Rab Wardell Explores How Scotland's Trail Infrastructure Helps Riders Progress in 'Old Enough to Know Better' Ep 2

Dec 14, 2021
by Rab Wardell  

With a name like Rab, it’s not a long shot to assume that being Scottish carries a lot of pride. Glentress was built in the late 90’s and has proven to be an iconic destination for riders from around the world. From those just starting out on wheels, through to the cross country racers who use the Black route as a training benchmark, this forest has many tales to tell. Rab decides to tackle the Black route, and assess if he really is faster than he used to be.

Author Info:
RabWardell avatar

Member since Jul 22, 2011
12 articles

  • 11 0
 Another awesome video and so true about Glentress! I barely knew what a mountain bike was when I started studying in Scotland and the amazing access laws and places like Glentress got me hooked! Can't imagine life without MTB at this point! Can't wait for EP3!
  • 7 0
 When I first went to Glentress in around 2004 I was blown away by the trails, Spooky Wood was probably the best thing I'd ever ridden at the time. When I go there on the odd occasion now I find it a bit meh, especially when compared to what's on offer down the road at Inners and further down the valley. I guess it's testament to how far we've progressed and how spoilt for great riding spots we are nowadays. I also think Glentress lost a lot of it's soul when Tracey and Emma were kicked out of The Hub and the new visitor centre was built.
  • 6 0
 100% on Tracey and Emma situation. Also the vid mentions it that the funding for GT was a 'game-changer' along with the other 7 stanes, but we're talking about 20 years on now and the investment since, in things other than cafe's, tangental activites like go-ape etc. is absolutely horren. This video practically eulogises the 'freeride area' which if anyone doesn't know will be destroyed completely soon in order to build a bunch of cabins. #bermsnotcabins
  • 4 0
 @browner: This is a huge point. We are all mega sentimental about the freeride, we even made another video featuring it in the last episode of Scotty Laughland's showcase. I hope they come to their senses and choose another spot for Glamping. It's not what the place needs right now. #bermsnotcabins
  • 2 0
 @MaxxRendall: #bermsnotcabins has to be the 2022 hashtag for the valley - nice video
  • 3 0
 @browner: Didn't know that - absolutely shocking - if they want more glamping it's up to them but not if it means destroying popular bike trails! They need to remember what put GT on the map. The freeride is not only beloved of the 'jumpers' but also vital to families and up-and-coming young 'uns, being right next to the carpark.

Also 100% on Tracey and Emma. After they got ousted I stopped giving my money to the post-Hub corporate GT 2.0 except on very rare occasions - not even parking (95% of the time I'll ride in from elsewhere). Bike parts/servicing can be got from I-Cycles. Those lassies put their heart and soul into GT and the Hub and I'm sure we can all relate a time when they helped us out - will never forget the ride with Emma's own carbon headset spacers on my bike - would have been a long journey for nothing otherwise!
  • 4 1
 Great video and living where the other 10% come from we always looked on Glentress as XC when we had all mountain style biking up here!
We have had so many great riders from up here due to the Mast, Dallas and now Aberdeen trails and the trail centres.
Scotland punches above its weight for sure, there is so much passion for the sport in Scotland.
Managed my lunchtime lap of a local dh track and off trail building/maintenance up Dallas after work.
We really do live the dream in Scotland.

Rock on 2022 and more digging and shredding in Scotland.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the hard work in Dallas. Those trails are mint! The red ones are lovely, and one of the black ones too. But man....those 2 triple black diamonds are steep AF for me!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 @Bitelio: we are so lucky to have such a rad place to ride.
I guess the triple black diamonds are dead doe and frankie.
Frankie is steep for sure, gonna sort out the end of the last chute to give it some support at some point over the winter.
Gi (the red) was originally built as a Fort William practice track way back when the dirt 1.04 was a thing.
Amazing how much the place has evolved since then.
  • 2 0
 @betsie: aye, those are the ones.
Really good trails, but I struggled with my hardtail.
Gone in 60 is one of the best trails in this part of the world.
Excellent work!!!!!
  • 4 0
 I remember Glentress being the called the Disneyland of UK biking. Funny story i went up once and stayed in the caming wooden pods. It was so cold we used the fridge for warmth.
  • 1 0
 Lol, almost sounds like an Uncle Albert special, "It was so cold, the flame on my lighter froze"
  • 4 0
 Would have liked to see his face at the top of Redemption!
  • 4 0
 What a great video, inspirational, entertaining and informative!
  • 3 0
 Spent a summer in Peebles in 2008. That experience with the Glentress was life changing.
  • 2 0
 Love the fact he nearly blew it with a stoppy - classic! Bet he's glad he had quite a few seconds to play with after that
  • 2 0
 1:22 on black is mint - they used to have the times up on the old website. I only managed 2:05 like a noob
  • 2 0
 Great video Rab, nice to see it getting the exposure it deserves.
  • 1 0
 when you shoot: Old Enough to ride Moab, and Colorado, get Tommy to give me a shout.
  • 1 0
 That big wallride line at Glentress used to be great...anyone know why it got closed down? Assume an accident?
  • 1 0
 The two stories I heard were that a lad went over the top of the curved wallride and had to be airlifted off the hill. The second was that after that, the hight of the structure was called into question and that it was built higher than the permission allowed. Weird that they never bothered to pull it down though. Just put up a barrier or two and left it to rot. A fairly apt metaphor for Glentress as a whole. A real shame there has been so little investment over the years.
  • 3 0
 @samfr1000: Both of which are factually incorrect. The reason for the closure was that if in some obscure and seemingly impossible scenario that someone actually did make it over the top of it then they would land on the forest below and could then 'potentially' have a collision with another forest user. The sad thing is that the build coincided with the peak of the no-win-no-fee period for FLS and management had become very risk-averse and nervous of things being built beyond their own comprehension of what is and is not possible on a bike. They (the management) did propose that the run-up was shortened to reduce the risk of going over the top, and when it was pointed out that A) you need speed to stick to the wall, and B) slower speeds would result in more accidents as riders did that Friday Fails lean the wrong way on the wallride shape, they (the management) failed to grasp the physics of it all. I did pitch a solution of adding a rumble strip to the top as a way of deterring people from 'daring one another to ride the top edge' but unfortunately, it was too late as they had made their decision. As for the loss of the freeride area (and should the new plans ever come to fruition) I don't think it is such a bad thing, there will be many more trails lower down the hill and new features to learn. Thankfully they (the management) have become more familiar with the business risks that hosting mountain biking brings to the organization and they are so well equipped with all the processes and paperwork that no-win-no-fee claims are a thing of the past.
  • 2 0
 @THEATB: I never stated them to be fact, but they weren't a million miles away from the truth. Good to know no one was ever injured from it.

Still would have been nice to repurpose it as those corners into the table top jump with the wall ride and the step-up were great fun.

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