Simple tricks to increasing speed by 20% off-road

“Learn how to mountain bike faster in minutes by maximising your momentum with this one simple tip. The gains you get will surprise!”

First Ride – Cathkin Braes MTB course (review)

it’s been a few years since the Cathkin Braes course was opened and MTB’s were asked to use the course in order to bed in the track. It will be used for the MTB race in the Commonwealth Games of 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. It was only the other week over dinner with friends when they asked if I had ridden the course – I had but that was before the bulldozers were there or any tracks so the real answer was err …. no

Here is a description of the course

So I travelled down there on Monday for a wee ride. the course is just over 5.5km long and is a figure of 8 course … a wee tunnel prevents you shooting the gap during the crossover.

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It is a great course – not overly technical but difficult enough to make you concentrate on your line in places.

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If you are stood in the main car-park looking at this sign The track heads off to the RIGHT!!!! as it seems that a fair few folk are getting it wrong. I came across two very confused people who couldn’t see the little no entry signs a an indication they were going the wrong way.

The next section you will come to is The first Listed feature on the Trail map Named Propeller Point. There is a red and Blue line down this … the red has two drops on it …This section most riders will have no problems getting through.

Further on you will next come to a trail crossing where you can loop down through a tunnel although I didn’t see it first time and went over the top which is  nice technical drop.

Again this is a section that most rider will breeze through with ease and now the fun begins as you pick up speed through a sharp few corners in to a short rock section that the 29er just flows through.

Just after this you pop out the trees in to a sharp left and start descending across the hill,

That done there is a short steep climb up to the start of the Double Dare (Dual) Section a 200m section of trail made up of a series of seven corners. I preferred the right hand line but dual boys might prefer the slightly trickier left line.

At the bottom of this run you crest a wee bump and have a climb back up (Clyde Climb)

Once you have got to the top of this climb you cycle across the open(Rest and be thankful) and in to the Feature Three line Corner.

3 lines but much more bedded in now since this was taken
3 lines but much more bedded in now since this was taken

First the inside line with the rock drops. The middle line with one rock drop. And the outside line with no drop.

then it is a loop through a flowy bit and around and up a small climb to the Forest and along the bedrock (Broken Biscuits) section. Back across the tunnel intersection and through a section of small swooping berms (The Jock) with some small rock sections and Tree stump features that can be easily rid over or round.

You then roll in to the (Brig O’doom) This section is a tight twisty trail that run’s along side a 2 meter high natural  rock ledge.

Then over a burn and up a very steep short climb. (i didnt make it the first 2 times but was ready the third time and ground up it …. JUST)

Then through the stream

Out of the trees and over the (Boulder Dash)

Then onward up the last few baby rock climbs to the finish.

Once back at the car-park you have completed the 5.5k 2014  Commonwealth Games Cross Country Mountain Bike  Track. Give yourself a big pat on the back and get a few more laps in! Getting faster and fitter with every lap. So do it – dry course drains great – easy for all levels Green Blue and Red runs … kid friendly too and lots of spectator space for the Games ….

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what the course looks like on Strava ….

the 3 laps i did before i had some lunch
the 3 laps i did before i had some lunch

here rab wardell that can do the course in 13m57s as opposed to my 20m31s talks to us about the course and the games ….

and another

Scotland to get its own MTB enduro series



No Fuss Events and Innerleithen MTB Racing are pleased to announce that they will be working together to organise Scotland’s first National Enduro Race Series in 2014. The series will consist of 6 races held throughout Scotland, ensuring that each round has a unique feel and that the variety of terrain available to us is maximised.

Innerleithen MTB Racing is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation with a track record of staging fun, friendly and challenging events for all disciplines of mountain biking. They were also one of the first organisations to introduce multi-stage racing to the UK. Duncan Nisbet from Innerleithen MTB Racing said;

“We’ve seen Enduro racing grow in popularity over the last few years in the Tweed Valley and a National Series is the next logical step for us. We were really keen to partner with someone that had a reputation for successful event organisation throughout the UK, coupled with our shared vision for running events that focus on maximum enjoyment for the riders. We are therefore delighted to be working with No Fuss Events on this exciting evolution of mountain biking in Scotland.”

No Fuss, heading into their 10th year of organising events, took their first steps into Enduro racing last November, when they worked together with The Dudes of Hazzard to bring Enduro to the Highlands. ‘This is Enduro Now’ was a great success and was also recognised by French brand Bluegrass, who thought No Fuss would be the perfect partners to organise a round of their International Enduro series. Frazer Coupland of No Fuss;

“Enduro racing is hugely popular right now and we felt that the demand for a National Series was high. Collaborating with Innerleithen MTB Racing allows us to provide a country wide series and to promote working together as part of the biking community.”

