Carron Valley trails

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  • Carron Valley trails
  • coffeeking
    Member

    Tried them out on Saturday, in about 50mph winds. Good for a local slog to get me out of the house but really not exactly exciting. Almost like “we need some switchbacks…” 20 switchbacks in a row…”we need some jumps”…20 jumps in a row” etc. Trails were a bit samey, very smooth, narrow, same material from start to finish.

    I did almost splat myself on the jumps, must work on those. Also ripped a tyre, doh.

    Just my thoughts.

    J0N
    Member

    Lost opportunity! Thats what its was/is.

    coffeeking
    Member

    had one of those moments where you get comfy over 4 or 5 jumps, decide to nail the 6th and over-do it, seat hits you in the rear, stifle a scream and land nose-first just waiting to eat the ground lol. As I say I’ll be using it for regular riding as its close but really it could have been so much more in the location.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    Yeah nothing too technical but very handy if you cant be arsed driving far. Good trails for going very fast on 8)

    wife loves it cause it is all smooth and bmx track like. i find it a little boring. that all weather trail surface is yuck. sure it doesnt get muddy it just gets lethally slippy.

    anyway lots of politics and crap and now it is all finished and there will be no more development. a real shame.

    caledonia
    Member

    4 of us were up there and My mate’s wife decided to topple of the second jump and land on her face. Smashed it up pretty nicely. I think I have pics somewehre !

    coffeeking
    Member

    I could certainly see the trails getting very very slippery. I got thoroughly bored down the repeated corners, I just shed all my speed by half way down and trundled out the bottom lol. But at least a high speed course like that gives me chance to work on my fitness and a few key skills while not being bored or thoroughly knackered. Reckon my mrs will enjoy its lack of demanding content – she likes the tough stuff but often finds the long red/black routes at some centres are too long for her arm/finger strength.

    J0N
    Member

    Much better stuff in Mugdock and beyond or Lennox Forest. No built Doubles though.

    coffeeking
    Member

    I was up in lennox – all the trails have been ripped out- very little there now it seems?

    Mugdock is good but again the deforestation means some of the bits out near the loch have been demolished.

    J0N
    Member

    I was gutted the carbeth trails had gone. Digger tracks are good fun if not full of water :-). Time to do some building up at Mugdock me thinks.

    coffeeking
    Member

    So long as it’s additional, rather than replacing what exists – drives me nuts when people transform a set of existing trails! 🙂

    epo-aholic
    Member

    i use them for training, just burn round the 8.3km circuit 4 times as hard as you can works for me but i agree they are rather uninteresting!

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    The downside to places like Mugdock is the amount of non-cycling trail users. Of course everyones free to use the paths in Mugdock but I’m always nervous in places like that in case I injure someone on a trail. At least at places like CV you can ride without that worry.

    J0N
    Member

    I actually spend most of my time just outside Mugdock. Less walkers and those you do meet are more open minded and less miserable or complaining about your presence.
    I would never change what’s there already. I hate that too. I’ll just looking to add links and new bits.

    WTF
    Member

    Im glad Im not the only one who loves Carron valley.
    Bit rubbish isnt it.Or is that ghey ?

    coffeeking
    Member

    Puncture, right at the top – pain in the bum.

    stravaiger
    Member

    Was up yesterday – only 20mins from the house (by car*) so should use it more often esp when local trails are a mudbath.

    Plenty of folk there having fun – good to see. Just a shame it all drowned in politics. There were a lot of plans that got frustrated.

    As e-a says best approach is to go hard – work on getting through the corners and do a few fast circuits

    Its all riding and any riding is good ?

    * I know I should ride there but its not a fun road ride on a MTB

    Premier Icon allyharp
    Subscriber

    I agree, it’s such a shame that the Carbeth trails have gone. There’s still plenty of other bits nearby but Carbeth was the longest single section by far.

    The main West Highland Way track is a complete mess now too.

    But as I passed yesterday I thought that the area actually looks better now that it’s more open, rather than sheltered with the trees.

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    I thought CV was boring and missing something. I rode it on my singlespeed (which proves just how flat it is) after riding the Comrie trails and felt it was a let down. I thought it would be the other way round, I was quite looking forward to CV but it was just like a big Spooky Woods with no technical features in the slightest.

