Sunday, May 13, 2007


Day2 with Toons & co had us scheduled for the red route at Dalbeattie, just around the corner from our lodges (afterwards we found the trail came pretty close to our accommodation down at Sandyhills).

At the start we found the trail builders have generously given riders the choice of taking easy routes around short technical sections - quite unusual. The start (and end) comprises a long, gently twisty but thankfully wide board walk crank through a couple of boggy sections before a steady fire road blat up to the splendid panoramic views atop Moyle Hill. After yesterdays full on technical climbing the fire road was a welcome sight for some.

Heading off around the hillside (site of an old fort) the technical sections start to come at ya. At one point you're concentrating on a techni chute then to be confronted with a wide, open, long drop and Jenni's "whoop"n grin said it all ;) Some enjoyed it so much that they gave it another bash - actually the trail proper cuts back to your right, which was pretty sweet too.

Once around the hill you then get to see the rocky top to the "Slab" which Toons and DDave tackled whilst the rest of us zipped around to checkout the large granite slab that followed. Our dare devils took a half slab along with Darren while us XC peeps pondered their sanity :p

Plenty more lovely singletrack takes you to the Terrible Twins, two slabs separated by a ledge which everyone sensibly bypassed.

Compared to our previous outing at Kirroughtree this trail flowed a little better with a few less technical interruptions, although they still focused your attention. However, as the miles past by tired riders began to make mistakes over obstacles they'd normally clear. Thankfully no major injury's were sustained - just a few bruises and scrapes to attract the midges (thanks Uphilla!).

The final section undulates it way towards some serious obstacles should you choose the "black" options but all were happy to ride by on the easy bits and gawp at the difficult sections. The new Log On/Off section is intimidating but nothing compared to the fearsome Volunteer Ridge. One final, ridable highlight was a long and low log which most managed to wibble their way across.

All in all another great trail that would be great to have locally. Brumster, Baggy, Roger and I all gave it another bash on Monday morning and riding the same trail again was a definite benefit - being faster and safer. I even managed to find a few more alternate black runs, for another trip perhaps ?! While on point Roger managed to endo his rig yet somehow landed on his pins and didn't sky dive over the edge. However he did manage to mashed a brake lever, curtailing his riding for a while.

Darn it, I wish I was back up there.

Route; Tracklog
Weather; dry, overcast with sunny spells
Posse; Baggy (XTC), Brumster (Liquid), Chris (Inbred), Darren (Cannondale), DDave (Cameleon), Farqui (5Spot), Jenni (Cotic), Les (Hardrock), Rich, Roger (FSR), Toons (5Spot), Uphilla (5Spot)
Mechanicals; Toons drive train locked up - traced to a loose chain ring bolt (or two).


chris said...

We had a really great time, thanks to Lee for organising it all! It has taken a week for us both to get back into work and stop wishing we were back there riding. We enjoyed both days but Jenni's favourtie was definately day one at Kirroughtree!
Looking forward to the next outing, see you all then! Chris & Jenni

uphilla said...

Really enjoyed this one despite feeling completely knackered!
Again, would love to give this another try with fresher mind and body as I know, like a few others, I walked bits I would normally ride without hesitation.
It is great that Farqui got us North of the border, I really did not think I would ever venture to Scotland to ride and now I have had a taste of what is on offer I'm sure I will be back. Next time for longer and with better midge protection :-( and maybe some body armour!

Dan Howell said...

Had much more fun at Dalbeattie - so much that Mark and myself went back on Monday for a second run!

The sunday was a good laugh, the trail much more suited to my likes and dislikes, and with the Liquid out on the trails, those fast downhilly bits were welcomed with open arms. Thanks to everyone for putting up with Grace too, who absolutely loved it - she was knackered for the rest of the abvo, though!

The return on Monday was such a good idea too. Mark and myself were now comfortable with what we were facing and we tucked into the trail like zombies on brain pie - it fairly flew past and we couldn't believe the time we were making on it. Enjoyed it greatly (we did a shorter route, ~11 miles instead of the full run).

Was interesting taking both the Merlin Dual and the Liquid - both had their strengths and weaknesses over the weekend that I'm convinced to keep them both and pick and choose what I'm in the mood for on the day...

The Dual climbs great and fairly flies on the downhill stuff too, liking the jumpy bits, and getting more confident the faster you take it - but it was a learning curve to get used to the old hardtail again.

The Trek, surprisingly, didn't feel that much heavier on the ups the following day, and certainly made less fuss of the bumps and rocks that my backside was grateful by the end of the day. Certainly more comfortable, and that made for more concentration on the trail, I think.

Horses for courses, as always... ;)

Darren said...

Doesn't matter how wide a board walk is I still don't like them, I'm strangley drawn to the edges!
The flowing end to this ride put a smile on my face, was a brilliant end to another perfect days riding and left me wanting more..... can't wait for the next time.

uphilla said...

Thanks to Toons and crew for picking the routes - it was great to meet you guys, pity you live so far away. Admiration for the hardtail riders, really could not have done either of the trails without 5" of bounce under me!