun packed downhill with jumps tabletops and small technical features you can really rip it up! The red then has countless sections of brilliant downhill taking you on a hair-raising descent to nearly the bottom of the trail head but your not finished yet as there is then a short climb back to the road where you go up the road for about 500m before a quick blast down the red/black to the carpark raps up a brilliant ride! for more information on this route check out the forestry commision website!

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Badaguish XC (Red/Black) 40 mins to 1 hour per lap

The Badaguish XC track starts with a fire road climb just next to the Badaguish outdoor centre. The climb lasts for about 2km and is extremely tiring on the legs. You then fork of to the right up a steep rocky singletrack instead of following the stalkers track up you take a right winding through the trees on narrow single track the track then winds left and you come to your first technical feature a short rock garden about 10m long once you have successfully negotiated this its a short descent down to the fireroad you keep heading up the firetrack to the upper loop a winding single track climb is followed by a short hair raising descent with rocks and two drop of’s this is not for the faint hearted. Its then straight onto the next section you dive through the trees entering the route through a rock drop some short technical descent follows and there is then a tough singletrack winding uphill back to the forest track. From here the most challenging downhill is as you negotiate mud rocks and trees while trying to stay on your bike. Then near the bottom you reach the treacherous steep rock steps something many people avoid when they bike at badaguish. Go along the firetrack 20m and you fork left onto the long steep singletrack climb which is mixed up with a bit of northshore along the way. You then head down a fun downhill descent with narrow singletrack this is good fun once you reach the bottom you cross the firetrack and head onto the next downhill section which starts with a nice dropoff into some fast flowing trail. All to soon your at the bottom and you then need to race back up to the firetrack to start again!
For more information or directions or a trail map please email me at rosco5@hotmail.co.uk

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NethyBridge ZigZag’s (Blue with red features) 1 hour 30

This great cycle starts outside the Spar Shop in Nethybridge where you head over the small stone bridge and take a right up a long tarmac road until you reach a cross roads keep going straight and when you reach the fork in the road take a right continue up the road and when you start heading downwards you take a right through a farm gate and down a short dual track. Then head into the woods a long climb follows only broken up by a short downhill this is still all on fire track you then start a very gradual climb on single track for around 5 minutes the fun then really begins as what starts of as a slow descent soon turns into a cannonball 10 minutes it starts of with 30cm single track with tight corners with firm natural walls to bounce the tyres of you then have to negotiate a raised grass feature with a wheel lift needed to clear the ditch at the bottom there’s then some beautiful single track which you can reach fast speeds on. The single track comes to an end all too soon but there is then a few miniutes of hair raising forest track downhill with speeds up to 50 kph and some tight corners. There is a road over the gate to take you back but to continue the fun take a left before the gate where there is a long dual track climb through the woods while not to steep it can tire you out after all the climbing you’ve already done. When the track comes to an end you take a right onto a rocky single track which in the wet is very treacherous this is great at high speeds and with some rolling turns and occasional short uphill you reach the end of the single track a steep rocky dual track climb follow’s until you turn right and head down a 30 second natural downhill track which is quite simply fantastic with a small jump at the bottom. You then need to lift your bike over a style and go down some north shore style bridges. Follow the track round to the road and head downhill to the main road take a left at the bottom and keep going along the road passed the golf course and over the stone bridge to the Spar Shop.
This route takes about 1 hour 30 to 2 hours 30
If you want the full details of this cycle and the directions in the wood please email me at rosco5@hotmail.co.uk

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