    The surface will hold up, but I don’t think trail centres need pavement and some mild erosion is to be welcomed (like that which the GT red is experiencing)

    Premier Icon jamieandangela
    Subscriber

    Hi

    Just to add a little context to this post, I and Mrs Jamie were involved in the group reponsible for delivering these trail, the trails had to be constructed in a bomb proof way because of the very wet and soft underlying ground conditions. The trails are essentialy blue in nature but because of FCS politics they were graded red.

    Alot of people put in a huge amount of work to deliver the trails at Carron Valley. Carron Valley Development Group had ambitious plan to deliver an excellant centre for mountain biking. But underhand tactics and actions by FCS put a stop to that. If you want to know a little more about 4 years plus of hard work by a Community Group and how the establishment ground them down, click on the link below.

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    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    I thought CV was boring and missing something. I rode it on my singlespeed (which proves just how flat it is)

    Hmmm.

    Based on my rough calcs it has about 1200ft of climbing which is far from flat and given the ease with which you can do several loops, it all adds up.

    I’m a big fan. It’s probably the place I ride most in winter as the trails stand up very well to poor weather.

    And there’s nothing wrong with a “big Spooky Wood” 😉

    Premier Icon allyharp
    Subscriber

    Although it is short I’d still say Carron Valley is great fun, and is in a good location relative to Glasgow/Stirling.

    I’d like to go back soon, just need to convince someone to drive 😉

    aviemoron
    Member

    Me and my 29er like it….

    druidh
    Member

    OK – you’ve convinced me. I must go have a look very soon.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    I’d like to go back soon, just need to convince someone to drive [:wink:]

    Just give us a shout anytime you fancy it. Lots of room in the car.

    stravaiger
    Member

    OK – you’ve convinced me. I must go have a look very soon

    you could always park up in Stirling and do and out and back via the Touch Hills/Earlsburn and Gargunnock Hills/Ballochleam 😉 Mind you now the wind turbines have gone in even that can be done on smooth tracks

    CV is short – a couple of loops will take less than 1.5 hours. Anquet reckons 250m of climb – so not flat but a bit short of 1200ft

    Comrie Croft is a superb wee trail and could do with more custom tho comparing it with CV is like comparing apples and eggs. I never got off my backside to trail build but I remember the original plans and the desire to handcut the trails (there used to be an ace wee DH track in there) but that didn’t prove possible for the reasons given by Jamie. Mind you I don’t think too many of the folk at CV yesterday would have been at all happy on some of the more interesting bits of Comrie Croft.

    GhostRider
    Member

    CV suits me as a lazy option, only 45mins from home by car and no faffing maps, walkers, cows etc… The trails are what they are – an unfinished work in progress that now unfortunately look like they will never get finished.

    If the trails don’t give you enough climbing start in Kilsyth and ride the Tak’ Me Doon Road…

    2tyred
    Member

    I like CV, for what it is. I can see what jamieandangela is saying about the dampness of the ground – anyone who’s ridden over the Knockybuckle above Milton of Campsie can attest to the weird bogginess on that plateau, so not surprising to discover CV’s similar. The rock steps (kelpie’s staircase? I’m terrible at remembering names of trail features) are good, the section following is fast and flowy without being technical. The jump section is ace.

    Can ride there up the Tak in under an hour from the door, so can’t grumble at all, especially as my local ride used to be Cathkin Braes. This summer i’m keen to combine it with a ride back over the Meikle Bin and Cort ma Law and take in the grassy descent down from Crichton’s Cairn to the crow car park (best ride in the area IMO).

    Lennox forest baffles me. The terrifying shore stuff is all gone now, along with a big area of trees, leaving logs all over the place where I used to ride. The short descent to the old hospital gate is still there, but I’m struggling to pick out anything descent, which is weird because its quite a big area and a decent height. Maybe I should go during proper daylight. Anyone point me in the right direction?

    coffeeking
    Member

    2tyred – im in the same position as you with lennox – if you find anything out drop me an email, I will do the same. Just cant seem to see anything worth attacking as all the decent routes have been scattered.

