I have to admit, I’m hitting this wee article with a lot of negativity so don’t expect this to go well. First up and controversial to say the least:
I’m no expert but as far as I can see, they are hanging folk out to dry – the effective founders of Glentress and the girls who built it up to be what it is today have been left out of their latest tender so they’re going to lose what they have built up. Carron Valley was another story of a lot of disgruntled folk walking away (these are both my opinion as an outsider with a whole lot miised out!). I like mountain biking because it’s my chance of escape, not to get enveloped in political crap.
If mountain bikers have a place to go then does that mean we are not going to be allowed on proper trails in the future? This is the scariest element to me. I would much prefer a ride up the local hills, whatever the weather, than having to get in a car and drive to a trail centre. Very few (much less than 1%) would actually ride to a trail centre so surely this is bad for the environment too?
“Winding down” a hill
I hate berms and constant “keep your height” rubbish. I much prefer a proper steep descent than only losing ten metres of height in 5 corners. Berms and silly jumps are about as natural and beautiful as Jordan. There’s really no need for either on God’s clean earth! (Just to contradict myself I really like the berm at the bottom of Cannonball Run at Carron Valley!)
I haven’t been to that many but…
Laggan Wolftrax almost feels natural from time to time and I absolutely love getting as many laps in as I can. The bike shop is okay and the cafe fine. Even my buddy Danger gets (more than) chatted up by the staff in the cafe too so it’s a nice wee departure from natural riding. The black is something to aspire to (for me, having not done every feature!) and the reds are swoopy and fun.
Carron Valley used to be good fun and the lack of “motorway” tyre surface (i.e. more rugged) was a nice change. That’s all changed however and it’s been tamed unfortunately. Whoops.
Glentress is a massive disappointment for me. The black is good fun and nothing like what I imagine a black to be as it’s not difficult. However, it feels natural and exposed in places, which is more my bag. The red is okay but nothing inspiring and the blue is great for beginner’s so there’s a reason for that one. Otherwise, it’s a total yawn fest and waste of fuel.
Love it! Not much climbing and some nice technical (semi-natural?) features. Good time, not very busy but one of the best.
So, it appears I like them after all…apart from the fact that I would much prefer to be up Dumyat, Ben Cleuch, the Lairig Ghru, Ryvoan Pass, Menstrie Glen or sliding my way down Kippenrait Glen on my backside watching my pals doing the same!