7 Stanes Glentress Timed Runs: Can I get faster on Spooky Wood?

The Top of Glentress mountain bike trail, 7 StanesI’m currently in training for a few races that I’ve been foolish enough to enter over the summer (more details on that soon, still finalising teams!) and I was out at Glentress for a speed circuit last Monday.

I’ve started timing myself in an attempt to measure whether I’m getting any better and hopefully my new heart rate monitor will be through by the weekend to give me even more info on that. The reason for this post, though, is that I timed myself over quite a few different sections at Glentress, the most interesting of which was spooky wood.

Now, I know I’ve just said that the intention of this training is to try to get fitter for my races, but of course the bit I’m really interested in, the most fun part, is whether I’m getting faster on the downhills! I thought that probably the best measure of this would be a timed run over Glentress’ awesome opening section, Spooky Wood. For those that don’t know, Spooky Wood takes you down from the very top of Glentress and into the trees, over endless jumps and berms and is one of the most fun sections of singletrack to be found in Scotland, or the UK for that matter.

It’s a reasonably long section so I thought that time gains over it would be quite noticeable, plus it incorporates so many different elements of mountain biking that getting faster on it would show I really was getting better at the whole lot.

Anyway, I was a little imprecise on this first run as I was timing it on my phone which took a little while to press start, put in my pocket, ride Spooky Wood, fish it out and stop it again, but I reckon it only added maybe 10 seconds or so. My time in total was just under 4 minutes, 3.55 to be exact.

Now, while I’m getting better I know I’m not particularly fast yet, so I hope noone’s laughing their ass off at my tortoise-esque time! I thought I’d find some times to compare it to on the web given that spooky wood is such a well ridden section, but I can’t find any mention anywhere at all, so I’d like to put out a general times call here!

If you’re reading this and you ride Glentress, whether once a week or once a year, send me your fastest Spooky Wood time and we’ll compile a little list here to give us all an idea of what can be done and have a go at improving. I know I always need a bit of motivation and competition to put the work in so if I see that someone’s got down in sub-3 mins then that gives me something to aim for. I’ve no doubt that there’s some ridiculously fast times out there, probably halving mine, but I can take it, bring on the humiliation!

[tags]7 stanes, glentress, training, fitness, downhill, timed, racing, mountain, bike, biking[/tags]


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

19 Responses

  1. Muirie says:


    I’ve managed to do a 3.18 on Spookywood.


  2. Colin says:

    Hey David, nice time! Fair bit faster than my first timed attempt anyway!

    Anyone else beat 3.18?

  3. Roger says:

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  4. Bru Blazer says:

    Just got 3.56. I’m about to receive some fast rolling tyres (Panaracer Fire XC Pro, 1.8), and install a Riser bar on my ride, so I’ll try it again next week and see if technological improvements do help!

  5. Colin says:

    Nice time Bru, that’d be interesting to see if the tyres help a lot!

    I was thinking about getting a new set of Maxxis High Rollers as my current bike shoes are wearing pretty thin. I guess the rolling resistance and grip should both help with the times.

  6. Colin says:

    Ok, I’ve done a few runs since then and the fastest so far is 3.35s.

    Anyone beating that?

  7. Colin says:

    Just swapped to a set of flat pedals to see how that changes things. Got a 3.33 so can’t be too bad! Felt like I could have been a lot faster tho…

  8. Blackhatseo says:

    Added. Nice work on this one. Btw, my blog is dofollow, stop by and grab a link. Walter

  9. Rob D says:

    Good work col sounds like your getting better bro

  10. Colin says:

    Hah, cheers Rob!

    Found some good runs down London way yet?

  11. Rob D says:

    Yeah one or two that i’ve looked at on the web, not had a chance to ride them tho, my trusty steed is still in the stables. Also Wales ain’t that far for weekends away.

  12. rob says:

    Two years on…
    and I stumbled across this trying to find info on the current weather conditions in Scotland.
    Riding Glentress tomorrow, hope it’s not too snowy on spooky to put down a time.

  13. Colin says:

    Cheers for getting in touch Rob, hope the time was quick.

    The snow melted at last around April time and ‘tress has been dry and fast since then. Looking forward to seeing how quick you went!


  14. Stuart says:

    Hi, got 4.02 on my Specialized P1 (Dirt Jumping bike) and im onlu 15 so i dont think thats bad. I know theres room for improvement though. Do you guys ride full sus’s? Do you think they make a massive improvement??

  15. Colin says:

    Yea, that’s pretty decent Stuart, good work and thanks for sending it in!

    Yea, I’m on a full-sus, and I know Rob above is too. It can make a fair of a difference, just in terms of smoothing out the ride and shaving off a few seconds that way. The more comfortable you are the better you can ride in my opinion.

    To be honest though, at the skill level we’re at it’s much more about the rider. I’m not so good that changing bike makes much of a difference to my time! I could easily get my ass kicked by someone on a hardtail if they’re a better rider than me – it’s more about picking the right lines, being confident in yourself and, as a result, getting off the brakes, so keeping your speed up. That’s the bit I struggle with! There’s always a wee bit of chicken pokes it’s head in and causes an extra dab of brake, gotta get over that!


  16. Kevin says:

    I know this is mainly about spooky times but these are times of clocked on other runs at tress. I will be setting my spooky time next week.

    best times
    electric blue (post 30 to road): 2.24
    falla brae (post 31) – end of good game (post 7):3.07
    falla brae (post 31) – bottom (post 114): 4.50
    electric blue (post 30) to bottom (post 114): 7.32

  17. stu bell says:

    his was there yesterday done spokey in 305 dead.i done it on a orange st4 pro .2010 any ggod for yous. the wether was great to.

  18. Kevin says:

    pants, punctured at 3rd last bend on 3min 03 seconds.

  19. Colin says:

    Hah, that’s a shame Kevin, was likely to be a pretty decent time! Pretty impressive on the others parts of the trail too, I’ll have to give some of those sections a crack with the stopwatch on.

    Ever tried timing the whole thing? Top of spooky to bottom of Good Game? Includes a bit of up, but adds to the challenge!

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