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Thursday, May 14, 2009

WORLD MOUNTAIN BIKE HOLIDAY CONTINUES






This trip was supposed to be me going to the World Mountain Bike Conference. The conference was cancelled so Andy and I decided to have a World Mountain Bike Holiday instead. He is taking some time off of work to show me all the best trails in Southern Scotland and I am following along. My bike arrived around 2pm yesterday and as we were continuing the jet lag mountain bike cure (evening rides) it turned out fine. We met Steven, Ian and another Andrew in the  small village of Newton Grange, about 8 miles south of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the capitol of Scotland with a population of nearly 500,000. So what are we doing riding mountain bikes 8 miles from an urban center. Well look at the photos with the sunset (you can see the skyline if you look hard and the photo with the yellow Rape Seed. This is were we rode. It was awesome, wild and full of surprises. A little urban riding but mainly it was farm road and single track, some huge jumps (I skipped those) and sweet downhills. It is ironic that Scotland has more open land close to its urban areas than the United States. Someday I will get into that a little more but as a teaser John Muir would recognize his birth town of Dunbar in Scotland but not his home the SF Bay area.
We had a great ride, some pizza afterwords and to bed just at midnight.
Today we were more normal. A short drive south to Dumfries in the morning. When we arrived we had a coffee with Andy's girlfriend Ros. Then we enjoyed the trails at Ae. There is a 24 kilo red (difficult) route. Then some lunch and more coffee with Ros then off to one of those old fashion hardware stores. This was one of those stores where the people that work there know more than the customers. They had all the stuff we needed to overhaul Andy's shock and fork, plus a few more esoteric items.
I rode my longest elevated boardwalk today We think it was around 400 to 500 meters. If I looked at the cracks between the planks it was hypnotic. I made it and got a picture of Andy finishing it out. 
I also found one of the best uses of a clear cut, mountain bike trails. The stumps make great jumps and features and you can see your way ahead on the trail without all the foliage. Southern Scotland has 7 mountain bike areas, they are called the 7 Stanes. Stane means stone. Each area has its own stone and this "Talking Head" is the Stane for Ae. Pretty cool really. 
Don

2 comments:

Li'l Ned said...

New Bend MB chant:

We want stanes!
We want stanes!
We want stanes!.....

on our trails. Petroglyphs. Whatever.

martysavalas said...

If you liked riding 8 miles out of town, you should come up for an Edinburgh night ride next week. Ride starts 1 mile from Princes Street and gets to the hills with less than 1 mile of road.

Kathy - what you really want is neolithic carvings. that one is about 10 metres from my local trail.