Glentress Forest – Editors’ Choice Awards 2021

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The Singletrack Staffers pick the standout products and locations from their riding year. This article was originally published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 140.

The year has felt a little like approaching that nemesis feature on the trail: you roll up to it full of optimism, then at the last minute pull on the brakes in an attack of ‘nope’. Whether it was a ping that put paid to yet another plan, or a shipping container that didn’t arrive as expected (by now, perhaps, that should be ‘as expected, a shipping container didn’t arrive’), we had plenty of interruptions along the way. However, our northern hills had an unusually dry summer, so we managed a decent spell of short-sleeved riding on our doorstep, and there were a few chances to get further afield that we grasped and enjoyed. Like that trail feature, once we cleared it, the elation at meeting friends, riding new trails and generally enjoying bikes was all the sweeter. 

Chipps – Editor At Large

It’s been a busy old year for me, what with getting engaged, moving house across town, getting married and then stepping into the Editor at Large role here at Singletrack. I can confirm that having both moving and marriage, two of the most stressful things you can do, plus an ongoing pandemic, in a single year, hasn’t been conducive to fitness and riding. However, it has all made me appreciate those times when I have been able to get out and steal an hour or two on the hills. And with the year closing, the opportunity for some more extensive wild and woolly riding is beckoning!

Glentress Forest

I know that Innerleithen, and the Tweed Valley in general, gets a lot of love, but I’ve rekindled an affection for actual, old school Glentress Forest in the last couple of years. Given that it was the only place I went to in nearly a year outside my postcode (once for a bike launch and once for an outdoor first aid course) it was obviously going to get some love, but once things eased mid-2021, I went back to ride a couple more times, one of which was for my honeymoon. The trails there, especially with the newer (and older) enduro trails, still offer plenty of challenge and even on a sunny Saturday, it’s easy peasy to find yourself completely alone in a silent forest, yet still on a marked trail. Add in some diversions from a knowledgeable local guide and the forest opens up even more. All this, and you can still cruise back for snacks, spares, repairs, a beer at the Glentress Hotel, or a traffic-free ride back to either Peebles or Inners. Love it.

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