Thursday, May 21, 2009



 It seems like only a couple of days ago that I was leaving from the same airport, on the same flight returning home. I remember thinking that only two days in Scotland with my friends wasn’t nearly enough. I didn’t realize then that I would be returning for the World Mountain Bike Conference in just a few short weeks.

Well the Conference was cancelled, and I just spent 9 days at the self made World Mountain Bike Holiday.  Andy Wardman was my guide. He was the first Mountain Bike Ranger at Glenn Tress a few miles from Peebles in the Borders in Southern Scotland, a position he still holds today. I have described most of my adventures in previous blogs so I will not bore you with more details. Yesterday, my last day, Marty, another good friend who lives in Fife, took a day off to spend with me and Andy. Since it was the last day we went to the jewel  of the 7 Stanes Glenn Tress. Glenn Tress is the first mountain bike destination in Scotland, it is the most popular and some would say it is the best. I am not sure if it is the best as every one of the Stanes I went to was superb, It is good though, with a lot of variation. Trails for the beginner, the pro and riders like me with lots of experience but like to keep the tyres close to the ground. We wound our way up the red trail to almost the top of the area. Great views of the Tweed Valley were to be had. We stopped to take a photo of the Stane. The one at Glenn Tress is a meteorite. There is furrow behind it so it looks like it just landed and should be smoking. It rained to make the day more special and afterwords it was lunch (tea*), cakes and coffee at The Hub. We also washed our bikes at the customary bike wash. Every area has a bike wash even if there are no toilet facilities.

Then it was back to home more tea and talk and then Marty was off to home. What a pleasure it is to have friends who take time off work to visit.

Ros asked me if there was anything special I would like for my last meal. I was thinking some fish and chips would be a good way to end my holiday. Off we went to the Joe Jacks, the preferred chip joint in Peebles. We had take out. They don’t use news papers anymore so we had some very cute boxes. On the way home I saw a man walking with his baritone horn to practice with the local brass band, and then in the distance we could here piper with his bagpipe playing. I was definitely not in Bend.  I would be remiss not to mention the tear that fell from my eye as I realized I would be leaving my good friends and my other home Scotland. I am looking forward to coming home, being with my sweetheart,seeing my mom, seeing my kitties and going to work. The rain and the wet are tough for a Bendite. I had to buy a new kit just so I could keep riding. The bike will need an overhaul and my clothing will need to dry out. I do wish that Scotland was closer though, both that the Scots could visit me more (and have a chance to dry out) and we could visit them.  When you travel next don’t leave for some better weather (we do have the best anyway), go to a country that will welcome you with great food, wonderful roads to ride, castles to admire and some of the best mountain biking in the world. I will return for sure.


1 comment:

andytrailfettler said...

Thanks for coming over Don. I had a fab time. I too wish Scotland and Bend weren't so far apart..