I was in Scotland on business last week, spending a couple of days up at HQ with my team. I’m normally back in Lancashire by midweek when I’ve been up to the bonny land, but last week I wasn’t due to head back down south until Saturday. So, I had an idea…
The 7Stanes trails at Glentress are a fairly short diversion from my usual drive back from near Edinburgh to the top of the M6 before heading home. Last Saturday I had the Fat Boy in the back of the car and took that diversion. What a great idea that was!
Before you even get onto the trails at Glentress, it’s obvious that you’ve arrived somewhere special. The facilities are exceptional, with a large bike shop, great cafe, great car park (only £3 all day) and informative signage all visible before you even get out of your car. Hungover from a previous evening spent in the finer establishments of Edinburgh, I headed for the cafe first. With change from a £fiver for beans on toast and a pot of tea, I was delighted. When the enormous portion of “beans on” arrived, I was chuffed to biuts: this was proper man-sized mountain biking fuel!
If you read any of the MTB press, you’ll know that a lot of investment has gone into the 7Stanes networks, and into Glentress in particular. Getting out onto the trails at Glentress, you can tell. I picked the Blue Route, as this was my first visit and I was feeling somewhat delicate. Hearing of over 2,000 feet of climbing, I was not looking forward to the upward slog. Having ridden at Gisburn Forest in the past, I was expecting a vomit-inducing fire road drag up to the top. I couldn’t have been more wrong. At Glentress, you take in the fantastic views and the scent of fresh pine as you climb along red paths between the tress, dodging left and right through many, many switchbacks on your way up. There are a few short fire road bursts, sure, but it’s almost a pleasure putting the hill beneath you.
About two-thirds of the way up, there’s a car park (for cheats) next to a skills area and freeride zone which looked like loads of fun, but which was too much for my limited bike and more limited talents. So, I pushed on upwards to the top of the Blue Route before the long journey back down to earth.
And what a journey.
Glentress In 20 Words Or Less
Swoopy. Jumpy. Fast. Dark. Trees. Red. Rocky. Loamy. Grass. Ferns. Exciting. Plush. High. Manageable. Fantastic. Friendly. Organised. Clean. Fun.
That’s 19. Can you add one? 😉