Thursday, January 04, 2007

7Stanes Wkend

Why ? In their annual awards, the IMBA has once again acknowledged the Scottish trails. This time as "Global Superstars", awarding 'em A+. The Scot's also beat Wales in last years awards and as we all love Afan, etc it seems logical that we ought to experiment with some north of the border action.

Where ? Scottish borders, north west of Carlisle. There are 5 juicy trail centres, with their own mix of trails, that are less than 60 miles apart (Newton Stewart -> Thornhill). Compared to 155 miles between Afan in south Wales and Betws-y-Coed in the north. Details of the 7 "stones" trail centres can be found at the Scottish Forestry Commission website.

When ? Weekend of May 11th thru 14th, although you may attend on any day ;-) I figure that another long wkend (Friday through Monday) is best for most considering the "slightly" long travel times/distance - for some of us at least. Chipmunk & I intend to be in the area for a week, now Friday to Friday (not Weds-Weds as initially plan'd due to accom restrictions). As for the travel, it ain't as bad as some might think as it's mostly autobahn- here's some comparison mileages for's ya;
  • Dalbeattie; is 316 miles from Westoning, or 202 miles, Westoning -> Afan
  • Dalbeattie; is 227 miles from Mansfield , or 204 miles, Mansfield -> Afan
Who ? If you'd like to ride such legends as "The Slab", "Spooky Wood", "Jabberwocky" or "Britney Spears" :-O then feel free to join us. Clicky here for a list of who's game for some quality northern exposure (accommodation and provisional ride list to follow).

Waymarks ? At the moment we're truly spoilt for a choice of routes as each centre has numerous listed. I'm not proposing to take in every trail at every centre (that'd be madness) probably choosing from the 5 most eastern venues. Unlike Wales, these routes all appear to have decent grading system akin to skiing (pic), so it should be fairly easy to decide what to ride. Whilst I dig up more trail info, have a butchers at some fab vids, checkout Categories, Scotland (in the sidebar) and hear what "Toons" (our local rep) has recently commented; I’ve ridden the following 7 Stanes;
  • Glentress Black - first one I ever did and was blown away, very good
  • AE Red - I loved AE, big berms, table tops, has long sections of fire road but the end is quality
  • Mabie Red - its ok, short and not that much fun
  • Dalbeattie Red - it’s getting better all the time and it’s got some fun sections
  • Kirroughtree Red\Black - this has to be the best man made trail in the UK with loads and loads of single track that just keeps on going. bloody brilliant
  • Newcastleton Red - not very long and probs only worth it, if you’re in the area\passing
Toons also has details and rides of these northern trails listed over at his blog.

SheCycles has just published a list of additions/amendments to all the 7 Stanes trails and also provides an insight to each. It looks like they've been busy oop north. You'll find the official FC trail work list here.

Who's game ? At the moment we have; Baggy, Darren, DDave, Farq's, Rob, Roger, Toons and Uphilla. Chipmunk will also be around and we'll most likely ride a few of the tamer trails before/after the main bulk of the posse pass thru...I don't want to scare my honey with all your pant'in & grunt'in !


uphilla said...

I'm up for it. Probably a weekend that does not clash with School Holidays.
Think I will get some armour this time!!

Farqui said...

Fortunately the lack of responses via the web is not an indication in the interest in this trip !

Numerous peeps have confirmed their place (by other means) and we now have a growing posse - I've update'd the speadsheet accordingly.

Out local guru / guide, Toons, should be back online by the end of the wk. So we'll then to be able to decide on trails to rip and accom options.

Farqui said...

Talking of accom, here's some sms thoughts from DDave... Whenever Alex and I have gone up there, we've stayed in the village of Innerleithen nr Peebles.

There's a nice campsite there that has caravans and is literally on the bottom of the Innerleithen trails.

It's about 5mins to Glentress and not far from the other the other centers.

Tho we'll prob'ly want something a bit more luxurious for for the posse tho ;-)

dozer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Farqui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Farqui said...

Ok I've done a little research for accommodation and found Thistle Lodges, which looks splendid, is biker friendly and backs onto Dalbeattie forest.

I've currently reserved us one of their two lodges, for the current posse of 8. However, if the posse grows then the holiday village appears to have capacity for a few more.

I've yet to finalise the costs as they're complicated by some staying for a wk and others just for the wkend. However I'm certain that per person costs won't break the bank and rest assured that I'll do my best to ensure we all get a fair deal.

Meanwhile lets get some deposits in to show commitment and confirm numbers. To secure your place blat me £25ppn asap - email me if you need how and where's.

Farqui said...

Just a quickie to update peeps that the lodge(s) won't allow Weds-Weds bookings.

At the moment we've reserved a single lodge from Fri May 11th thru Friday 18th.

The owners have just responded with some more options on prices. Now dependent upon numbers, across two lodges - so I've some more figures to play with.

As ever, your deposit (£25) confirms your bed.

Farqui said...

As our posse now exceeds a single lodge, I've reserved a 2nd. The owners indicated that another party was interested but that we had 1st dibs.

As a consequence prices sneak up a little but the 2nd lodge is discounted so it's nothing significant.

If we can drum up more riders then it gets cheaper, so raise your placards!

Prices depend on a final head count at the eoMarch (when the owners want paying) but I suspect it'll be around the £20-25pppn mark.

Farqui said...

Update; the posse has now grown to 15 - over the initial wkend at least. Consequently the nightly rate current stands at approx £15pn :thumbu

It looks like half a dozen "workaholics" intend to head off Sunday afternoon/evening. Leaving the die hards to hit the trails again on Monday :D

I'd like to thank those that have sent their deposits (XLS updated) and slap those that haven't !

Farqui said...

We now have just x3 peeps with payment outstanding; Chris/Jenni & DDave. The Bank of Farqui would be most grateful if they could transfer their £25ppn deposits ASAP. Otherwise, I'll arrange for them to kip in a kennel ;-)

Farqui said...

Toons has just highlighted that the Forestry Commission have revamped their 7Stanes website. I wonder if it's got anymore info...

Farqui said...

...posted on behalf of Baggy...

Check the vid's of the trails! Nice!