The Retrobike National Event Series 2012
With support from Bikefood
The clan MacRetro is proud to present...
Round 5: Tweed Valley - Innerleithen
Saturday 18th of August 2012
9.30am for a 10am start
21 miles, 5 - 6 hours riding
:: Meeting at:
Innerleithen car park Postcode:
EH44 6PW ~ Grid Ref: NT336357
:: Directions: Innerleithen is the nearest town/village. At Innerleithen, turn off the A72 and take the B709 for Traquair. Once you've crossed the bridge, the car park entrance is another 50 metres on the left.
Parking is £3 for the day - we accept English £1 coins.
:: NO HELMET, NO RIDE
Rocky red-graded trail centre singletrack and forestry double track. Once we're up into the hills, the majority of riding is a variety of terrain not dissimilar to the highlands - everything from hard pack and stony old drovers path, to more natural walkers paths and grassy hillsides ranging from firm, muddy and all the way to occasionally boggy. There will be cow pats to avoid and a few water bars to bunny-hop.
:: What you need to bring:
1. The clan is recommending front suspension and big fat tyres if possible - keep in mind that we are hard, leathery mountain men not afraid to wear itchy cable knit jumpers, and some of us have even attempted growing a beard - so we know all about tough. That's not to say you can't ride it rigid (bring proof of Scottish ancestry on the day), but we reckon it will make the ride a bit easier, and you will enjoy the descents more (and the Innerleithen red) with a bit of bounce.
2. Bring a packed lunch, because in true penny pinching Scots style, we WILL NOT be stopping at a cafe. Seriously though, we are heading out into the hills, with our mid-point lunch stop being a hill-top several miles from civilisation. Bring food. This is mountain biking, not some jaunt down to the bistro for cafe Americano and pain au chocolat.
Click on image below for MapMyRide route.
We begin and end the ride on Innerleithen's red graded trail centre singletrack. The initial climb towards Minch Moor is full on from the get go and steep. It's a mix of path, double track and singletrack with rocky step ups and roots on the way - mincers can avoid this by staying on the double track. We leave the trail centre track before the Minch Moor summit (don't worry, we'll be back later) exiting Traquair Forest after a short but sweet bit of singletrack leading to the 'Point of Resolution'
From there we join the Southern Upland Way for a challenging natural ride across the gently rolling hills of the Scottish Borders, heading towards our lunch stop at the 3 Brethren. Under tyre expect the hard pack of an old drovers path, bumpy and rocky descents (and smiles), grassy hillsides, dirt, mud and you wouldn't be north of the border without an occasional bog to skirt.
Fed and watered (once again, remember that packed lunch ladies), we'll make our way back, going down the previous ups and vice versa until we arrive again at the Innerleithen red trail. From there it's a short climb up to the highest point of the ride - Minch Moor itself (567m).
After stopping to draw breath and admire the views once more, we'll begin the final 1300 foot descent on almost 5 and half miles of the finest border's singletrack (including the inevitable forestry double track). Expect swoopy, gravelly and bermy near the top, with quite a few rocky jumps (you'll see them coming, one or two are quite large but there is always a chicken run to the side), plus several rock gardens to navigate. There's a mix of double track, then singletrack and double track again as we make our way downwards, finishing with the Caddon Bank descent. This begins with several large drop offs (again, there are chicken runs, but these require a degree of concentration, especially the last one which is quite steep), and then you are onto a heady mix of berms, huge looping rollers, table tops, more drop offs and tight bends. Just be aware, this final section is technical, fast and geared towards modern bikes (and riders) - we don't want to end the day with any injuries.
Pods at Glentress.
Borders Tourist Site.
7 Stanes site.
Borders Accomodation Site.
Yon daft Olympics will be over so no excuses. Bring yir bikes and leave yir southern shandies at the border - you're drinking Sweetheart Stout now
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