Monday, 24 May 2010

Trail centred...

I've never really been a trail centre kind of guy. I'm a Peak District sort of cove, I like messy, rocky, jumbly things that make you think about lines and don't come with guarantees. Trail centres, on the other hand, always seem kind of predictable - if this is Saturday it must be Llanyafanglenerleithenbeattie, you know, the one with the bermed singletrack heading down through the trees and the rolling kickers on the final descent to the caff.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying trail centres are bad things, for starters, they keep real trails quieter and provide jobs for pixies. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't love them, just that I don't.

Or that's what I thought until Saturday. While the more skilled folk took off for an uplift day at Innerleithen, more average riders like me headed off to Glentress on a glorious, sunny day and teetered around first the black route and then, in the case of three of us, the red for dessert.

And you know what, it was lovely. No soul-destroying fire road climbs, not too many people - fear of heat stroke ain't all bad -  some lung-burning, switchbacked middle-ring drags into open-skied hill tops but best of all, a succession of swoopy, bermed, mellow, singletrack. Blimey, some of it was even starting to disintegrate for a more 'natural' sort of feel. And you know what, sometimes it's nice to have your very average riding ability flattered and kid yourself that you might be fast-ish and even smooth.

It was lovely. Not whoop out loud lovely, but warm, mellow, shared smiles at the bottom of the section lovely. And they have cake there, which is more than you can say for Cut Gate...

Hmmm... I could get used to this.


  1. Steady on mate. It can be a slippery slope.

  2. Don't fret, it's a once a year occurrence...