Thursday, March 31, 2011


I actually rode on that tube and tyre for about two miles. I was expecting a blowout at any second, but I did make it back to the trailhead. I was fortunate enough to have gone to Alpine Bikes in Innerleithen to rent a bike. They sent me out on a Trek Remedy 9.9. One model up from my bike at home. It is not after one can hire a bike better than the one at home. Alpine Bikes is my favorite bike store in the Tweed Valley. There are some other nice places to hire bikes and get them repaired but Alpine has always come through for me.
I wanted to show the difference between "natural trails" and "man made trails". Natural trails around here can be pretty old walking, hunting, sheep or 4x4 paths. Man made trails for mountain biking are constructed much like road is. The trees are cleared and a rock base laid. Then "features are added. Some features seem very natural, some are adds just for fun and some, well the build was trying too hard and actually seem out of place. Trail building like this in Scotland is pretty new. The first trails were built around 1998. The designers have learned from the past and, as this has been so popular, trails have been built for all levels of riders. The first trails were built for the more advanced riders, now trails are built for everyone. There are downhill trails, cross country trails, free ride trails practice areas everything.
Because it rains so much here these trails are designed to be used in all weather conditions. No closing the trails here because of a little rain.
The locals ride the natural trails when it is dry and the man made trails when it is wet. The parking lot at Glentress seems almost full every time I am here. Mountain bikers travel from all over Great Britain to ride these trails.
For me being able to ride no matter the weather makes for a great holiday. All I need is my raincoat and contact lenses.
Thanks for reading.

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