    I understand that CV may have needed certain trail materials, although I think as mentinoed that a bit of trail erosion makes trails trails rather than motorways. from my point of view they’re just a little TOO easy – while I was fixing a puncture an older, portly chappy rode past on a ROAD bike with 1″ wide semi-slicks. This explains a lot really.

    Having ridden knockybuckle I’d personally say the area is totally different, the surrounding ground appears to be quite a lot better drained than knockybuckle, but it’s hard to tell just from walking about cursing a puncture 🙂

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    If you read through the info on the remains of the CV website you’ll see that the trails were originally intended to be Blue graded but “politics” forced them to be graded Red. I think that can skew peoples expectations of the trail.

    J0N
    Member

    IIRC it was the original Kelpies staircase that gave it the red grade. The fact that small doubles/camelbacks were included in the runway may have been a factor as well. I was very excited about CV when it began and helped out on and off for about 6 months (not long I know) when they were working on the original downhill route – Now that was a muddy route and those bridges were heavy. 🙂
    Am I correct in thinking that Glasgow is now the furtherest town or city away from any purpose built trails. Other than CV all centres are over 1 hours drive away. Am I missing any? I think this is a disgraceful state of affiars.

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    CV was always fun for an after-work blast or a night ride. Real shame the development plans fell apart. Agree that the surface is a bit samey, but I never thought it really got that slippy. Trails are, as above, mostly non-technical but the Kelpie’s staircase certainly catches a few out and the whole Eas Dubh section is very hard to keep your speed through – I came round to the idea that this was a good thing, made you work on your cornering and very satisfying when you managed to come through it quickly. Canonball Run was a blast and the Runway was great. What’s not to like?

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Oops, double post!

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    IIRC it was the original Kelpies staircase that gave it the red grade.

    It was more than just Kelpies that forced the red grading…

    http://www.carronvalley.org.uk/pdfs/2005/10_05_cv_mtb_trail_-_visit_by_7stanes.pdf

    J0N
    Member

    Interesting, I’ve never seen that doc. and if taking there description as law then I see there point in giving the red grade. However at the time other reds at other centres were far more technical.

    black double diamond for the Runway FFS?

    those guys were on a hatchet mission…

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Got to agree with davidrussell. Have taken several riders with zero (or close to it) mountain biking experience round Carron Valley and all rode the whole thing (except Kelpie’s) with no problems at all – and had a lot of fun.

    druidh
    Member

    Hmm, I was just about to ask – was the work recommended in that report ever carried out?

    J0N
    Member

    Yep. Took my 12 year old brother who hasn’t got a lot of mtb experience and he rode it all, granted he walked the Kelpies but I reckon he could have ridden it on a better day. I’ve seen younger on the trails and like others have said seen hybrids and al types of non-mtb bikes coping admirably on the trails.
    My pet hate of CV was I reckon it was one of the wettest places in the country, a total rain snare 😆

    I’ll just say I admire the amount of work that CVDG put into the place. Shame it was cut short.

    As Jamie points out you need to look at whats there with some perspective – there’s only 5km of built trail and the purpose of building what’s there now was “to prove there was a need” Quite a tough gig as a cursary glance at some of the correspondence reveals.

    I think the fact you’ve got experienced mtbr’s using the place and rubbing shoulders with everyone from little kids to old guys on road bikes shows the fundamental need is there all right. Proved the need too clearly it would seem….

    If you look at the plans you’ll see that the top trail was to be reversed and become a climb (which would then have been extended to continue on to the top of the Kilsyth Hills) then a huge descent roughly parallel to the Tak and back on to a lengthened and reworked Runway. That would have been the Red. The middle trail was to be increased in length (another 1km) at the top and 4 km of new trail added at the end – The Blue. The Green cut back diagonally from the Loch – ending with a 1.5km gentle descent.

    On construction: the Red would obviously not be finished in a similar manner and 3.5 years since opening with moderatey high (and proven) trail usage stats yet still not a penny spent re surfacing anything? Nuff said…

    Oh, Dev Plans didn’t fall apart – they were basically nuked by one individual.

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