21:10,
Thursday,
22 October 2020.

Peebles, Cycling & Mounta...

The forests around Peebles have become the UK’s as well as Scotland’s mountain biking Mecca. Glentress one of the 7 Stanes forest mountain bike centres is located less than one mile from Peebles and is an extremely well devised and engineered mountain biking resort. Like a top class ski resort Glentress has well marked and well groomed trails of varying grades of difficulty. Again like ski resorts they have used the grading system of green = very easy, blue = easy, red = intermediate and black = difficult. The one thing missing is a lift system but don’t let that put you off.

Riders can ascend through the forest on a mixture of forestry roads and singletrack before hurtling down either a red or blue trail that leads back to the bottom. The various trails are linked via forestry road so it is relatively easy to jump from one to the other en route. Also you can use the forestry roads to get back to the top or head for the bottom at several points along the way.

Glentress is extremely well sign posted so you should really never get lost. The Hub in the Forest café provides nourishing nosh and refreshments after an exciting day out. The Hub can also provide those other things you might need for a days biking in Glentress; bikes, helmets, maps etc.

The small village of Innerleithen just a few miles down the road from Peebles is situated at the entrance to Traquair Forest home to some of Scotland’s most challenging downhill trails and one reasonably tough XC (cross country) trail. The Traquair Forest routes are definitely more suited to fit and well accomplished riders. Uplift is provided at weekends for riders using the downhill tracks at Traquair. If you’re not accustomed to freeride then it’s worth checking out Essentials which with less intimidating features than the Traquair trails is essentially intended as a newbies intro to downhill freeride.

Peebles sits on the Tweed Cycle Way a 90 mile (145 kilometre) marked route running from Biggar in the west to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the east. This is just one of the many cycling routes in the region. Maps with marked routes can be obtained from the local tourist office.

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XC - Cross-Country

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For families the green skills loop and trail are just the biz and for a nice swoopy ride check out the blue route. Both the red at Glentress and Traquair offer a reasonable adventure and the occasional technical challenge although Traquair certainly has the technical edge. The Pièce de résistance definitely has to be the black graded Helly Hansen V-Trail at Glentress, a 29 kilometre epic that ranges far from the rest of the trails. It’s got everything from tough climbs with rewarding views at the top to fast exhilarating descents with the occasional feature. This route is relatively remote so best to do it with a buddy.

Downhill

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Head to Traquair Forest by Innerleithen for four outstanding downhill courses. There’s fast technical, tight and tricky and then there’s airborne, airborne and airborne. The Orange Bike Park at Glentress also has three very short downhill trails one of which is ideal for first timers.