I had a good day out at Glentress (7 Stanes favourite in the east of Scotland) at the weekend and thought it worth writing about because it wasn’t with my usual biking buddies.
I was planning to head out with the girlfriend on Sunday just to stretch the legs and toddle around the red run. She’s no mountain biker by any means but she knows the ropes and can easily keep up with me (and often surpass me..!) on the ups due to the amount of running she does. On the Sunday morning she ended up inviting along two of her friends who haven’t ever been biking before and the four of us headed out there with the car a-laden with wheels.
I was expecting a pretty slow day, but didn’t mind the prospect at all due to a few too many light ales the night before, and it certainly started off that way. I always forget how much kit, parts and assorted paraphenalia we carry with us as a matter of course and when someone turns up without it it’s a sudden reminder of the amount of rubbish I keep in my bike bag. Good job though as it was all needed and I spent a happy 30 minutes before even leaving the car park tinkering with my accomplices bikes to bring them up to code. I’ve got an old banger (’95 Raleigh Amazon) that I ride around town every day but it’s amazing what contraptions people pull out of the rafters sometimes. I didn’t envy the guy who was about to descend the red run on a rigid-fork, grip-shift hybrid built for someone of far taller stature than he! Despite the hiccups though, eventually off we went, with gears rattling furiously around me as we headed onto the first uphill.
The day basically played out with me acting as coach to 3 very enthusiastic bikers and it was far more fun than I expected. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no biking snob, and I’m certainly no expert myself, so it wasn’t that I was dreading going out with some newbies. I’ll never sneer at someone on a lower spec bike than mine, or bark, “Left!” at a slower rider in front of me, partly because I know for a fact I’ve still got a lot to learn myself and partly because everyone has a right to use the trails. The reason I was surprised was because I didn’t realise how much fun it would be playing the guru for a day and helping someone else grin the way I do when I hit the bottom of Spooky Wood.
I think I’ve successfully got the new folk hooked anyway – the rigid-fork rider left us blathering about how he was going to overhaul his bike, install a suspension fork and get a riser bar! The way I see it, the more folk that get into our sport, the more facilities we’ll get around the country. So, despite the fact that the trails are getting busier and busier at the moment it’s got to be a good thing getting more people out there in the long run.
So do your duty, drag that mate off the couch and stick him on your spare bike. It’ll be worth all of his pissing and moaning on the ups as soon as he hits the bottom of the first descent grinning from ear to ear. And if not? Well, there’s this other section of the run he might enjoy. “See that sign with the two black diamonds on it Frank? That means it’s easy – built for kids. Let the brakes off and go.” Besides the grin, screams are the next best thing…
[tags]Mountain Biking, bikes, Glentress, 7 Stanes[/tags]