Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mountain biking at Mabie and Ae

Last weekend I crossed two things off my wish list. 1) To try out sleeping in a wooden pod, and 2) To mountain bike some more of Scotland's 7 Stanes mountain bike trails.

A group of us headed down to Mabie near Dumfries on Friday night to our wooden pod where we would be staying the weekend. There were 4 of us staying in there, with Nick and Susan choosing to pitch a tent outside. The pod was cozy to say the least, but it was nice not to have to put up a tent, and made for a comfy place to sit in the evenings. We were right by the Mabie Forest trails and also the Mabie House Hotel, which had weddings on each night we were there.

It rained heavily throughout the night, and was still raining on Saturday morning, ensuring that the trails at Mabie would be nice and muddy. Once Gillian had fixed herself up with a hire bike we headed off on the 10km blue route. A good warm up to get us all used to being on the bikes. After a quick scone and tea at the cafe, with then headed out on the red Pheonix route, 24km this time, and much more tricky descents. Great fun! We were covered in mud by the end of it. A warm shower followed by dinner in the Mabie house hotel (the biggest plate of Gammon and pineapple I've ever seen!) was well appreciated.

The next day, the sun was shining and after packing up the car, we headed north slightly to Ae. This is another 7 stanes venue also with various routes. The red route - the Ae Line was 26km, so we just headed straight for that. Susan did parts of the blue route and met us at various points. I loved this trail as it was so varied and the scenery was fantastic. It started in the woods, but had some exposed bits too, the best bit being 'The Edge' which featured a single track with a drop on the side down to the river, and great views. The finale, Omega man had some exciting dowhill sections, which were exciting, though hard work at the end of a weekend of biking.

Really enjoyed the weekend of biking and looking forward to trying out the remaining mountain bike trails!

The Ae Line from Jo Kirby on Vimeo.

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