Forrest in the forest

Forrest in the forest

The Scottish Enduro race series is based on the gravity Enduro format. The first round of the series will kick off on the 22rd of February, 2014. Other dates are confirmed as 29th/30th March, 22nd June, 12th/13th July, 18th/19th October and the 8th November. Venues will be confirmed later this month but are guaranteed to visit the classics and unveil some new venues with sweet trails to ensure this is a smash series. At the end of the series the riders with the highest points in each category will be crowned Scottish Champion. The final points will be based on each rider’s best 4 results.

The series is another step towards delivering Scotland’s vision to be a world class mountain biking destination. Leading this vision is Developing Mountain Biking Scotland, a project based within Scottish Cycling which is delivering the National strategy, whose project manager Graeme McLean explains;

“We have always been pioneers for mountain biking and to be one of the first nations in the World to have its own National Enduro Series will help our International reputation. We have everything in place to be known as one of the best destinations in the World and we are becoming increasingly joined up and co-ordinated, which will only result in a better experience for Scottish mountain bikers and those who come from other countries to enjoy our amazing trails and events.”


Anyone for a small race this weekend MTB

English: The track up Glen Finglas.
English: The track up Glen Finglas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Birk In Glen Finglas (Brig O' Turk, Trossachs,...
Birk In Glen Finglas (Brig O’ Turk, Trossachs, Scotland) (Photo credit: Maurits Euro Courier)


Race Details


The loop around Glen Finglas is a hugely popular cycling route – especially for those who are looking to ride somewhere that has a more ‘wild’ feel, away from a trail centre. Since being featured in the ‘Bike Scotland’ guide book its popularity has only increased. This race is the inaugural Finglas mountain bike event that we hope will grow into a successful annual event.


We’re working with the lovely Brig O’ Turk Tea Room, so your pre-entry ticket price includes your post-race lunch (soup, sandwiches, cakes and drinks!).


The route will be marshalled and clearly signed.




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Another ride out on the bike

This morning was a ride and a plan that i don’t do often – got dressed up in my mtb gear pushed m bike down to the school and dropped the girls off and set off directly from there 9am. I don’t normally get up that early for a bike ride but it was well worth it. The sun was out and already i had stuffed my jacket into the camelbak.

ride with gps screen
ride with gps screen

What a blast – up to Bearsden and the hills beyond on my Lynskey Ridgeline 29er. I think I love this bike …. a lot. It is so effortless and quick. I did trails today quicker and with less effort (and mainly with less fitness than I did them before) The bike flows over obstacles so much better than my old carver. I even bagged a KOM on one section with little effort …. mind you only 68 people before and only a few seconds up on my previous attempts.

Wooo Hooo KOM (for a day or two)
Wooo Hooo KOM (for a day or two)

Went up some old trails and was also impressed by the traction once again from the Maxxis Ardent tyres so grippy yet still fast rolling.

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grippy Maxxis Ardent UST
grippy Maxxis Ardent UST


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I went down some trails that I had never been down before – one in particular seemed very sweet then suddenly the angle got steeper and steeper – suddenly it was a 45 degree slope and i was hanging on. I guess over time I have become particularly good at crashing so did a slow slide of doom before i had to jettison prior to going over the bars. I loved it I picked myself up laughing with a scrape on my leg and mud on the gloves. Stopped on the way home at the garage and used the jet wash – a quick and cost / time effective way to clean the bike.

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bushed – mud and helmet hair

strava - click on to link
strava – click on to link

The Lynskey Ridgeline SL 29er Rohloff

in the cave ready to roll
in the cave ready to roll

Meant to put this up the other day but here is the build of the Lynskey Ridgeline SL 2012 with Rohloff Speedhub.

Lynskey Ridgeline SL 29er

DT Swiss XMM100 fork


ti seatpost

Ritchey WCS stem and saddle

Easton EC90 bars

XTR cranks / pedals/ brakes

Rohloff Speedhub 38:16

Stans 355 front rim on hope hub

Stans Arch EX on rear

Maxxis Ardent tyres tubeless on both wheels


A very solid bike even it isn’t the lightest 26.5lbs ….

chubby but smooth
chubby but smooth

Lynskey Ridgeline SL

First ride today – just after this picture was taken more snow fell – but it feels fantastic. Back at shop now to slam down the stack height and to fit a tubeless rim strip to the rear. Then I will go for a mission on normal trails to compare with the older bike


Picture 1