Saturday, May 30, 2009


In Southern Scotland there are numerous mountain bike opportunities, some on private land and some on public land. The most popular are called The Seven Stanes. Stane means stone in Scots. This was a marketing idea to connect the areas which are located on Forestry Commission Land. These trails were funded by the government of Scotland and are maintained with money from the the Government of Scotland. In Scotland they think of Mountain Biking different than our government does. For them mountain biking does Social good. It gets people out in the out of doors exercising and  it gets families out together ( all of these areas have all levels of trail difficulty so everyone can participate). Mountain Biking is also all about economic development. In Scotland Mountain Biking is more popular than fishing, hunting and golf combined. The government recognizes this and now mountain biking brings in millions of pounds to the Borders in Scotland. 
These trails are all designed with a lot of care. Some would say too much care. They have to build these trails to withstand all weather. In Scotland this means lots of rain. When they build a trail they have to lay a layer of bedrock (this is just like we build highways), then they add all the features on top of this layer of rock. It is expensive but effective. These trails are used 12 months a year. They are loads of fun and very challenging. I can ride about 98% of a red trail, the black trails are another story. They are doable for me only if I walk around the biggest jumps. 
The photos are of 5 of the 7 Stanes. In order we have the Meteorite Stane from Glentress, the Heart Stane from Dalbeattie, the Ghost Stane from Mabie, the Talking Head Stane from Ae, and the Gem Stane from Kirroughtree. These are the 5 areas I got to when I was over in Scotland this month. 
If you are looking for a marvelous holiday in Europe but can't stand the idea of leaving your mountain bike think of southern Scotland. It is called The Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. You can do culture, castles, walking, beautiful scenery, history and of course Mountain Biking.
If you want more information let me know. Take care.

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