7Stanes Road Trip – Mabie

15 11 2008

Day 3:  A Wash out

The weather was horrendous so we had a chill out day at camping (er, code for making sure the tent didn’t blow away) and knackered from the wonderous delights of Kirroughtree the day before, we were happy to rest and gain strength for the rest of the riding to come. 

Day 4:  Mabie

Mabie is the shortest of the trails and its feature is woodwork.  The Dark Side is a 4km very tricky northshore section which the locals don’t go near ‘even if it’s damp’, it was damp, but Rick wanted to ride it anyway!  To be honest we thought it was past its sell-by date.  Rotten in many places and overgrown with ferns and green slime it was pretty lethal/unrideable.  Big shame but it didn’t stop Rick as he took in what the taster section had to offer then started out on the Dark Side proper.  About 5ft in and immediately being wiped out on a skinny he’d had enough and turned back, disappointed.  If you ride it at all, ride in bone dry.

Mabie is made up with natural and handmade singletrack trails, criss crossing at the beginning and end with a new skills section to play on at the trailhead.  It’s fun with nothing too technical at all to test you.  There’s quite a lot of climbing, which is good if you like climbing but it won’t blow you away on the decending.  The northshore is fun and they’ve planted log runs every so often to keep the more adventurous amuzed.  One took Rick prisoner as he aborted halfway along it 4ft in the air.  As I turned I saw him sailing through the air, land on both wheels, next a huge BANG and what looked like fork oil jettisoned itself towards him.  Was it fork oil ?  No, it was his Stans No Tubes juice firing itself out the tyre.  He’d completely bucked his front wheel and pierced 2 huge holes in the tyre.  He was lucky and so now were we, a quick trail mend meant we could ride back, just as the raindrops started building.  Back at the trailhead it was now chucking it down.  Got us back home though. 

Overnight the brilliant bike shop recommended by the Trail Centre Cafe (G&G Bikes) relaced new spokes and rim onto existing hub and a new tyre, excellent service and meant we were riding not walking the rest of this holiday. 

In summary, if you’ve never been to the 7Stanes before I’d use Mabie as a leg warmer on the first day of my trip, tick it off your list and then venture out from there.   We’d ridden Kirroughtree before, there’s no comparison and we came away a bit flat. 

Tomorrow we travel to the Eastern Borders and tackle Glentress and Innerleithen with a bit of luxury to boot…

Lisa

Clicky for photos:  http://photos-by-lisa.photosnaps.org.uk/c1600043.html

http://www.7stanes.gov.uk/forestry/achs-5RJEKY

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